Monday, June 30, 2008

2008 Salaries Flat - IT Professionals Fall Behind

IT departments, with the exception of those that serve the housing and credit sectors, have been so far immune to the effects of the economic slowdown. But new data suggests techies are feeling the squeeze. IT compensation remained flat in the first two quarters of 2008. Staff-level

IT professionals at large enterprises saw only a .12 percent increase in their median compensation between June 2007 and June 2008, according to the survey, while in midsize enterprises, salaries grew only slightly more, by .49 percent.

The summary findings in Janco MidYear 2008 IT Salary Survey are:

--Hiring demand is now the lowest it has been since 2004. Many enterprises have stopped hiring except for key replacements and those positions are being replaced at lower salary levels.

--In the last twelve (12) months the increases in compensation for most IT Professionals were lower than increases in the cost of living.

--Enterprises have slowed down and in many cases eliminated discretionary spending by IT. This has resulted in fewer projects being initiated, consultants use being reduced (if not eliminated), and a slow-down of initiatives that had already been approved.

--The mean increase in compensation for CIO's was less that 1.5%. The mean compensation for CIOs in large enterprises now is $179,823 and $171,755 for CIOs in mid-sized enterprises. (Large enterprises have over $500 million in revenue and mid-sized have are $100 to $499 million in revenue).

--The mean compensation (which includes bonuses) for all Executive IT positions surveyed now is $144,645 in large enterprises and $131,763 in mid-sized enterprises.

--Positions that were in high demand in the 4th quarter of 2007 such as CSOs and others to develop new Web 2.0 applications are now back to normal hiring patterns.

--Administrative positions in some IT functions are now being looked at as those that are expendable

More information on the IT industry can be found at

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

51 of the Nation’s Top 60 Metropolitan Areas Add High-Tech Jobs

AeA, a trade association representing all segments of the high-tech industry, released Cybercities 2008: An Overview of the High-Technology Industry in the Nation’s Top 60 Cities. This report examines the high-tech industry in the nation’s largest metropolitan areas focusing on high-tech employment, wages, establishments, payroll, employment concentration, and wage differential.

Cybercities 2008 shows that 51 “cybercities” added high-tech jobs in 2006, according to the most recent metropolitan data available. Seattle led the nation, adding 7,800 net jobs. The next largest net gains in high-tech employment between 2005 and 2006 occurred in the New York Metro Area (+6,400) and Washington, DC (+6,100). On a percentage basis, Riverside-San Bernardino, California saw the fastest job growth in 2006 at 12 percent.

The leading metro areas by high-tech employment in 2006 were the New York Metro Area (316,500 jobs), Washington, DC (295,800 jobs), San Jose/Silicon Valley (225,300 jobs), Boston (191,700 jobs), and Dallas-Fort Worth (176,000 jobs). 2006 data are the most recent available at the metropolitan level.

San Jose/Silicon Valley led the nation in concentration of high-tech workers in 2006, with 286 high-tech workers per 1,000 private sector workers. Boulder ranked second in 2006, with 230 high-tech workers per 1,000 private sector workers. Huntsville, Durham, and Washington, DC rounded out the top five by high-tech concentration.

San Jose/Silicon Valley dominated the manufacturing sectors. It ranked near the top in seven of the nine high-tech manufacturing categories. The New York Metro Area led in many of the tech service sectors, with the highest employment in telecommunications, Internet services, R&D and testing labs, and computer training services. Washington, DC led in computer systems design and related services and engineering services, with nearly three times as many industry workers in these fields as San Jose/Silicon Valley.

More information on the IT industry can be found at

Canadians say customer service makes or breaks a relationship

Canadians demand good customer service. In fact, according to the second annual TD Canada Trust Customer Loyalty Poll, customer service is so important that 95% of Canadians say their experiences can make or break a relationship with a particular brand or company. This number is up 10% from last year's survey, showing that Canadians are even more serious about the importance of customer service.

Businesses are constantly looking for new ways to show customers that they care: they may offer rewards/loyalty programs or even gifts. Though many appreciate the perks, the bottom line is that Canadians just want to be treated well. In fact, when asked which form of appreciation they are most interested in, 49% ranked "just good customer service" as number one. Rewards/loyalty programs and gifts followed (18% and 17% respectively).

