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Intergen Smarts 13 (2007)
 

Intergen Smarts 13 (2007)

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Intergen's newsletter, Smarts, now available for online reading. ...

Intergen's newsletter, Smarts, now available for online reading.

Intergen provides information technology solutions across Australia, New Zealand and the world based exclusively on Microsoft’s tools and technologies.

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    Intergen Smarts 13 (2007) Intergen Smarts 13 (2007) Presentation Transcript

    • 2007 is off to a great start and I’d like to welcome our new clients that have joined us through our acquisition of Kognition Consulting. We are very pleased to have the clients and staff of Kognition join us. They bring new capability in the areas of Mobility and Smart Client development and add strength to our innovation commitment. I am particularly happy to welcome Chris Auld as Director, Strategy and Innovation of Intergen. Chris is a Microsoft Regional Director, one of around only 160 worldwide and two in New Zealand. In this role Chris is privy to significant new Microsoft technologies and directions. He also regularly networks with the world’s top Microsoft experts, both within Microsoft and the partner community. Chris is based in Wellington but travels extensively and will be working closely with our clients and staff throughout New Zealand and Australia. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome our 2007 graduate intake. Each year we seek out the best graduates from New Zealand universities. They started in January and attended an intensive week-long boot camp in Wellington. I predict there are some real future stars amongst this year’s intake. Congratulations must go to our Technical Services team. The team, with support from others, worked through New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, moving our Data Centre in Wellington. Having outgrown our offices some time ago, we had been operating from two premises in Wellington. Late last year we secured new space in Plunket House and the new Data Centre was designed and built in less than three months. Any office move is a big project, but when you have to move a Data Centre as well, it is huge. Extensive planning went into the move and, with hundreds of servers and clients who demand high availability, there was no scope for anything to go wrong. The planning paid off, within the window allocated, and we now have a first class facility that we are all very proud of. I am writing this from San Diego where I am attending Microsoft Convergence 2007, Microsoft’s annual conference for its Dynamics Customers and Partners. I am amongst 8,500 attendees hearing about the latest offerings from Microsoft in the CRM and ERP space. It is staggering to see the effort that Microsoft is putting into this space and the scale of innovation and product enhancements that are either here or coming. The level of integration between Office and SharePoint with CRM and ERP is amazing. Two years ago we made an investment in developing a Microsoft CRM practice and in acquiring a Microsoft Dynamics NAV business. This is paying off and, from what I have seen at this conference, we are in a unique position to offer the next generation of integrated solutions from Microsoft. It is an exciting time in the Microsoft world at present and we hope that we can work with you soon to help bring the benefits of the new products and innovations to your organisation. < Copyright 2007 Intergen Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission of Intergen Limited > I S S U E T H I R T E E N >> HOT NEWS: >> T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E New horizons tony.stewart@intergen.co.nz Microsoft MVP awards: Intergen now has three Microsoft MVPs (Most Valuable Professionals): Chris Auld for his work in the Mobility field, Mark Orange for his contribution to Microsoft SharePoint and Peter Jones for his involvement with ASP .NET. These awards further strengthen Intergen’s position as Microsoft experts and industry leaders in these areas, and highlight our ongoing commitment to fostering innovation and expertise by upskilling staff. New Wellington office: We are pleased to announce that the move across the road to our new premises is now complete. We are now in Plunket House, 126 – 132 Lambton Quay, and we look forward to showing you around. Intergen Twilight seminars: Intergen’s Twilight seminars are well under way for the year. For more information on upcoming seminars in your area, or to register, visit www.intergen.co.nz/twilights Intergen’s Wellington Development and Integration Services Team PROJECT GOVERNANCE >> INTERACTIVE DESIGN >> INTERGEN AT LARGE >> CASE STUDIES >> DATA CENTRE >> KOGNITION/MOBILITY >> UPCOMING >> 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    • Good governance, at all levels, is not a guarantee of success in the delivery of a business vision, but it does set in place the backdrop and structures that make success more likely to be achieved. Without a strategic and concerted approach to governance, a project