For knowledge workers who have been turning to the open Web as a shining new source of valuable information and enhanced productivity, the luster seems to be fading. A new round of 2,000 interviews in Outsell's ongoing studies of knowledge workers' information habits, preferences, and behaviors shows a couple of remarkable trends:
First, people who use the Internet in their jobs are starting to tire of going directly to the open Web. Just 67 percent say they go to the open Web for the information they need for the job, compared to 79 percent in 2001. They are increasingly more likely to rely on corporate intranets, colleagues, libraries, and other intermediaries.
Second, there's been a double shift in one key measure of productivity: time spent looking for information. Not only are users spending more time overall searching for information (11 hours per week vs. 8 hours in 2001), but they now are spending more of that time simply hunting for the information (53 percent) rather than analyzing and applying it to their work. Four years ago, the majority of their time (56 percent) was spent analyzing and applying the information.
Outsell's research covers knowledge workers in critical functions such as finance/HR/legal, information technology, sales/marketing, science/engineering, and manufacturing/purchasing.
See our press release for more detail, or link to our site for more information on this study, "2001 vs. 2005: Research Study Reveals Dramatic Changes Among Information Consumers."