Finding Money in Hard Times

Many firms are trimming budgets - across the board.  In general that is a bad idea - like when the Romans used to decimate the legions pushing every tenth man off a cliff or stoning him to death to discipline the troops - lucky for those soldiers the Romans were not on base two!  (On a different note, I bet President Obama is wishing he had such an option open to him to drive "bi-partisanship".)

Most importantly executives should not be cutting in information technology.  According to our data, and my friend Howard Rubin's decades long studies, firms spend 1.5-8% of revenues on IT, and the IT makes the other 92%-98.5% of the cost base more or less productive.  Given today's cost pressures does it make any sense to be cutting the main catalyst for knowledge worker productivity?  (Yes, I do work for a firm that sells consulting at the intersection of business and technology, so I'm tainted, but I do really believe it.) 

As I've written before, increasing a person's screen estate makes them more productive - as much as 10-15% right away.  If labor is 60% of your cost base, you can find 5-8% cost savings through using more screens.  How crazy is that?  So, if you are looking to find money - simply open up the window to the marketspace of all your staff and use that productivity to really redesign knowledge work - which no one has really done since Doug Englebart and Alan Kay - so many years ago.  More on designing knowledge work later. 

Confessions of a Really Dull Guy

Media is the New Ingredient for Every Product or Service