LawsonGuru Blog

Thought-Provoking Commentary for the Lawson Software Community

More Bandwidth ≠ Greater Productivity

Business Week published an article, “Ten Penny-Pinching Ideas for 2008” ( which got my attention.  No, it wasn’t the sarcastic reference to “the best ways to soak your overpriced tech consultants for free advice” in the opening teaser.

It was my disagreement with # 1 (and how does this qualify as a “penny-pinching idea”??):

1. Increase your network bandwith.

Faster is better. Just ask Laurie. She found that the faster she could enter an invoice, print a check, or record a customer order, the faster she could get on to the next productive task. ”

Getting off to a bad start, the author mispelled “bandwidth”.   But my disagreement is that faster network bandwidth will help Laurie print a check or enter an invoice.   Now, I know a lot of Lauries, and not one of them would become more productive by simply installing a larger pipe. 

A better UI, or leaner, less buggy, code perhaps.  Maybe some more training.   But I seriously doubt more bandwidth equals greater productivity.  Organizations already overspend on bandwidth and network infrastructure.   Yep, it sure is great to have that new OC-3 at work so we can pull down all those YouTube videos, junk emails, and bloated crapware.  



2 responses to “More Bandwidth ≠ Greater Productivity

  1. Eric 2 November 21, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    First of all, adding Band width costs money.
    Unless “Laurie” is using an on-line payment service (like on-line banking), make the internet connection faster does not = doing things faster.

    This is an example of of “10”. The author needed 10 things to say, so…

    A better example would have been locking down work PCs to Work software only. That way, you don’t spend time ‘fixing” pcs thats infected!

  2. Frito December 14, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    I agree that the only real way to improve productivity is to isolate those key functions and streamline them. Today, with the advent of web standards and AJAX, it is much easier to reduce clicks, perform real-time database checks, and quickly update page information based on the context without EVER submitting the form. In the web world, ERP vendors are still stuck in the classic “request/response” world where every thing needs to go back to the server as one big transaction. Web 2.0 technologies are breaking that barrier w/ almost “Client” like capabilities. The less forms/submits the user is producing the less bandwidth, server processing, and whole page UI displaying needs to occur.

    Bottom line – there is TREMENDOUS opportunity to re-engineer key processes/pages if you can stop looking at everything being a nail.

    Another important point is that the “designers” of these functions MUST have a deep understanding of the particular user and how they operate. They should try sitting behind the desk and operating as they do for even one hour. I think then you will start seeing innovation… throw a programmer in there too!

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