Can Productivity Tools Lead To Business Innovation?

In Technology by Daniel Newman3 Comments

I have spoken a number of times about small innovation being a big key to success in a fast moving society. While that’s true, we can’t ignore the fact that innovation, small or big, is not easy to achieve. Especially with distractions galore, it’s easy for productivity to jump the track. And today, businesses are more distracted than ever before by the latest and greatest in new technologies and tools that are constantly fighting for their share of the enterprise. We need to be asking ourselves if the distraction is offset by making employees more productive and helping businesses innovate faster. Let’s explore the answer to that question together, shall we?Correlation Between Tech Tools and Productivity

Employees today are immersed in tech, almost from the moment our eyes open in the morning until we close them at night. Smart phones are always at hand; laptops and tablets help us work on the go; we are teleconferencing in the office; and in some cases technology has helped us do our job without ever leaving our home. But are they getting more done? Very recently, Dell and Intel have released their Global Evolving Workforce Study containing some very crucial insights in this regard. According to the study, 1 in every 4 employees globally report they are influenced by the technology provided to them at work and are more likely to accept a new position if they are provided better technology that increases their productivity. Again, 46% of employees feel that technology has made them more productive, and has enabled them to communicate faster with co-workers. The numbers explain how today’s employees feel about technology, and what impact it has on their productivity and performance. Since this study included nearly 5,000 workers in 12 countries, the stats cover diverse geographic locations and working environments. The data provided is very interesting in its inclusiveness, but it leads us to our next question:

How Does Technology Trigger Productivity?

If you ask me, I think tools are driving employees to engage with technology in a way that helps them get more done in less time. I’d argue that the sense of greater productivity is arising from the adoption of various tech tools that make tasks such as reading and answering e-mails, searching and collecting information, communicating and collaborating internally, and other role-specific tasks much easier and less time consuming.

We often hear about technology being a distraction: The chime of a text message, the addictive pull of social media, and the expansive world of the internet at our finger tips. True, technology can be quite distracting and employees are struggling to find the middle ground. But, technology is not the only productivity-killer, an increasing number of employees are complaining about having to deal with noisy co-workers, work overload, and information overload, reports a recent survey. Are these contributors killing productivity any less than tech distractions?

Contrary to other productivity-killers, technology serves as a terrific opportunity to empower employees by easing burden on their shoulders. They are able to get their work done more quickly and effortlessly. With more time on their hands, what can we expect to happen?

How Productivity Leads to Innovation

It’s human nature to perform better when we are happy. We tend to feel more satisfied at work when we are less stressed, and a stress-less environment facilitates more opportunities for innovative thinking. Technology gives employees the power to do more, and when employees are empowered and excited they tend to be more creative and more effective. Creativity and effectiveness sound like the perfect ingredients for an environment of innovation.

Technology is leading us to an era of productivity where evolving tools can help us move from problem to solution much faster than ever before, leaving more room for us to create and innovate.

So, do tools directly lead to innovation? My answer is: yes, no, and maybe. An environment of innovation is created by several variables. I think tech-lead innovation will depend on the environment, the purpose of the business, and the tools available to employees. In a world where even small innovation can mean big results for businesses, tools and technology are huge players in the effort to revolutionize.

Do you agree that innovation arises from a blend of tech tools, productivity, and business environment? What role do you see tech tools playing within your business innovation?

 Disclaimer: This blog was written as part of the Connect With Ricoh Innovative Ideas program and was first seen here. While I was compensated for this post, the ideas and views are my own. 

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


  1. The Dell study is thin. 416 people per country representing what a billion people? In fact technology has cost us time not saved it. Productivity gains go to the employer not the employee.
    If I say ‘Daniel would you take this new job that is easier and allows you to use new technology to get 2x as much done as you did before….and we will pay you 10% more’ will you be smart enough to say ‘Hey why do you get the 90% and me only 10%?
    If you wish to discuss time The Economist is a much more trusted source than a Dell Study that is biased to show why businesses should spend on tech because it benefits Dell.

  2. Pingback: Can Productivity Tools Lead To Business Innovation?

  3. Pingback: Can Productivity Tools Lead To Business Innovation? | Business Intelligence Info

Leave a Comment