Being friendly to customers goes a long way. When asked what makes customer service great, the number one answer was friendly staff (24%). The number two and three answers to what makes customer service great were quick service and being helpful (15% and 14%). Canadians say they generally receive good customer service, with nearly three-quarters (73%) reporting that they have received good customer service in the past month. This number has increased by 11% over last year.

More information on how to effectively deliver customer service can be found at

Monday, June 23, 2008

Proving the Business Case for Implementing the IT Service Catalog and CMDB Together

Don't Miss's Featured Webinar:

Proving the Business Case for Implementing the IT Service Catalog and CMDB Together

Date: Thursday, July 17, 2008
Time: 11:00am PT/2:00pm ET

Many organizations recognize the benefits of ITIL, but struggle with how to effectively and practically implement it within their service organization. Following an ITSM Roadmap can help. This webinar, conducted by Pete McGarahan and FrontRange Solutions, will examine the business case and business value for implementing an IT Service Catalog, in conjunction with the CMDB, as a core part of your service management implementation.

In this webinar, you will:

-- Discover how to establish realistic goals and objectives for your strategic IT Service Management Roadmap.

-- Understand the essential CMDB details necessary to support the critical business services (contained within the IT Service Catalog).

-- Obtain practical tips to better align IT service metrics with business metrics.

-- Learn the necessary steps to ensure your "front-office" and "back-office" are cohesively working together.

-- Walk away with a plan of action to begin your service catalog initiative.

-- Hear what service management challenges and successes your peers are facing via our live attendee polling throughout the webinar.

Register today!

More than 1 Billion PCs In Use Worldwide and Headed to 2 Billion Units by 2014

The number of installed PCs worldwide has surpassed 1 billion units, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner analysts estimate the worldwide installed base of PCs is growing just under 12 percent annually. At that pace, it will surpass 2 billion units by early 2014.

Gartner defines the installed base of PCs as the estimated number of PCs in use as opposed to the number shipped over a given a period, which is reported in Gartner’s PC forecast and market share reports.

The world’s installed base of PCs remains heavily concentrated in mature markets. However, emerging markets will claim an increasingly larger share of the world’s installed base going forward as the rapidly rising PC penetration in emerging markets continues to drive strong double-digit PC growth.

The global PC installed base is constantly being churned as PC users replace their used machines with new ones. Some retired PCs find their way back into the installed base to second owners through various channels, some are broken up and recycled, but others are simply dumped directly into landfill.

More information on the service and support industry can be found at

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Survey Reveals Scandal of Snooping IT Staff

Whilst you sit there innocently working away, little do you realize that a third of your IT colleagues have been snooping around the network, looking at highly confidential information, such as salary details, M & A plans, people’s personal emails, board meeting minutes and other personal information. That’s the findings of a survey released by Cyber-Ark Software, specialists in privileged identity management and digital vaulting solutions.

One third of the survey sampled admitted to using their privileged rights to access information that is confidential or sensitive by using the administrative passwords as a means of peeking at information that they are not privy to. In fact, when IT professionals were asked if they had accessed information that was not relevant to their role, 47 percent admitted they had.
Even more worrying is the fact that privileged passwords get changed infrequently and often a lot less than user passwords. Thirty percent get changed every quarter and a staggering 9 percent never get changed, giving access indefinitely to all those who know the passwords, even when they’ve left the organization.

Half of IT administrators do not have to get authorization to access privileged accounts which shows a general lack of control of these power identities and indeed understanding over the power that these privileges command.

Seven out of 10 companies rely on out-dated and insecure methods to exchange sensitive data when it comes to passing it between themselves and their business partners with 35 percent choosing to email sensitive data, 35 percent sending it via a courier, 22 percent using FTP and 4 percent still relying on the postal system. This shouldn’t be any big surprise when you learn that 12 percent of these senior IT personnel who were interviewed also choose to send cash in the mail.

More information on the IT industry can be found at

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Contact center pricing and attrition levels worrying outsourcing providers globally

The proliferation of new contact center delivery locations globally has done little to allay fears of wide-spread price and attrition increases for outsourcing vendors. In its most recent strategic focus report, “Trends in Global Contact Center Outsourcing Pricing and Attrition”, independent market analyst Datamonitor illustrates some of the key challenges facing outsourcers in key onshore / offshore delivery markets and highlights strategies that may be deployed to counter these problems.

