The University of Twente (UoT) published "CTRL ALT DELETE", a report indicating that the Dutch economy loses
€19.3 billion in productivity on a yearly basis due to low quality
ICT networks or a lack of relevant skills in working with them.
"For the Netherlands this is particularly harmful as the country's
productivity growth was mostly relying on advances in ICT in the
past," it says in the analysis.
Insufficient skills, unreliable
In real working time this is equivalent to 7,6% or 27 minutes
and 37 seconds that are lost per employee every day on average.
Examples cited as problematic are slowly operating computers,
unavailable or malfunctioning servers and an overall inefficient
use of computer and communication systems.
Given the current fragile state of the Dutch economy, this
insight is especially worrisome. In the last quarter of 2011, the
local economy shrank by 0.7%. Last February, first estimates state
that this trend worsened by another 1,4%. Digital Agenda EU
Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, recognized this issue as well and
spread the report via social media on Twitter.
Age and training of employees have positive
The research also had a closer look at what type of people lose
out the most on ICT skills. Here, a clear trend can be seen for
employees with a lower educational background (productivity loss up
to 10%). By contrast, the UoT researchers find that people in the
oldest age category (52-67) fare the best. This might have to do
with the phenomenon that older employees are more inclined to
request help from the company's IT help desk.
The report urges businesses to respond by investing more into
functioning ICT infrastructures and employee trainings. Only 22% of
the firms participating in the research had schooled their
employees in ICT workshops over the last 3 years. Meanwhile, these
measures seemed particularly effective given that participants
showed an average time gain of 33 minutes per day.