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Books24x7 Announces Results of Research on Information Tools and Resources Used by Senior Executives

Bersin & Associates Research Survey Shows Costs of Time Searching for Information Can Exceed $50,000 Annually for Each Executive

NORWOOD, Mass., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Books24x7(R), a subsidiary of SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL) and the developer of online Referenceware(R) for IT, business, engineering, financial and government professionals, today announced the availability of a new research report, "How Executives Stay Informed: A Study of Resources Used and Time Spent Locating Critical Business Information." The study, written by Bersin & Associates, finds that most senior-level executives spend hours each week searching the Internet in frustration for business-related information that will help them stay informed and current. The largest group of respondents, 37%, reported spending four or more hours each week searching for information; 36% spent two to four hours each week on information searches.

"The most surprising finding in this survey is the large amount of time executives spend searching for information," said Josh Bersin, president and founder of Bersin & Associates. "At today's executive salary levels, four hours of search time can cost companies $1,000 or more per week -- not including the cost of lost opportunities, delayed decisions, or other work not completed. If you apply this estimated figure to Fortune 500 companies, the money spent adds up to $60M each year."

Other study findings include:

  • 91% of executives routinely use the Internet when searching for business-related information. Respondents relied on the Internet more than any other source, including trade journals, books, newspapers, and webinars.
  • 47% indicate that unproductive searches and the need to sift through "too much information" are primary challenges associated with using the Internet.
  • A majority of executives spend four or more hours reading each week to stay informed and current. More time is spent reading at home or while traveling than in the office.
  • 67.5% of respondents said they don't read books or articles in entirety but read summaries, skim, or read specific sections.
  • 14.4% read seven to ten business books a year, 21.4% read four to six books, and 45.8% read one to three books. 74.9% of respondents said they'd like to read more, but are limited because of time.

"This research supports our belief that executives are information seekers who place highest value on information that is current, easy to find, to-the- point, and written by reliable sources," said John Ambrose, general manager of Books24x7. "While executives regularly use the Internet to help locate information because of its speed and ease, they also indicated that they are repeatedly frustrated by too many irrelevant web results. The best resources for this audience combine powerful search technologies with highly relevant and credible information."

"The highest, most mature level of corporate learning is learning on demand," said Bersin. "While executives would never use this phrase, that's exactly the way they learn. They want the ability to obtain highly specific, relevant information whenever and wherever it's needed. Companies should factor this need into the learning resources made available to their senior executives."

A copy of the full report can be downloaded at

Of the study's 202 respondents, 43% were over age 50 and 40% were between 36 and 50 in age. The vast majority, 84%, were male. 49% of respondents had C-level or vice president titles; 51% had director-level titles.

About Bersin & Associates

Bersin & Associates is the only research and advisory firm solely focused on corporate-learning with a comprehensive research program targeted to the needs of learning professionals and executives. In 2001, Bersin & Associates introduced the What Works series, primary research that offers learning practitioners factual and practical insight that can improve program effectiveness and results, reduce costs, and avoid time-consuming and costly mistakes. The company specializes in six research areas: planning and strategy, blended learning, content development, learning management systems and infrastructure, measurement and analytics, and talent management. The company develops industry-leading research studies and provides advisory services to corporations and e-learning vendors. For more information, go to or call (561) 939-6345.

About Books24x7

Books24x7, a subsidiary of SkillSoft PLC, offers subscription clients online access to more than 9,500 unabridged IT and business books, reports and book summaries. Books24x7's patent-pending technology platform enables users to pinpoint business-critical information quickly by performing multi-tier, online searches of the company's Referenceware collections: ITPro(TM), BusinessPro(TM), EngineeringPro(TM), FinancePro(TM), ExecBlueprints(TM), ExecSummaries(TM), ExecSuite(TM), GovEssentials(TM) and OfficeEssentials(TM).

Books24x7 Referenceware bridges the gap between what employees know and what they need to know in hundreds of leading organizations, including Bank of America, CSC, Deloitte, EDS and Lockheed Martin. The company has relationships with more than 290 leading publishers, including AMACOM, Apress, ASTD, Harvard Business School Press, McGraw-Hill, Microsoft Press and John Wiley & Sons. For more information, visit

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft is a leading provider of comprehensive e-learning content and technology solutions for business and IT professionals within the Global 2000. SkillSoft's multi-modal learning solutions support and enhance the speed and effectiveness of both formal and informal learning processes and integrate SkillSoft's in-depth content resources, learning management platform, virtual classroom technology and support services.

In addition to Books24x7 Referenceware collections, SkillSoft offers business and IT skills courseware collections and environmental health and safety compliance courseware by GoTrain. SkillSoft's complementary technologies include SkillPort(R), the company's learning management system with its powerful Search-and-Learn capabilities, and SkillSoft(R) Dialogue(TM), the company's newly introduced virtual classroom offering with associated tools for blended learning solutions.

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     Linda Galloway
     Apollo Associates LLC
     203 790 1591