Xerox has signed on as a founding corporate member of the Information Overload Research Group (IORG), which is dedicated to boosting workplace productivity by fighting information overload.
Xerox joins Microsoft, Intel, IBM and other high-tech leaders committed to developing solutions to sort and categorise the flood of electronic information that pours forth every day from cellphones, e-mail, instant messages and billions of printed pages worldwide.
According to Basex, a knowledge economy research firm, unnecessary interruptions and the time required to return to a task cost the US economy $650 billion a year. This represents 28% of the knowledge worker's day alongside productive content creation (25%), searching (15%), meetings (20%), and thought and reflection (a mere 12%).
"IORG brings together industry practitioners, academic researchers, and technology firms which seek solutions that will increase the productivity and quality of life for knowledge workers in real organisations," says Nathan Zeldes, president of IORG. "Xerox's long heritage of research and understanding in how people interact with information will help us get a handle on the problem of information overload."
"About 70 years ago, Chester Carlson made his first xerographic copy in a small lab in Queens, New York," says Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox chief technology officer and president of the Xerox Innovation Group. "In many ways this seemingly simple invention revolutionised the way people share information. From there, the opportunity to share and gain knowledge has grown. Our role at Xerox has always been to make it easier to get work done.
"Today that means helping to clear the path between paper and digital content, cutting through the clutter with colour and personalisation and making our smarter document technologies and methodologies do more for less money and in less time. Information availability continues to explode. We believe the benefit of Xerox's heritage, innovation and insight can help make information relevant again for businesses of any size, anywhere."
Rob Abraham, MD of Bytes Document Solutions, says: "The key to undoing information overload is to deliver information that people need, when they need it and where they need it.
"Contextualised information is going to reduce our stress, reduce interruptions and improve our professional interaction in the future."
Founded this quarter, IORG's mission is to build awareness of the world's greatest challenge to productivity, conduct research, help define best practices, contribute to creating solutions and resources, offer guidance and help make the business case for fighting information overload.
Xerox provides the document industry's broadest portfolio of offerings. It includes digital printing and publishing systems as well as services to help businesses develop online document archives, analyse how employees can most efficiently share documents and knowledge in the office, operate in-house print shops or mailrooms, and build Web-based processes for personalising direct mail, invoices, brochures and more.