is exposed to a litany of management risks that could be the difference between a project that meets its deliverables and a project that fails to meet any of its intended objectives, wasting an organisation’s time and money and failing to deliver value. Governance around programs and projects is essential, and all Intergen PMs are schooled in the principles of its establishment for every project they manage. What is governance and why is it so necessary to all IT projects? Information Technology Governance (ITG) deals primarily with the alignment between the business focus and IT management objectives. Information Technology Governance recognises that organisations are critically reliant on their IT systems, ensuring that strategic decisions about IT are owned at the highest level of an organisation, not solely IT management. >> INTERGENITE: < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T H I R T E E N >>> P R O J E C T G O V E R N A N C E>>2 Protecting the project – why governance is a must-have Emma Barrett What do you do? I head up the Wellington Project Management team at Intergen, making sure we have the right profile of PM skills to support our clients. I am also a CRM product specialist and help our clients get the most benefit from their Microsoft CRM implementations. How do you make a difference? I have had the opportunity to work with many different organisations, implementing business solutions in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, which has given me an extensive understanding of how software solutions can support different business processes, solve issues and provide measurable business benefit. I believe in collaborating with client project teams to really understand the business needs and together ensure that the project meets its objectives as well as the stakeholders’ expectations. What do you love about your job? It's great to see our clients and the Intergen team members enjoying their working relationship and the shared satisfaction when the end result of the project is recognised. A bit about me I live with my husband Nathan in Lyall Bay. Almost every weekend for the last two years has involved DIY of some kind. Now that our house renovations are finished we are looking forward to the ski season and spending more time out and about with friends and family. The chief goals for Information Technology Governance are to: >> assure that IT investments generate business value and >> mitigate the risks associated with IT. As with good governance at the corporate and IT levels, program and project governance are critical to ensure that project delivery aligns with the vision and value of the programs of work and IT strategy. Good governance makes delivery teams more successful by establishing a framework for decision-making, accountability and communication. Logically, the greater the structure, definition and acceptance of governance, the less likely it is that there will be issues in the management of the program/project. As a vendor, Intergen is flexible in working with governance structures existing within client organisations and programs of work. We are also comfortable taking a lead or advisory role in establishing or aligning governance to facilitate management activities and achieve the desired business outcomes. Projects must have a clearly defined set of responsibilities, accountabilities and authorities, and individuals assigned to the roles must have the requisite skills and experience and the organisational authority to make the required decisions. A component of governance is the definition of the desired business vision. This is not a passive activity within the iterative development lifecycle used at Intergen. Each iteration requires accountable business stakeholders to work with the development leads to re-confirm the highest value features for the next delivery cycle. This ensures continual and timely alignment of the project with the business vision and value. In addition to this, communication and stakeholder management is essential to ensure all parties are informed and engaged. The more involved the senior management sponsors and stakeholders, the better the governance performance. Intergen has consistently used Microsoft SharePoint to provide either a targeted or broad scope of information to stakeholders depending on client requirements. SharePoint is also used to manage and share program and project documentation. Intergen’s Wellington Project Managers
