Productivity Gains Limited, Possibly Disappearing

from the so-much-for-the-new-economy dept

What was all that talk about productivity gains due to information technology? A new study from McKinsey says that the productivity picture isn’t that rosy. They claim that only a few areas of the private sector actually experienced productivity gains, and even those are likely to be wiped away. I always have problems with productivity studies because they tend to aggregate things in a way that doesn’t make sense – and pretend there’s a trend there. The fact is that bad information technology decisions will decrease productivity – and there’s been no shortage of bad decision making over the past few years (partly because of a lack of qualified people to make IT decisions, and partly because of the pressure to rush everything through without, say, thinking about it first). Smart IT decisions enhance productivity. If companies took the time to make careful IT decisions then we could continue to increase productivity. Of course, with people panicing the way they are, it doesn’t seem likely that we’re going to see a rush towards careful planning any time soon in many companies.

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