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Efficiency and productivity

One of the big promises of moving from on-premise computing to a cloud-based infrastructure, for automation of processes and manufacturing, for productivity and collaboration tools, is that these things help reclaim time and resources for more efficient use.

And they all undoubtedly deliver on it.

But, as Greg Satell writes, "A common mistake is to think that you can make a major technological shift and keep the rest of your business intact. For example, shifting to the cloud can save on infrastructure costs, but the benefits won’t last long if you don’t figure out how to redeploy those resources in some productive way.

For example, when I talked to Barry Libenson, Global CIO of the data giant, Experian, about his company’s shift to the cloud, he told me that “The organizational changes were pretty enormous. We had to physically reconfigure how people were organized. We also needed different skill sets in different places so that required more changes and so on.”"

Making efficient use of time and resources is one thing. And increasing productivity is a whole other thing.

Even in our lives, we have had a host of services that have made headway into our daily routines in the past decade - e-commerce with delivery to home for everything from furniture to groceries, ride-hailing instead of waiting around for taxis, food delivery instead of cooking or going out to eat, and so on. And all of these undoubtedly save us time and make our lives more efficient.

But achieving efficiency in the things we do is only half way to increasing our productivity. That comes with what we decide to do with all that freed up time and how we deploy it.

If what we do in that time is to spend more time on social media, Netflix and reading detective novels, then we are kidding ourselves about increasing productivity.

Instead, if we use that freed up time to deliver more work (and work need not just be what we do at the work place, it can even be things like this blog post or learning a new skill) and level up our skills and ship more art, that is when we are more productive.

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