More information on the IT industry can be found at www.supportindustry.com
More information on the IT industry can be found at www.supportindustry.com
Students of the IT Management for Business (ITMB) degree have big ambitions for their future IT careers. In a survey commissioned by leading software provider CA and e-skills UK, 80% of those who took part said they would like to become chief information officers, chief executives or
The international nature of technology holds great appeal. More than a quarter of students - 28% of men and 27% of women - are hoping to spend time working in mainland Europe; while 25% of males set their sights on North America and 15% of females are interested in experience in Asia or Australia.
Students are also attracted by the business relevance of technology. Among their top five aspirations, 90% of students want to solve business problems with IT, 89% want to help make businesses more efficient, and 78% want to use IT to increase innovation.
The students were very positive about the skills and knowledge they were developing as part of their degree: 72% are "confident or very confident" of getting a job after they graduate.
When questioned on communication preferences, just 0.5% of respondents showed a liking for the Twitter social networking and micro-blogging service, while 33% identified email as a firm favorite, followed by the humble phone at 20% and Facebook at 19%.
Key findings include:
--80% of ITMB Students Want CIO and CEO Posts
--90% are Hoping to Spend Time Abroad
--72% are "Confident or Very Confident" of Getting a Job
More information on the IT industry can be found at www.supportindustry.com
Consumer technology revenue declined 4 percent in 2008 to $112.3 billion, according to leading market research company The NPD Group’s consumer tracking service. The decline follows a 4.5 percent gain in 2007.
Notebook PCs and LCD TVs were the two largest sales categories in 2008 and the claim for the top spot came pretty close. Notebook PCs generated $20.2 billion, but LCD TV sales weren’t far behind. Sales increased 37 percent to $19.9 billion. Desktop PCs, inkjet cartridges, and MP3 players rounded out the top 5.
Best Buy, with its in-store and online sales, once again grabbed the most consumer technology dollars that consumers spent in 2008. Walmart remained in second place. Dell came in third and the now defunct Circuit City’s combined sales put it in the number four spot. Apple made a move into the top 5, just edging out Staples.
Hewlett-Packard took the top spot among the OEMs. Second place was a virtual tie between Apple, Sony, and Dell. Samsung came in fifth.
Dell moving into retail in 2008 had an impact on non-retail sales. Non-retail sales dropped 6 percent in 2008, but if you take out Dell, sales increased 6 percent. Online only retailers had a good year, growing 37 percent to $4.8 billion and retailer Web site sales were also up, gaining almost 3 percent in revenue to $ 7.6 billion. Retail brick and mortar sales declined 3 percent to $83 billion.
With CEOs facing unprecedented challenges ahead as businesses struggle with the realities of dealing with the economic downturn, Gartner, Inc. has identified the seven greatest concerns for CEOs in 2009.
CEO Issue One: Restructuring
Restructuring is impacting companies in a number of ways from organizational restructuring in the form of layoffs, financial restructuring through deleveraging of financial structure, corporate restructuring via entity consolidation, and finally industry restructuring through the failure and survival of different players and business models.
As the restructuring plan unfolds, CIOs must be prepared to clear the table of current plans and start again, deliver significant cost reduction, deliver significant headcount reduction, cancel some major projects no longer aligned with survival and ensure that all outsourcing partners are viable. At the same time, they will need to deal with unexpected acquisitions and divestitures, manage higher risk taking on projects, work with lower procedural obstacles and stronger CIO powers, and build contingency plans for significant suppliers.
CEO Issue Two: Can't Write Off Fast Enough
The urgent issue of the CEO is to pare the corporate efforts down to those that are central to the company's short-term survival while not killing off its future. CIOs should expect to support peaks of public-relations activity in response to press interest in the condition of the company, as well as travel at short notice to perform due diligence on potential acquisitions. Both talent raids and layoffs will place more pressure on the human resources department and its systems, as will sourcing based on financial reengineering, both of which will add to the IT workload. Above all, CIOs should be aware that restructuring may not be readily apparent, but when it is ready, it will proceed quickly, and a "SWAT team" should be identified to react and respond swiftly.
CEO Issue Three: Loss of Business and Governmental Trust
The institutions that were once counted on to safeguard the economy seem to have failed, and the lack of transparency in the economic system has been exposed. There has been a subsequent loss of trust, as well, amid fears that other unknowns are awaiting. Trust is an intangible element in business but is crucial to transact business. IT can help improve transparency in the way business is done through reputation management, e-discovery and business intelligence. Gartner also expects a strengthening of "data driven" management culture as the risks of moving forward with insufficient data become far less acceptable.