UK, Netherlands among the most expensive onshore delivery locations; pricing pressure seen across domestic markets

Among the key domestic markets from where contact center outsourcing services are delivered, Datamonitor estimates that the UK, the Netherlands and France rank among the most expensive in terms of fully-loaded price per agent per hour (including wages, benefits, telephony / technology, property, mark-up and other expenses). However, Peter Ryan, head of contact center outsourcing analysis at Datamonitor and author of the report, also notes that while these markets are among the most expensive in which to deal, there are several trends that vendors may face when dealing across established onshore markets.

“It is clear that no matter whether in Western Europe or the USA, contact center vendors are facing problems in terms of recruiting well-qualified contact center agents. Many cite an inability to find contact center agents of a high calibre and are frustrated at their unwillingness to stay in their role over an extended period of time. The result is an erosion of margin or higher costs being passed back to the client. Either way, the vendor’s competitive positioning is compromised.”

Among offshore markets, Canada remains the most expensive, while Colombia, Philippines and India remain low-cost

While most offshore markets have been positioned at a lower level than most domestic delivery locations, the same cannot be said for Canada. Ryan notes that with an ever-high Canadian dollar pushing up prices, US outsourcers, long the mainstay of Canada’s contact center industry, have decided to seek new delivery locations. These include traditional countries such as Mexico and the Philippines, as well as emerging locations, including Egypt, Malaysia and Colombia.

Attrition a global problem with local flavors

While contact center agent churn has been characteristic in all regions of the world, Datamonitor has noted several examples in which local issues have been pronounced. In India and Mexico, the presence of opportunities in other industries has been paramount in prospective contact center agents choosing non-contact center careers. However, in other markets, such as the Philippines, the presence of multiple contact center vendors has led to bidding wars for contact center agents, and has resulted in their switching vendors at a rapid rate.

More information on the customer contact industry can be found at

Monday, June 16, 2008

More Than 50 Per Cent of Large Companies Will Use Software Tools to Manage Shared-Account Passwords by End of 2010

The number of organizations using software tools to manage passwords for shared accounts grew 50 per cent worldwide in 2007, according to Gartner, making it one of the fastest-growing identity and access management (IAM) markets. Analysts predict that the shared-account password management (SAPM) market will continue to exhibit strong growth and that more than half of large organizations will use SAPM tools by the end of 2010.Growth has been driven largely by regulatory compliance, especially where regulations, such as payment card industry data security standard (PCI DSS), require personal accountability.

Gartner estimates that around half of organizations using SAPM tools are large (i.e. organizations with 5,000 employees or more), around two thirds are based in North America and a quarter is based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). One fifth is in banking and other financial services.

Gartner recommends that organizations use a SAPM tool to automate processes and enforce controls for shared superuser accounts and shared firecall accounts that provide higher than normal privileges for emergency access outside normal working hours.

More information on the service and support industry can be found at

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Small and Medium-Sized Business Enterprise Applications Market to Grow to $80.3 Billion by 2012

IDC forecasts that the small and medium-sized business (SMB) enterprise applications market will grow to $80.3 billion by the end of 2012, representing a 10.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the 2008–2012 period. Additionally, IDC finds that there will be increased spending by small and midsize businesses across the entire spectrum of enterprise application segments over the forecast period.

Additional key findings examined in this IDC report include:

--The growing needs of SMBs to automate their business processes and meet regulatory compliance means that opportunities will abound in this market. Enterprise applications providers that lead their selling efforts with their solutions' capabilities for managing these challenges will profit most.

--The SMB markets are extremely competitive and vendors looking to claim a significant share of the expanding opportunity will need to differentiate themselves through delivery of industry-specific functionality for micro-verticals and localized products to appeal to the global needs and support concerns of fast-growing SMBs.

--Vendors will need to ensure more rapid delivery of their applications for time and budget-constrained SMBs by offering fixed scope in-house installations at predictable costs and on-demand subscription programs.