    • >> INTERGENITE: < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T H I R T E E N > >>3>> I N T E R A C T I V E D E S I G N Sue Quigley What do you do? As a Senior Interactive Designer at Intergen I conceptualise and create appropriate and engaging website designs for our clients, developing dynamic look and feel that meets business needs and boosts traffic. How do you make a difference? My goal is to balance aesthetics and performance. It is important to deliver powerful graphic design without sacrificing usability. A positive user experience is a combination of terrific look and feel and impeccable site performance. What do you love about your job? I love it when a site goes live! It is thrilling to see all those weeks of discussions, concepts and revisions culminate in an actual, functional website for the whole world to surf. A bit about me My husband and I recently escaped the rat race and politics of Washington, DC, and moved to Wellington. At first we had trouble staying left on roads and puzzled over what exactly people meant by “panel beater” “singlet” or “shandy”. I enjoy exploring New Zealand by hiking, biking and kayaking. I also design and create a line of fine silver jewellery. Web 2.0! Marketing buzzword? Industry-speak? A second bubble? Meaningless phrase? Or is it something more? It’s a question that has been generating a lot of discussion around the Intergen offices lately. Interestingly, we seem to fall into two groups when exploring the meaning of Web 2.0. There are those of us that feel it is just that, a marketing buzzword designed for self-promotion and building hype. Really there is nothing new in Web 2.0; it has all been done before. We’re using the same types of technologies and concepts. And when exactly was ‘Web 1.0’? Conversely, there are those of us that feel Web 2.0 signifies a change in mindset we’re seeing online. It’s a new focus on the web actually delivering what was promised in the 90s. We’re on the cusp of a new era where the user is situated as the central and absolute focus of the web. Users have gone from being mere consumers of the web to a new hybrid of highly linked and networked producer-consumers (or consumer-producers!). We have websites and applications that get better the more people use them, something fundamentally different to the web of yesteryear. Looking deeper at Web 2.0 there are four key concepts behind “what makes something Web 2.0”. The first is that we are seeing a huge change in the user interfaces we are able to deliver online. A lot of this is about bringing the interactions users are familiar with from the desktop onto the web. The second core concept behind what makes something Web 2.0 is data freedom and transformability. Companies are loosening some of the traditional controls they would enforce with their data and they’re allowing their users to access it in any way they would like. Even allowing users to build their own tools to access data! The third key concept behind what makes something Web 2.0 is that users are the point. A lot of sites we are seeing now only exist and are only useful because of how users contribute and participate in the site. Think YouTube! The fourth and last key concept we are seeing with Web 2.0 is continuous improvement in each and every level of websites’ operations and their business management. Minor enhancements are being made to aspects such as application releases, infrastructure, pricing and marketing - everything! What happens when we combine the four concepts of Web 2.0? Applications that get better the more that people use them. One thing both sides will agree on is that there is no concrete accepted definition of Web 2.0 and that does mean the term has wildly different meanings for different people. We could see this as another reason to discard Web 2.0, or we can embrace it and see where it takes the next evolutions of the web. 2007 is an exciting year! john.lewis@intergen.co.nz Factoid: The term Web 2.0 was actually coined in 2004 by O’Reilly Media who were brainstorming a name for their then upcoming web conference.
    • Daniel: “I really appreciate the social aspect of Intergen. It makes a difference when you socialise with your co-workers outside of work hours.” Phil: “When I joined Intergen I couldn’t get over how friendly and smart everyone was, and how comfortable I felt. It is great being surrounded by a bunch of young people with common interests.” Jo: “Everyone has such broad interests and diverse backgrounds, which keeps life interesting. You can’t put anyone in a box.” All three found the graduate programme a big help in kick-starting their careers. “You need a job to get experience, but often with a lot of jobs they won’t take you unless you already have experience,” Daniel says. And the answer to this catch 22 situation is the graduate programme. A year has passed since Boot Camp (four days of PowerPoint presentations “more intense than university lectures”) and the three well and truly have their feet under their desks, with team lead aspirations for the future. < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T H I R T E E N >>> I N T E R G E N A T L A R G E After one year on the job… Thoughts from the class of ’06. A year has flown by and the trio are now older and wiser and fully ensconced in their respective roles. We took a few minutes to reflect on the year that was and uncover their impressions of Intergen as graduates in their first ‘real’ full-time jobs. Upon joining Intergen as wide-eyed grads, the general impression of the company was a fun, supportive environment where there is encouragement to give new things a go, and always someone on hand to help out if you put your hand up. Daniel, Phil and Jo all commented on the atmosphere as the main thing that struck them about Intergen on the whole. