Employees performing ineffective searches and wasting time looking for information can cost companies up to 10 percent in salary expenses, research shows.

A recently released report entitled Enterprise Search and Retrieval, from London-based IT research firm Butler Group, concludes that ineffective search and discovery strategies are hampering business competitiveness, impairing service delivery and putting companies at risk. Specifically, the research firm contends that as much as 10 percent of a company’s salary costs is “frittered away” as employees scramble to find adequate and accurate information to perform their overall jobs and complete assigned tasks.

“Over 50 percent of staff costs are now allocated to employees performing so-called information work,” said Richard Edwards, co-author the 240-page report. “Employees are suffering from both information overload and information underload. As a result, the typical information worker now spends up to one quarter of his or her day searching for the right information to complete a given task.”

The lost productivity and wasted salary cost findings support Butler Group’s stance that search and retrieval tools should be part of enterprise companies’ IT arsenal, as the technologies enable organizations to exploit the information assets they already have; they also enable companies to identify opportunities, reduce risk and garner insight.

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