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Private Sector & Government Employees “United” in Work

There’s a common perception that compared to public sector, private sector is more efficient, nimble and modern in the ways they work and the technology that powers everyday business. But is that true in reality? We set out to see if perception matches reality by talking to government employees and private sector employees.

Nintex recently surveyed 600 private and government employees (including people working for federal, state and local government organizations) to find out how workers use technology today and how they plan to use it in the future.

Below are five key findings we uncovered. Watch our “State of Productivity Survey” video for more.

1.  Private sector and government employees are more “united” in the way they work than you might think

While more than 70 percent of both private and public sector survey respondents have only worked in their chosen sector, a consistent belief exists that private organizations have better technology, are more efficient and less bureaucratic, and have bigger budgets.

Surprisingly, seven out of 10 respondents from each sector indicate their technology and systems are relatively up-to-date.

When it comes to budgets, both groups are optimistic. Private sector employees are a bit more positive, but not by much. For both sectors:

  • Only about 15 percent of employees indicate their budgets are going down
  • More than 30 percent of respondents from both groups reported that their budgets are going up
  • About 50 percent said their budgets are flat

 2.  Employees also agree that company-issued technology isn’t enough to get work done

IT and business leaders across sectors work hard to equip employees with the technology they need to get the job done. But it can be hard to keep up with the rapid pace of technology innovation and change to meet the ongoing needs of the modern worker. Today’s employees seek additional applications and tech systems to do their jobs regardless of where they work.

Fifty percent of government employees are using one to two of their own personal mobile applications to get their job done and private sector is similarly high at 47 percent. In one differentiator, a small group of private sector employees (11 percent) reported using more than 11 non-issued apps to do their jobs.

3.  Cloud-based technology is prevalent across both private and government sectors, but hybrid models still prevail

Despite the growth of cloud solution adoption, the demand for hybrid technology environments still prominently exists for private and public companies. As a result, companies are looking for flexible solutions to continue servicing employees on-premises and in hybrid environments, with the capability to scale as organizations continue to transition to the cloud.

While 34 percent of private company employees and 25 percent of public employees report that more than half or all of their solutions are cloud-based, only 3 percent of employees from both sectors report that all of their organization’s technology systems are cloud-based.

In fact, according to survey respondents, 12 percent of private and 15 percent of public companies still run everything on-premises.

4.  Workflow automation and collaboration are huge technology priorities for both government and private sector business leaders

Public and private employees have remarkably similar sentiment on the topic of technology systems, programs and applications. Respondents cite optimizing the way employees work together and reducing time spent on manual tasks as top priorities.

Thirty-eight percent of private employees and 44 percent of government employees listed workflow and process automation as a top technology priority. For public sector, this was the No. 1 priority listed.

Collaboration tools were also high on the priority list for both groups, with 39 percent of private and 29 percent of public company employees listing this as key technology need. For the private sector, collaboration tools were the highest priority on the list of IT priorities.

5.  Nearly half of government employees are spending significant time on administrative tasks

On the topic of daily administrative tasks, we discovered significant discrepancy between public and private sector employees and the time spent on these type of activities.

Data indicates that the public sector has an opportunity for improvement when it comes to automating administrative tasks. With employees devoting nearly half of their time to daily, repeatable processes, there’s a pressing need to implement workflow automation technology solutions to give government employees time back every day to do more mission-critical work.

Further, 42 percent of government employees spend more than half their time on administrative tasks, while only 22 percent of private employees say the same. While public sector respondents feel that productivity (or how well they get work done) is quite high in their organization, only 53 percent rate their organization’s efficiency (how fast they get work done) above average.

The bottom line? When it comes to workplace technology and process, public and private sectors have more in common than not. We’re all looking for ways to work better together and optimize technology investments. American workers stand united in the way they work regardless of where they work.


Help your organization change the way they work by downloading a free, 30-day trial of the Nintex Workflow Platform.

Mike Fitzmaurice

Vice President of Workflow Technology Mike “Fitz” Fitzmaurice is Nintex's subject matter expert and chief spokesperson for workflow, business transformation, and technology evangelism. Before Nintex, he spent 11 years at Microsoft, and was involved with every version of SharePoint from pre-2001 through the 2010 release. His expertise includes process automation, integration, collaboration, and a lot of other “ation”s. Follow @mikefitz on Twitter.

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