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) has come to encompass a far wider definition than it had 10 years ago. It is still the term used to describe a software solution that integrates all financial information across departments and functions and across a company onto a single database and allows the business to easily share financial information. Yet the modern ERP II system means even more. ERP II solutions (the next generation ERP) need to be able to capture not only an organisation’s traditional financial structured data (often called the transaction engine) but also share ECM (Enterprise Content Management), which is the enterprise’s unstructured data. In fact, the convergence of ECM and ERP is considered by many to be what we have been looking forward to for years: intelligent, collaborative business solutions, where structured and unstructured data merge. What sets solutions like Microsoft Dynamics NAV apart is the ease with which they integrate with ECM. So what is Enterprise Content Management? In its simplest form, it is any paper records, faxes, brochures, graphics, images, web pages, emails – in fact virtually any multimedia information generated as part of a business process and which can be digitised and then stored, retrieved, shared and have its lifecycle managed. When an organisation can take all the financial information of traditional ERP solutions and through their business information system, integrate the ECM seamlessly and transparently for better and more timely decision making, only then are we talking about a true modern day ERP II system. Microsoft Dynamics NAV provides the platform for ERP II. It acts as the transaction engine and the Microsoft technology stack. Office 2007, SharePoint and BizTalk are the tools that help collect and manage the unstructured data. The non- financial business intelligence is then integrated back into the business processes to enable smarter decisions based on all business information, not just financial. The convergence is now real! Phil Lee, Daniel McGaughran and Jo Chapman all joined Intergen’s Development and Integration team in last year’s graduate programme intake. >>4 Phil Lee, Daniel McGaughran and Jo Chapman
    • >> INTERGENITE: >> C A S E S T U D I E S < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M AG A Z I N E . I S S U E T H I R T E E N > >>5 Bryce Scanlen What do you do? I am a Business Development Manager for the northern region based out of our Auckland office. My role is to ensure that our clients are delighted with our services and solutions. How do you make a difference? Bridging the gap between technical solutions and business problems is where I focus. On behalf of my clients, I advocate their business issues and IT challenges to find from our team the best alternatives that we can offer. What do you love about your job? I enjoy working with and harnessing the intellectual capital that make up the team at Intergen. Being able to solve customers’ business problems using technology is very exciting. A bit about yourself Prior to Intergen, I was at Microsoft New Zealand for six years as a Partner Business Manager. When the role at Intergen became vacant I leapt at the opportunity to return to a customer sales role. I’m a father to three adorable young children, so most of my leisure time is spent keeping them entertained and giving their mother a well-deserved break. Before children and Microsoft, I took a career “gap year” and travelled through the Middle East and Africa. The Electricity Commission had utilised the finance system running within the Ministry of Economic Development. A switch-off date loomed for the existing platform, and the Electricity Commission looked to Intergen for a way to gain independence over their financial systems, with greater control and more flexible and dynamic accounting tools a priority. As Microsoft gold accredited partners, Intergen was able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4 capabilities. “Intergen convinced me that Dynamics NAV 4 had the flexibility to handle the different dimensions we use to manage our financial reporting requirements. They communicated the benefits in a way that was relevant, giving me confidence that they really understood our business,” says Electricity Commission’s Ruth Murphy. There were three key factors behind their decision to go with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4: its multidimensional approach; the ability to cut and paste or export data to Excel and overall Microsoft compatibility and the flexibility for managers to access financial information and manage their own cost centres more effectively. A go live date was proposed and a tight project deadline was met, timed just prior to their financial year end. “One of the most complex challenges was the decision to import the entire transaction history, rather than just totals, to the new platform,” Ruth Murphy says. The end result is “a quantum leap” from where they were, with a clearer view of all accounting and reporting activity, numerous time saving efficiencies and all ties to the Ministry of Economic Development platform cut. Skills4Work set Intergen the