--When searching for new packaged solutions to run their businesses, small firms will seek those that have the non-technical user in mind, require no training, and provide immediate value.

More information on the IT application industry can be found at

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Turn Your Contact Center into a Profit Center

Contact centers are becoming heavily involved in sales activities, according to a recent research report by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company. Best-in-Class organizations have an average cross/up-sell of thirty-four percent (34%) in the contact center. This fact was unearthed after an April and May survey of over 140 companies and revealed in the benchmark report “Cross-selling and Up-selling in the Contact Center” (May, 2008).

In addition, this report delves into the factors pressuring companies to implement cross-selling and up-selling in the contact center as well as the strategies that they take to overcome those pressures. The study points out that the top two pressures are the need to establish customer service as a competitive differentiator (62%), and revenue and profit (60%). According to Aberdeen, the contact center is the hub of customer interaction and traditionally its role was to solve customer problems. Yet with the need to establish customer service as a competitive differentiator, cross-selling and up-selling provides the opportunity to not only solve this problem, but also enable the contact center to generate revenue.

More information on the contact center industry can be found at

Monday, June 9, 2008

Contracted IT Spending By The U.S. Federal Government Will Reach $88 Billion By 2013

Information Technology (IT) contract spending by the U.S. federal government will grow 4.1% annually, from $71.9 billion in 2008 to $87.8 billion by 2013, according to INPUT’s five-year Federal IT Market Forecast. Growth is slowing due to uncertainty about new administration priorities, the current economic downturn, the rapid growth in mandatory spending, and the crowding-out effect of war spending on overall discretionary spending.

These factors, combined with increasing Congressional scrutiny on budgets and performance, create an environment of ‘tempered momentum.’ “Although the anticipated growth rates are below the historical average, government’s increasing reliance on technology sustains momentum in IT spending, especially as it relates to increasing efficiency and reducing operational costs,” said Richard Colven, vice president of industry analysis at INPUT.

Information sharing, the need for better IT management techniques, and relatively flat employment levels are major drivers impacting federal IT spending. For cost savings, agencies will move forward with IT infrastructure optimization and virtualization, as well as consolidation.

More information on the IT industry can be found at

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Asia-Pacific Represents Exciting Growth for All Contact Center Vendors

Dynamic growth is being predicted for both the number of contact centers and customer service agent positions in Asia Pacific. Independent market analysis firm Datamonitor puts this down to a combination of a growing middle class in China and India, the expansion in demand for products and services and the increase in offshoring. According to the report, 'Asia-Pacific -- a framework for contact center growth', which covers India, China, Australia, Japan and South Korea, this will lead to the creation of four times as many new contact center agent positions (APs) in developing markets over the next four years as in developed markets.

India and China currently represent over one third of the world's population. India has traditionally been perceived as an underdeveloped nation, yet all market projections indicate its middle class, and its income, are set to increase substantially. The same is true of China; recent reforms have put China back on the global trade map. The consequence of the reforms is an exploding Chinese middle class, leading to an increase in income and an increase in the consumption of goods and services.

But this poses a challenge for enterprises. Enterprises need to not only tap into this emerging demographic but to retain their loyalty. In India, for example, APs are set to increase significantly from 370,000 in 2006 to 567,000 in 2012 - a compounded growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6%.

Meanwhile, developed nations, like Japan, South Korea and Australia, present challenges to the contact center vendor. When you operate in a developed nation you can sometimes reach a plateau -- how do you continue to generate new revenue from a saturated market? This is of key concern for many vendors that have operations in developed APAC nations. A second key concern is culture; when North American enterprises move into Japan and South Korea there are often cultural confusions.

The developed countries in the Asia-Pacific region have strong economies, a strong technological infrastructure and a growing need to service a sophisticated consumer base. Despite deflation issues and intense competition amongst contact center vendors, Australia's kangaroo economy keeps bouncing along. In contrast Japan's once frail economy has strengthened in recent years. Despite falling wages, Japan's economic expansion of the past few years has dramatically increased the demand for labor. This has increased the demand for consumer goods and services. And in South Korea we see cutting-edge communications technologies being used in everyday business, in the corporate world and among consumers. This is a very promising economic climate for contact center vendors, according to Datamonitor.

