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Posts tagged "IT"

October 8, 2012

Improving Information Worker Productivity = Big Payoff

IDC recently undertook a large global survey of information workers and IT professionals on behalf of Adobe to better understand the productivity challenges that cost information workers time, and put a dollar value on that unproductive time. The bottom line: conservatively, the cost to an organization of 1,000 employees is nearly $16m a year.

This is a huge cost, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity. As our research shows, time wasted on unproductive tasks adds up to a 21.3% hit on the organization’s overall productivity. Addressing the time wasters would be equivalent to adding 213 employees in a 1,000 person organization – employees who could be out selling and supporting customers, designing and building new products, innovating and driving the business forward.

We’ve seen plenty of investment in business process improvement over the past few years, but most of these efforts are aimed at re-engineering or automating business processes that are system-to-system, or system-to-human. Our research findings on information worker productivity suggest that organizations need to place similar emphasis on improving individual productivity and human-to-human business processes.

There’s some evidence that executives in many organizations are recognizing the importance of information worker productivity. IDC’s CIO survey research shows productivity is a top priority this year. But where to start?

A surprising finding in our survey is that information workers spend a very large percentage of their time working with documents in one way or another – researching and gathering information for documents, creating, merging edits and comments from multiple reviewers into a single revision, managing the document approval process and obtaining approvals and signatures, and dealing with forms and forms data. As it turns out, quite a bit of this time is spent dealing with a variety of frustrations and challenges. It’s no one single thing – it’s a whole slew of time wasters that fall broadly under personal productivity and collaboration.

We think the challenges working with documents are only increasing as employees increasingly work on the go using smartphones and tablets in addition to their PCs, and collaborate with people outside the organization. And not just for information workers: the growing needs around mobility and external collaboration are also creating new challenges for IT around security and risk management, so we believe the time is now to address document-based productivity issues.

Does your organization have a program underway to improve information worker productivity? If so, what steps are you taking? If not, what’s holding you back?

Read more in the full IDC white paper, here.

Melissa Webster, program vice president, IDC

Follow Melissa Webster on Twitter: mwebster_idc



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8:57 AM Permalink
October 4, 2012

Bridging the Document Productivity Gap [INFOGRAPHIC]

In conjunction with this week’s announcement of Adobe Acrobat XI, we asked IDC’s Melissa Webster to take a closer look at the document-based challenges information workers and IT professionals face on a daily basis. The research resulted in a global IDC white paper that examined how productivity, collaboration, device and security issues have a significant impact on organizations. We’re calling this the “Document Productivity Gap.” The infographic below illustrates the top findings in the white paper.

Acrobat addresses the problems that compromise the productivity of information workers and IT departments.  As CMSWire’s David Roe wrote this week, “The features have been built around actual enterprise needs.” Reporters from InformationWeek, eWeek, TechCrunch and PC World and more also reported on the white paper this week.

You can read the report in full here.

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8:59 AM Permalink
July 31, 2012

Why Standardized Software Across IT Makes Sense

I’m not certain what drives some users to clamor for the latest software. Maybe it’s about keeping up with the Joneses or just the thrill of having something new. Regardless, it wreaks havoc on an IT department. Managing multiple versions of software is a headache. It complicates licensing, deployment, updates, maintenance, integration, and in the end, drains your IT budget.

What’s more, IT life isn’t likely to get any simpler. The perfect storm looks to be on the horizon. A recent study by the Accenture Institute for High Performance and reported by Mike Vizard of ITBusinessEdge suggests that IT departments are “likely to be shaped more by forces outside the control of the IT organization” than by the IT department itself.

While we wait for the big blow, there are a lot of squalls IT has to navigate just to get through the day. I came away from some recent customer visits with this list of IT challenges they face:

  • Demonstrate the ROI of all technology investments.
  • Ensure solutions don’t indirectly drive up the cost of IT, such as more help-desk calls, unnecessary additions to the IT footprint, or difficult deployments which strain IT resources.
  • Buy solutions that fit within the IT infrastructure. Because of the large investment within existing systems, any solution that doesn’t fit within the established standards requires a very strong business justification.
  • Acquire programs that can enhance the value of existing infrastructure by driving higher usage are appealing.