CEO Issue Four: Globalization Instability
Until recently, the onward advance of globalization has been unquestionable. However, the disparity of growth between developed and emerging nations is driving tensions as policy differences become more apparent. At the same time, rapid and large changes in strategies for growth, risk and currency are in need of reappraisal as long-term assumptions about fuel prices and supply logistics change. The keyword for the IT agenda in the face of this high level of uncertainty and risk is flexibility. CIOs need to ensure that their IT operations are ready for the challenges and shifts that are sure to emerge.
CEO Issue Five: New Major Regulation Coming
With the current recession and the crisis of business confidence, CEOs should expect new governmental oversight of their business dealings. Although it is too early to tell where major regulation will be headed, there are some actions that CIOs need to take to ensure they are not caught behind the curve in their industry. These include staying deeply connected to the ebbs and flows of industry regulation and paying attention to tax policy as taxes are another form of regulatory control.
CEO Issue Six: Government as the New Emerging Market
The recession has shifted the growth dynamics of the global economy away from private industry to government. For example, the U.S. Congress recently passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which commits $787 billion to the U.S. economy. This has implications for business and IT, not only in major shifts in key industries, but also in how IT is managed. CIOs should expect their organizations, which may never have sold products or services to a government agency, to retune processes for the sensitivities of government with detailed procedures to avoid fraud and unfairness in bidding for contracts.
CEO Issue Seven: Green Is Not Going Away
While Gartner does not expect green to necessarily be "top of mind" in 2009, it will still have a place at the table as long as CEOs believe it is a useful part of reducing the break-even point of the business. IT vendors and CIOs need to review policies and practices to reflect changing views and to focus on improving environmental sustainability. IT operations probably represent the biggest environmental impact for enterprises that have low total environmental impact, so the CIO may well take the lead on this issue.More information on the service and support industry can be found at www.supportindustry.com
Gartner, Inc. has revealed its key predictions for identity & access management (IAM) between 2009 and 2011. Analysts have identified forward-looking assumptions around smart-card authentication, identity-aware networks, hosted IAM and out-of-band (OOB) authentication.
By 2011, hosted IAM and IAM as a service will account for 20 per cent of IAM revenue. Solution sets related to intelligence, administration, verification and access are evolving from software-centric platform delivery models to composite services models. These reduce the costs of implementation and use and prepare for a more-mature production-centric approach to delivering IAM as a service. Markets for first-generation hosted and managed IAM services address relatively mature implementations. They enable customers to focus their technical planning and delivery on less-mature feature sets such as access and intelligence.
A growing percentage of the revenue realized by IAM vendors and service providers will be made possible by the next step in the IAM maturity model, toward hosted IAM and IAM as a service. Gartner recommends that existing IAM solutions users evaluate service-based options for extending the solutions, rather than significantly upgrading those solutions. Those that have not deployed a significant IAM solution should include service and appliance options in their review to gauge the progress of IAM maturity and its suitability.
Through 2011, 20 per cent of smart-card authentication projects will be abandoned and 30 per cent scaled back in favor of lower-cost, lower-assurance authentication methods. The use of smart cards with public-key credentials is generally regarded as a high-assurance authentication method. However, provisioning and managing smart cards and the necessary desktop infrastructure are relatively expensive. A risk-based approach may force some organizations to implement two or more authentication methods, which are likely to include smart cards. This will drive the adoption of versatile authentication servers (VASs), which provide a single infrastructure for multiple methods and a single integration point for the local network and heterogeneous downstream applications.
Gartner recommends that organizations with a free choice of authentication methods for local access should take a scenario-based approach to selecting new authentication methods, based on risk, end-user needs and total cost of ownership (TCO).
By 2011, 30 per cent of large corporate networks will become ‘identity aware’ by controlling access to some resources via user-based policies. Most corporate networks are anonymous, because they forward packets based on internet protocol (IP) addresses, rather than users' identities. Adding identity awareness to networks to monitor user behavior and enforce access based on a user's identity is identity-aware networking (IAN), which blocks access to resources that a user is not authorized to access. Some solutions also provide audit trails that satisfy auditors.
Gartner recommends that network managers and others responsible for IAM projects develop strategies for making networks identity aware. They must ensure that all new network infrastructure and network access control equipment purchases have the capability to support this strategy.