challenge of providing an entire Microsoft Dynamics NAV upgrade alongside rolling three organisations into one (Competenz, Apprentice Training New Zealand and Careers Training New Zealand). With a go live date of 1 January 2007, there were also public holidays to consider and 550 apprentices throughout New Zealand relying on receiving their pay packets. Skills4Work’s Group Financial Accountant, Terry Wood, had previously completed a successful high risk and liability system change onto Microsoft Dynamics NAV 3.6 from a DOS-based system, so it was obvious to him that the extra functionality of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4 SP3 would be advantageous for the future. On Intergen’s advice, the upgrade was scheduled to occur at the same time as the merger of the three organisations, which turned out to be sound advice, although it created significant pressure. “Normally a project like this would take four to six months, and Intergen turned it around in less than four weeks. They would be checking databases at midnight and resourced the project right through the Christmas break,” Terry Wood says. The final result of the project was on time, on budget, with a measurable result. Terry Wood comments, “You’ll see most ERP projects don’t actually make their development on time. Intergen did a very thorough job of evaluating and defining what was needed and doing it.” The upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 4 resulted in a robust business reporting and information platform with the functionality to support the reorganisation of Skills4Work. Working around the clock nails deadline for Skills4Work Electricity Commission powers up
    • < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T H I R T E E N >>> D A T A C E N T R E>>6 New Year’s Solution New Year’s Eve 2006. Instead of kicking back somewhere relaxing and seeing in the New Year in a leisurely, kiwi summer fashion, a team of 20 Intergenites spent the day moving into Intergen Wellington’s state-of-the-art hosting facility. It might seem an unconventional way to see out the year, but by the time the day was through there was cause for plenty of celebration, as the new Data Centre came to life after a seamless but somewhat arduous transition. >> Redundant HVAC climate control >> High availability mains power supply and enterprise grade facility UPS >> Onsite standby generator (awaiting RMA approval) >> Physically diverse Internet connections >> Category 6 data cabling >> Redundant data transit providers (ISPs) >> Physical security requiring 3-factor authentication >> Comprehensive VESDA system >> Advanced environmental monitoring >> Firewall security >> Active Intruder intrusion detection and prevention >> Proactive solution monitoring with 24/7 alerting and response >> Anti virus protection >> Managed software update service >> Data backup F E A T U R E S : Even with the benefit of hindsight, Dwayne wouldn’t have done anything differently, except perhaps starting the planning phase earlier. The new facility is an exciting step in Intergen’s evolution and a significant investment in the future. Although the old facility ‘did the trick’ and was still better than most, Intergen recognised that our clients’ maturity and requirements had grown exponentially over time, and will continue to do so. And the development of the Data Centre was Intergen’s way of proactively keeping ahead of the game and staying in tune with the growing business needs of our clients. Dwayne is excited about what the new Data Centre can offer its clients, not simply because of the quality of the facility, which speaks for itself, but because of Intergen’s specific and focused expertise in the field of internet hosting and the strong relationship the technical infrastructure team has with our software and development experts. What this means, in short, is that Intergen is a specialist one-stop shop for hosting, and can offer clients a holistic solution, not just part of the package. For more information, or to arrange a tour of the Data Centre, please contact dwayneb@intergen.co.nz Such an undertaking is not to be taken lightly. Imagine 38 kilometres of cabling and moving 130 servers (totalling close to 3.5 tons) from one side of The Terrace to the other with kid gloves and levels of patience usually reserved for the saintly. And that’s just for starters. Picture a telco-grade Data Centre coming to life right about the time most of us were commencing our revelry. Dwayne Bace, Intergen’s Manager of Technical Services, said that “The outstanding result was due to extensive planning, detailed research, military precision and the fantastic group of people who slogged their guts out on the day.” And with no margin for error or damage, the consequence of one small thing going wrong could have been catastrophic. Anyone who knows computers understands that you’re asking for trouble when you turn off machines that have been chugging away 24/7 for years; it’s Murphy’s Law that something will go wrong when you start them back up again. Fortunately, though, there was only one mishap – in the form of a faulty power supply – during the whole move.
