‑ 3 in 5 managers say administrative tasks prevent them from doing
‑ 7 in 10 companies still use unstructured manual tools to drive
routine work processes
‑ 7 in 10 managers say these routine work processes cause
‑ Time spent on needless administration translates to $33B per
annum or 2.1% of GDP
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – NOWFORUM 2015 – Nov. 11, 2015 – ServiceNow®
(NYSE: NOW), the enterprise cloud company, today released latest
findings from a new report, “The State of Work in Australia,” which
revealed that Australian corporate managers are spending an average of
36% of their time on needless administrative tasks. This could
potentially hamper organisational growth as managers find themselves
having less time for strategic work, in turn creating unnecessary
productivity and revenue losses.
The findings were based on a survey of 300 managers across
Australia, aimed at understanding the effectiveness of the tools and
processes used within corporate environments. ServiceNow sought to
determine if businesses are leveraging the power of connected
technology to simplify and accelerate work – or if they are still
stuck using inefficient manual tools.
Said David Oakley, managing director, ANZ, ServiceNow, “The Internet
has radically transformed the way we work and play. Consumers now
expect the web to be automated, on demand and always on in their
everyday lives – a demand that is increasingly seen in the workplace
“However, the survey found that organisations are still spending
considerable time and money on manual administration, which could
significantly impact their top and bottom lines. Not only does this
routine work cause managers to be less productive, it also inhibits a
business’ ability to access one of the most crucial avenues to
business growth – innovation,” he added.
Aside from quizzing respondents about the time spent on
administrative tasks and the processes applied, the study also
provided insights into the business impact of managers’ administrative
workload as well as what they would like to see change. The survey
focused on four routine work processes common across all corporate
environments: IT technical support, marketing services, purchase
orders and employee onboarding. Respondents came from all working age
groups across a wide range of industries, company sizes and business functions.
Managers spend almost as much time on needless tasks as they do
- 95% regularly spend time on administration outside their core
- On average, administrative tasks consume 14
hours or about two days every week.
- 36% indicated that they
spend three days or more a week on administration.
agreed that administrative work leaves them with less time for
To put this in context, two days per week equates to 1,800 employees
or 3.4 million hours a year for a corporation with 5,000 employees.
This translates to $33 billion a year spent on administrative tasks in
Australia – or 2.1% of GDP.*
“Australian enterprises waste billions of dollars on manual
administration,” said Oakley. “The magnitude of this administrative
overhead is astounding. Enterprises need to ask whether administrative
activities are the best use of their resources.”
Managers are dissatisfied with how work gets done today
- While managers spend an enormous amount of time on
administration, the majority stressed that these tasks are
fundamentally still important and efficiency is critical.
in 10 say that routine work processes cause significant delays.
- 4 in 5 indicate that delays in the purchase order process and IT
support cause problems, while 3 in 4 say the same about getting
Managers still rely on manual, unstructured tools for administration
- Fewer than 18% have automated applications for the four work
processes listed above.
- 7 in 10 companies still use
unstructured manual tools such as email, spreadsheets and even
personal visits to drive routine work processes, rather than
- Email is still driving most work
processes and is the most popular when requesting marketing services
and collateral (60%), followed by opening a purchase order
- Even with IT support – arguably the most mature
service – only 16% have automated systems.
The productivity drain is compounded by the complexity of business
processes and the interdependencies between departments. In fact, 8 in
10 respondents agree that their productivity depends on how
efficiently services provided by other departments are delivered.
The findings revealed that on average, managers have to coordinate
across 4 departments for routine work processes. Almost half (45%) of
respondents say that 5 to 10 departments are involved in employee
onboarding, while one third (33%) say it takes 10 or more individual
interactions such as emails or phone calls to make sure the company is
ready for an employee’s first day on the job.
“The problem with emails, phone calls and personal visits is that
they do not drive end‑to‑end workflow,” said Oakley. “Once a manager
requests a service, the request is never tracked. For instance, if
things are delayed or forgotten, no one is responsible for chasing the
issue. It’s like having an orchestra with no conductor and chaos
reigns. Managers end up having to become that conductor, which is what
consumes their time and creates frustration.”
Managers want to use the same tools professionally and personally
- 3 in 4 want simple, self‑service support processes that are as
easy to use and apply as consumer websites such as eBay or
- 9 in 10 agree that automating these inefficient work
processes would make them more productive.
- Only 4%
disagreed with consumerising support processes, and only 3%
disagreed with automating administrative tasks.
“By automating and consumerisng their business services, Australian
companies can reclaim enormous amounts of highly skilled management
time,” said Oakley. “Not only will this drive massive increases in
efficiency, it will also release managers to focus on strategic
activities. We believe that this is a critical investment area that
can deliver deep competitive benefits and major cost savings.
“This survey points to the future of work – evolving from personal
productivity tools to online automation to run business processes,”
said Oakley. “The technology exists today and early adopters are
showing the way forward.”
ServiceNow commissioned Lawless Research to design and conduct a
study about the state of work in Australian companies with 250 or more
employees. Between Aug. 25 and Sept. 8, 2015, 300 managers who
supervise at least one employee completed the 10‑minute online survey.
The survey, hosted by Qualtrics and Research Now, provided respondents
from their online panel. The margin of error for the study is ±5.7
percentage points at the 95 per cent level of confidence. Tests of
significant difference were conducted at the .01 level (99%
probability that the difference is real, not by chance).
ServiceNow is changing the way people work. With a
service‑orientation toward the activities, tasks and processes that
make up day‑to‑day work life, we help the modern enterprise operate
faster and be more scalable than ever before. Customers use our
service model to define, structure and automate the flow of work,
removing dependencies on email and spreadsheets to transform the
delivery and management of services for the enterprise. ServiceNow
enables service management for every department in the enterprise
including IT, human resources, facilities, field service and more. We
deliver a ‘lights‑out, light‑speed’ experience through our enterprise
cloud – built to manage everything as a service. To find out how,
*There are 910,698 managers in Australia (Australian Bureau of
Statistics, 2014 Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours) with a mean
weekly total cash earnings of $2,113.80. This gives a total Australia
managerial wage spend of $91,361,223,360 per year. Administrative work
is 36% of this, or $32,890,040,409. This represents 2.1% of AUS GDP,
which stands at $1.6 trillion (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014 GDP).
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