Survey on the use of IT in french companies

Two weeks ago I was invited by Microsoft to attend the presentation of a survey on the use of IT in fench companies. Two things made it really interesting

• Although the fact new generations were transforming the use of IT, there was no global study to quantify and qualify it.

• The methodology was neutral and exhaustive : they started with general considerations and focused step by step to get to business cases. So the survey provides sociological elements, that were qualified, assessed, turned into busines practices etc… Each step was managed by a specialized partner (Eranos, Added Value, Ifop andt BearingPoint ).

Let’s see what’s in.

Before the official presentation, many things could be learnt just by talking with the attendees and listenting to conversations. A word was present in all the conversations. “Porosity”. Enterprises are not fortresses anymore. There are practices from the private life than invade them step by step. In the same logic, contacts with the office don’t stop once you step out of the door. “Scary”. And the buzz of the day : the new French Minister of Digital Economy that complainED earlier this day that she could not surf on the web as much as she wanted because of security policies.

The content :

• Context

96% of the active people connect to the net from home or work. On the other hand only one out of two uses a computer in the workplace. There are more computers in people’s homes than in enterprises.

Standard tools (phone, email, word processors) are still those that are used the most but a new generation of tools is strongly emerging : blogs, social networks, wikis, podcasts.

Globally speaking, 68% work inside teams, 85% with people from their company.

When using IT, people spend their time this way : communicating 44%), Managing their time (30%), working on contents (39%)

I’m sorry but the slides are only available in french. I publish them anyway for those who can catch a few words and understand the global sense. If you need I will be able to take some time to do some translation, just comment and ask.

18% users already work in an horizontal mode in companies at the leading edge of IT, while 35% are in a vertical mode in companies that are technologically backward.

The survey also says that young people synchronize, cooperate and create more than their elders while managers share (withou cooperating ?), organize and create more than the average employee.

Globally said, surveyed people say they use technologies mainly to save time.

Tools are becoming numeroux for an only use and youg employees are more at ease to create and share information. They are also more comfortable to manage information overload.

So, two cultures are interacting in the enterprise : “faber” and “ludens”. I’d like to know what part of the population is halfway beween both because, according to me, they would be the perfect change agents, the link between both.

According to the suervey, Faber and Ludens cohabit positively, in a win win relationship. That’s something I seldom noticed… Whatever, it’s sure that keeping them in their own logic without communicating one with the other would be very dangerous.

Don’t forget that the survey is about french companies and that the “Faber” profile is the direct consequence of some aspects of our culture.

Whatever, I’m glad that the survey put it clear that new uses are not the exclusive feature of one generation but are transgenerational. In the other hand, I can’t prevent myself from wondering if that’s not because transgenerational practices can be observed, generational ones being undectectable in a company wide survey.

The result is a true challenge for both CIOs and HR officers. Microsoft tells us that CIOs are more various than we can think and that this is a real opportunity for them to increase the prestige of their job by inventing and putting new tools at work. I would like it to be true…

Hr officiers have also to have in mind that the “IT package” is very important when they try to hire Gen Yers : they want the same comfort and means in the workplace than at home.

So 4 levels of expectations toward technologies can be seen :

Maybe, like me, you will recognize yourself in 2 or 3 of these. But we have to keep in mind that most of the poeople we’re talking to are “techno followers”. If we forget it we would improve many things for us…and leave 90% employees behind.

I tried to give you a comprehensive view of the survey. It will progressively be published online on the Café des Usages.

Now I’m looking forward to seeing the last step, business cases in large businesses conducted by bearingpoint.

I’ll end with what seems essential to me : personal uses of technologies have to be translated in business uses in order to make it possible for enterprises to understand how they can improve their employee’s work.

To conclude I like that a vendor like Microsoft dared to try to see the human implications of technology uses and shared the way they understand things without trying to sell use any piece of software !

However we have to be aware that acknowledging the current situation does not mean anything for the future. Now comes the hardest part of the job : trying to drive technology adoption to match the future of work.

Thanks to  Marc Jalabert, his staff and partners for sharing this unique piece of work with us.

Head of Employee and Client Experience @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
Head of Employee and Client Experience @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler

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