So why make IT more complicated than it needs to be? Companies like yours have standardized on Adobe Acrobat to address many of these pain points. They simplified the licensing that supports enterprise-wide deployment and with that software license management. They benefit from enterprise-wide maintenance and support that helps them get the most out of the investment. Plus, Acrobat integrates easily to the IT environment.

For example, Arup, a global engineering and design firm, standardized its operations on the latest version of Acrobat using the Adobe enterprise license agreement (ELA) to distribute software to employees worldwide through the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager suite—a virtual software store. Arup employees can simply request Acrobat, submit the request for approval, and IT support will download the software directly to their desktops in an automated process.

For RSM McGladrey, a tax and assurance consultancy, the enterprise program with Adobe streamlined Acrobat licensing and deployment on an ongoing basis. Today, the company spends about two hours annually tracking and updating Acrobat software licenses—a 98 percent decrease over the previous time spent by IT.

Similarly, since moving to the enterprise contract, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has reduced IT maintenance and administrative costs because everyone throughout the agency is using the same version of Acrobat. In addition, predictable budget requirements result in more effective fiscal planning.

Bottom line, by standardizing on Acrobat across your IT environment you can save a lot of time and money. Check out the Adobe ELA to see where you can cut costs and save time.

Mark Grilli, senior director of Acrobat Solutions product marketing

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8:36 AM Permalink
July 11, 2012

Can Acrobat Save Me Money?

That question comes up often when I’m on the road, especially from companies looking for ways to reduce the costs of running their IT operations. Which is pretty much everyone I visit these days. It stems from the common IT pain point of having to do more with less and being sure your IT investments are going to the right places. I like this quote from InformationWeek’s Eric Lundquist, commenting on a recent MIT Sloan Conference, where academics and in-the-trenches CIOs and IT execs debated the merits of risk taking: “Rampart storming may work for startups with no legacy to consider, but for larger companies IT investment is more about making the right bets.” These days, common sense rules.

But back to the question. Can Acrobat save you money? Short answer is yes.  Adobe Acrobat and its free companion, Adobe Reader, can have a positive impact on return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) across the enterprise.  But don’t take my word it.

Customers from a variety of businesses are finding that Adobe Acrobat is a proven solution that helps reduce IT cost and complexity. For example, tax consultancy, McGladrey, expects to save $600,000 over four years by standardizing on Acrobat, and that, they said, did not even begin to factor in all the IT time and effort saved.

Pharmaceuticals company, Astellas Pharma, who introduced Acrobat via the Adobe Volume Licensing program, which best suits large purchases, achieved cost reductions and centralized license management. “We can upgrade without incurring any other charges when a new version is released during the agreement term. This is extremely valuable to us,” said Shuichi Hiraki, associate manager of Infrastructure, Information Systems for Astrellas.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that in addition to saving $1.3 million in licensing costs in the first year, it estimates it will reduce costs by $750,000 per year by reducing the number of purchase transactions from more than 500 to a single transaction each year.

Quantitative Research

Recently, we commissioned the Forrester Consulting Group to look into the question, too. The study, “Total Economic Impact™ Study of Adobe Acrobat X,” looked at seven current Adobe Acrobat X customers and identified a series of IT and end user productivity costs savings by standardizing on Acrobat X. These include reimaging systems cost savings, end user productivity gains from more efficient patch deployments, IT cost savings in managing patch rollouts, and cost savings from converting PDF to Microsoft Word or Excel.

Based on the interviews, Forrester created a financial analysis for a composite organization of 1,000 Adobe Acrobat X users. Over three years, the IT staff time that the composite organization devoted to patch testing and release declined from seven months (pre-Acrobat X) to three weeks (with Acrobat X).  IT also saved three hours per machine on hardware reimaging by automating the deployment of Acrobat X using Microsoft SCCM. The three-year, risk-adjusted ROI for Forrester’s composite company was 112 percent, with a breakeven point (payback period) after deployment of 11.8 months.