By 2010, approximately 15 per cent of global organizations storing or processing sensitive customer data will use OOB authentication for high-risk transactions. The security measures that most financial institutions and other service providers have in place are proving inadequate in the face of new cyber-crime attacks against customer accounts. Man-in-the-browser (MITB) Trojan attacks in particular are rendering most installed stronger user authentication measures ineffective so organizations are turning to OOB user authentication and transaction verification for high-risk customer transactions.
Most global businesses that implement OOB authentication and transaction verification will use customer-owned landline and mobile phones as the ”something you hold” factor. Users must understand and trust OOB calls or SMS messages delivered to their phones and service providers must ensure that they have reliable working phone numbers (and backup numbers) for their customers. Another problem is that Trojan horses and other forms of malware now prevalent on PCs will become common on smartphones in the next few years, which may render OOB authentication methods that use smartphones insecure and ineffective.More information on the service and support industry can be found at www.Supportindustry.com
According to IDC, worldwide IT spending on cloud services will grow almost threefold, reaching US$42 billion, by 2012. As the cloud computing model offers a much cheaper way for businesses to acquire and use IT, IDC expects its adoption to be amplified by the cost-cutting mantra of most organizations today.
In a recent IDC survey conducted with 696 IT executives and CIOs across Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) to gather their views, understanding, current usage and planned usage of cloud computing, it was found that 11% of the respondents are already using cloud-based solutions. A further 41% of the respondents indicated that they are either evaluating cloud solutions for use in their businesses, or already piloting cloud solutions. When asked about their opinion of the current state of cloud computing, 17% of the respondents stated that although cloud computing is very promising, there are currently not enough services available to make it compelling.
For IT vendors to be successful in the cloud market, they will have to address users’ cost concerns. The survey also revealed that more than 50% of the respondents indicated cost cutting as the key driver behind the adoption of cloud computing. However, it is also important to note that supplying low-cost services alone will not guarantee success, as users are also indicating that any cloud solution they buy must offer competitive pricing, offer Service Level Agreement (SLAs) and offer complete solutions.More information on the service and support industry can be found at www.supportindustry.com
Eight percent of chief information officers (CIOs) anticipate adding information technology (IT) personnel in the second quarter of 2009 and 6 percent plan staff reductions in the next three months, according to the latest Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. The net 2 percent hiring increase compares with a net 8 percent increase projected last quarter. The majority of respondents, 83 percent, plan to maintain current staffing levels.
The IT Hiring Index and Skills Report is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees. It was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.
-- Help desk/technical support and networking are the job areas experiencing the most growth.
-- Desktop support is the technical skill set most in demand, overtaking network administration, which led as the top skill for the past two quarters.
-- One in five IT executives who plan to add staff will hire a mix offull-time and contract workers.
-- Reduced IT budgets were cited as the primary factor for reductions in IT personnel.
-- CIOs in the Mountain region are most optimistic about hiring activity.
Twenty-one percent of CIOs who plan to add staff will hire a mix of full-time and project workers, while 8 percent plan to add contract workers. One-quarter of executives cited corporate growth as the primary factor driving hiring demand, followed by IT department expansion at 9 percent. Increased workloads and the need for systems upgrades tied for third, each receiving 8 percent of the response.
CIOs cited reduced IT budgets (40 percent) and the impact of the financial crisis on their company or industry (21 percent) as the reasons for reductions in IT personnel during the second quarter. IT projects being put on hold and companywide layoffs followed, each receiving 18 percent of the response.
Skills in Demand
When asked which technical skill sets were most in demand in their IT departments, 67 percent of CIOs cited desktop support. Network administration (LAN, WAN) and Windows administration followed closely, with 65 percent and 64 percent of the response, respectively. (Note: CIOs were allowed multiple responses.)
Help desk/technical support and networking tied as the job areas experiencing the most growth, each cited by 15 percent of CIOs. Internet/intranet development received 10 percent of the response.
CIOs in the business services and professional services sectors are most optimistic about hiring in the upcoming quarter. Ten percent of business services executives interviewed plan to add staff and 3 percent will reduce the size of their IT workforce, for a net 7 percent increase. In the professional services sector, 11 percent of CIOs anticipate hiring more staff and 5 percent expect staff reductions, for a net 6 percent increase.More information on the service and support industry can be found at www.SupportIndustry.com