    • WHAT IS MOBILITY AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BUSINESS? Businesses now recognise that mobile devices can increase productivity and create new opportunities. And with employees spending more of their time on the move, mobile solutions have become essential business tools. Businesses are looking for ways to optimise the productivity and effectiveness of their employees while in the field or away from the office. A Windows mobile solution is a cohesive, end-to-end mobility solution built around the Windows Mobile operating system running on mobile hand-held devices. Windows Mobile-powered devices offer a rich platform for mobile messaging, delivering access to existing line-of-business applications, and creating new business applications. These solutions have the power to increase employee productivity and streamline business processes, thus delivering direct, measurable business value. The value of Windows Mobile-powered solutions comes not only from the outstanding capability and flexibility of the Windows Mobile platform, but also from the alliances that Microsoft has created with device manufacturers, as well as mobile service operators and the wide ecosystem of devices, software and solutions they offer. This is a significant and exciting development for Intergen. >> Kognition’s CEO, Chris Auld, has now become Director, Strategy and Innovation for Intergen and brings a wealth of passion and enthusiasm to the Intergen leadership team. >> Chris’s appointment consolidates Intergen’s focus on leading new innovations and helping clients to strategise and realise their ‘big picture’ IT goals. Chris is also one of only two Microsoft Regional Directors in New Zealand and is also a Microsoft MVP (Windows Mobile Devices), which further strengthens Intergen’s position as New Zealand’s leading innovative Microsoft solutions company. >> It means that Intergen now has offices in four major cities in New Zealand, along with Sydney. Kognition has an impressive CV, having done work for Microsoft, and was responsible for developing some of the sample code and training material for .NET 3.0. They have also recently started a project for amazon.com. In addition to this, Kognition has developed a number of products in joint ventures with clients. Having Kognition’s experience and expertise broadens our offerings in the mobility, international projects and product development spaces. Chris says, “As a leading NZ Microsoft solutions provider, Intergen’s special relationship with Microsoft, together with Kognition’s specific experience in the mobility area, will provide Intergen’s clients with more resources and expertise than ever before.” >> K O G N I T I O N / M O B I L I T Y < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M AG A Z I N E . I S S U E T H I R T E E N > >>7 In February Intergen acquired Kognition Consulting Limited, a Dunedin and Wellington-based company specialising in Mobility and Smart Client development. Kognition has established itself as a world leader in its field, with clients in New Zealand and the United States. Intergen on the MOVE Chris Auld, Director Strategy and Innovation – Intergen
    • >> U P C O M I N G < S M A R T S - T H E I N T E L L I G E N T B U S I N E S S M A G A Z I N E . I S S U E T H I R T E E N > F i n d o u t m o r e a b o u t I n t e r g e n : Auckland: 09 966 3070 Wellington: 04 472 2021 Christchurch: 03 964 0017 Dunedin: 03 479 4099 Sydney: 02 9904 0443 www.intergen.com.au info@intergen.co.nz www.intergen.co.nz Time for Action Recent research from the United States highlights some disturbing challenges facing business today. Ed Robinson Group Manager, ActionThis The United States research has direct correlation to business trends in New Zealand. Think about what you spent your time on last week. How much of this time was truly valuable? How many of the work problems that kept you awake a year ago really mattered in the long term? We need to find better ways to work less hours and more effectively. This is a problem where software should be improving people’s lives, but has failed miserably to date. Most of today’s productivity software either focuses on project management or collaboration: scheduling, planning and sharing information. What we need is a new technology that bridges collaboration and planning – adding structure to collaboration, and allowing self-defining communities and processes where the important stuff gets done. Imagine if your company’s strategies, tactics and operations were in clear alignment; imagine if every minute at work was productive – no pointless meetings, ambiguous goals, or shifting priorities. For most of us this would mean less time at the office, more time with our families and a greater sense of accomplishment. Surely the right software can bring us closer to this goal – so where is it? At Intergen, we’ve looked for this software and haven’t found it, so we’re building it ourselves. We’re developing a mass market product called ActionThis that adds new focus to project management, team dynamics and collaboration. Fun to use. Effective business outcomes. This is exciting. We’ve been working on ActionThis for six months and soon we’ll be sharing it with our clients. We’re hoping you can help here – we need to collect more statistics on productivity and work hours, so we’ll be contacting clients and asking if they can contribute to a short anonymous survey. You can also email Ed Robinson: edrob@intergen.co.nz to sign up for the ActionThis newsletter and learn about the upcoming beta programme. The research highlights three trends: 1 Rise of the information worker. Since the 1970s, new management techniques and widespread adoption of information technology have given birth to the information worker, characterised as workers who are goal-driven with a reliance on information technology to achieve higher levels of productivity than the structured task workers of previous decades. 2 Longer hours. 40% of information workers log more hours than they did five years ago. Workers now average 46 hours a week – the workweek is increasing at about 3% per decade, with the most notable increase at the higher skilled levels, where 38% of people put in more than 50 hours at the office. 3 Increase in wasted time. US information workers estimate between 37% and 45% of their week is spent unproductively – ineffective meetings, working towards unclear goals, surfing the web or procrastinating. We have more self-government, but we’re putting in more hours and getting less from those hours. Indications are that the steep rise in productivity from 1970 to the early 2000s is now slowing. This is worrying in a tight labour market – when you can’t find great people to hire, you must ask your existing staff to work longer, or find ways of increasing their productivity.