The Forrester study helped confirm some things we already know about how Acrobat X can benefit an IT organization:

  • Enhance existing systems and processes to increase organizational productivity
  • Help safeguard systems and data
  • Easy deployment and management across the entire enterprise
  • Quick data collection using fillable PDF forms
  • Streamline PDF tasks
  • Expedite document reviews and approvals

Mike Vizard of IT BusinessEdge wrote recently, “Most companies are looking for a way to do what they have always done more efficiently rather than experimenting with something totally new and different no matter how much upside potential there might be.” If this is you, stay tuned.

In future posts, I’ll look at some of the topics from the Forrester study and pass along what customers are saying about the impact Acrobat is having on their IT organizations. In the meantime, check out the Acrobat IT Resource Center for tips and tricks and insights into how to make Acrobat work for your IT shop.

 Mark Grilli, senior director of Acrobat Solutions product marketing


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9:02 AM Permalink
June 11, 2012

Where Does it Hurt? A Closer Look at Pain Points

In my talks with customers, it always amazes me how much similarity there is in the core problems businesses are trying to solve. Companies are trying to figure how to get things done more efficiently and effectively, while at the same time, lower costs, streamline their processes, protect their business interests, and empowering their end users with best practices.

This is no easy feat for IT. Where to start? I have found that the best organizations do this by first focusing on prioritizing the “pain points” of their end users.

My latest article in Lifehack expands more on the specific challenges I hear on daily basis from customers, like: “Editing PDF documents is a hassle” and “It’s hard to send large files with email and IT restrictions”. In the article, I suggest that IT organizations think beyond just offering tools and begin to leverage best in class practices for their business that address the common issues of the end user. This becomes even important as we move into a new business climate where we are not just trying to be productive on our PC’s, but also on our phones and tablets.

Thanks to feedback from our customers, this is how we think at Adobe when addressing their needs. Now, many companies including McGladrey, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP, and Canon are deploying Acrobat for reasons that directly address the pain points of their employees, customers and constituents, and they are all realizing extraordinary benefits.

You can read the full post in Lifehack here for a list of common customer IT “pain points”.

–Mark Grilli, senior director of product marketing, Acrobat Solutions

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8:31 AM Permalink
May 21, 2012

Acrobat Customer Spotlight: Leading IT Organization Now Handles 10 Times More Accounting Transactions Per Month

With teams dispersed all over the globe and multiple review cycles, how do IT organizations enhance collaboration?

One of the ways that Epona sets itself apart from other IT consultancy firms is by concentrating on enhanced collaboration across its diverse workforce and clients worldwide. Epona president Bart van Wanroij recently talked with us about how the company is using Adobe Acrobat X Pro with Microsoft SharePoint, saying “Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft SharePoint are unparalleled at enabling more efficient collaboration.”

Epona is staying at the forefront of technology by operating in a cloud-based environment that helps safeguard proprietary information. Adds van Wanroij, “Working with SharePoint-hosted, Adobe PDF files, teams collaborate seamlessly in cloud-based environments as they share, review, and comment on materials.”

Today, Epona converts many of its business documents to PDF and uploads them to Microsoft SharePoint, as part of a process that not only saves paper, but also speeds up review and approval because all documents are centrally located and easily available in a single, reliable file format.

With Acrobat X, Epona is using a lot less paper, helping the company realize cost savings and environmental sustainability goals. By taking advantage of the PDF workflows supported by Acrobat X and Microsoft SharePoint, Epona is improving productivity all around. For instance, the company has found that fewer employees can now manage ten times more accounting transactions per month, thanks to the new efficiencies.

To read more about Epona and its use of Adobe Acrobat X Pro with Microsoft SharePoint, check out the full story here.

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8:50 AM Permalink

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