More information about the contact center market can be found at

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Venture Capitalists Around the Globe Identify Pockets of Technology Innovation

While venture capitalists continue to view the United States as the global leader in technology development and innovation, they also recognize specific pockets of technology innovation worldwide, according to a survey by Deloitte and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA).

The 2008 Global Venture Capital Survey, which was conducted in March 2008 and measured the opinions of nearly 400 venture capitalists worldwide, found European countries are emerging as leaders in life sciences and clean technology, two of the fastest-growing sectors globally. Asian countries were recognized as offering a high level of innovation in the information technology (IT) fields.

Europe Shows Strength in Life Sciences and Clean Technology Sectors

According to venture capitalists surveyed, Europe is emerging as a new leader behind the United States for life sciences and clean technology sectors. Germany and the United Kingdom in particular are quickly gaining recognition for their technological savvy in these fast-growing industries.

Germany was recognized by 43 percent of all respondents as leading the rapidly growing clean technology field, just behind the United States. Other countries to receive attention in this industry included Japan and Brazil.

In the field of medical devices, 39 percent of the venture capitalists surveyed also cited Germany as being the second most recognized country for technology in medical devices and equipment, followed by the United Kingdom at 20 percent and Israel at 14 percent.
The United Kingdom was identified in the second spot by 31 percent of the respondents as having leading technology for biopharmaceuticals, followed by Switzerland at 18 percent and Germany at 15 percent.

Asian Countries Vie for Top Spots in Information Technology

While there has been great interest surrounding the promise of China and India as emerging technology centers of the world, the United States continues to be viewed by the majority of venture capitalists surveyed worldwide as the global leader in technology in all IT sectors. Yet Asian countries consistently ranked high in IT among all other nations.

Japan Leads Behind the United States in Telecom

After the United States, Japan fared well in telecommunications in the minds of venture capitalists, with 27 percent of all respondents identifying the country as having leading technology in the sector. Sixteen percent of venture capitalist respondents named Israel as a leader in telecommunications.

Taiwan Strong in Semiconductors

Taiwan captured the No. 2 spot behind the United States in the semiconductor industry with 31 percent of the respondents recognizing the country as having the top technology in the world. Twenty-six percent of venture capitalists named Japan as having top technology for semiconductors, followed by China at 16 percent.

India Ranks High in Software

In the software sector, 41 percent of the venture capitalists surveyed viewed India as having top technology, placing it second behind the United States. India was followed distantly by the United Kingdom (13 percent) and Israel (12 percent) as having strong technology in the software space.

United States Viewed as Technological Leader Among Venture Capitalists

Venture capitalists from around the world view the United States as having the best technology in all sectors surveyed. The following represents the percentage of global venture capitalists that named the United States to the No. 1 or No. 2 spot in the noted industry sectors:

-- Telecommunications — 71 percent
-- Semiconductors — 81 percent
-- Software — 91 percent
-- Biopharmaceuticals — 94 percent
-- Medical Devices — 94 percent
-- Clean Technology — 79 percent

More information on the information technology industry can be found at

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Gartner Identifies Top Ten Disruptive Technologies for 2008 to 2012

Social networking technologies, web mashups, multicore and hybrid processors and cloud computing are amongst the ten most disruptive technologies that will shape the information technology (IT) landscape over the next five years, according to research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc.

By 2010, Gartner predicts that web mashups, which mix content from publicly available sources, will be the dominant model (80 percent) for the creation of new enterprise applications. According to Gartner, within the next five years, information will be presented via new user interfaces such as organic light-emitting displays, digital paper and billboards, holographic and 3D imaging and smart fabric.

Gartner recommends that CIOs establish a formal mechanism for evaluating emerging trends and technologies, set up virtual teams of their best staff, and give them time to spend researching new ideas and innovations, especially those that are being driven by consumer and Web 2.0 technologies.

Gartner’s top 10 disruptive technologies 2008-2012:

  • Multicore and hybrid processors
  • Virtualization and fabric computing
  • Social networks and social software
  • Cloud computing and cloud/Web platforms
  • Web mashups
  • User Interface
  • Ubiquitous computing
  • Contextual computing
  • Augmented reality
  • Semantics

More information on the service and support industry can be found at