Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wall Street Firms Set to Increase IT Spend Through 2011 on Transformation Initiatives

A new survey of nearly 250 business and IT Wall Street professionals reveals that almost one-half expect 20-30% of their technology budget to be allocated for transformational initiatives in 2010 and 2011. The Wall Street professionals polled in the survey shared the view that the most likely increases in IT investments for analytics are expected to be risk, compliance and trading.

The research from Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and IBM has found a greater focus on the development of systemic risk strategies. Of all regulatory activities, systemic risk was chosen by 55% of respondents to be the largest driver of IT investments. Building on that trend, risk analytics for compliance was ranked as the top analytics investment opportunity (37 percent) beating out categories such as analytics for client segmentation (21 percent) and external fraud (13 percent). Over 90 percent of survey respondents expect to increase their investment in analytics over the course of the next year.

While economic uncertainty still remains high, the new survey shows that concerns about the economy are waning from 2009. For the first time since the 2008 financial collapse, firms are revisiting the use of IT to promote organizational sustainability. Key priorities include innovating processes around trading, portfolio management and risk management. Surprisingly, client relationship management ranked last out of 17 categories with only 2 percent of participants selecting that option.

Despite the positive technology investment outlook, Wall Street professionals cite lack of IT staff and high implementation costs as the biggest inhibitors for technology implementation - which remains consistent with findings obtained in 2009.

To overcome some of these challenges, the industry is showing a larger appetite for disruptive technologies such as cloud computing (61 percent) to force business model change.

Other key findings from the survey include:

-- 90 percent of participants expect to outsource one or more of their processes

-- Firms are most likely to outsource compliance reporting and analytics for risk

-- Behind cloud computing, mobile technologies are expected to force significant business and operating model changes

More information on IT can be found at

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Federal Tech Spending To Reach $112 Billion

Spending in the federal information technology market will grow from $86 billion in 2010 to $112 billion in 2015, at a compound annual growth rate of 5.4 percent, according to Federal Information Technology Market, 2010-2015, a new report from INPUT.

Contrary to other industry groups forecasting negative growth in the government contracting market, INPUT's research shows that while overall spending growth has decreased, the Obama administration's management priorities, coupled with empirical spending trends, strongly suggest that IT spending has some protection from significant reductions.

The report strengthens the fact that IT budgets are somewhat insulated from major cuts by outlining that initiatives for cost reduction, increased efficiency, and program oversight and performance all depend on IT. In fact, some of the administration's near-term priorities revolve around IT: leveraging shared services, automating processes to improve delivery of citizen services, cybersecurity, and investing in technology infrastructure to reduce energy costs.

That gap in federal IT expertise also addresses contractors' concerns regarding insourcing in the federal work force. INPUT analysts predict that the government will face difficulty in growing its work force to a degree required to significantly reduce its reliance on contractors, especially as agencies strive to fulfill more requirements using fewer resources.

More information on IT can be found at

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tablets To Outsell Netbooks By 2012

Fueled by a growing interest in tablet computers, nearly half a billion PCs will be sold to consumers in the US between now and 2015, according to a new report by Forrester Research. Over the next five years, PC unit sales across all form factors — desktops, notebooks and laptops, tablets, and netbooks — will increase by 52 percent, as outlined in the Forrester report, "The US Consumer PC Market In 2015."

Despite an ongoing industry debate about how to define tablets, Forrester believes they should be classified as a form of personal computer. Tablet sales in the US will go from a modest 3.5 million units in 2010 to 20.4 million units in 2015, a 42 percent compound annual growth rate. Starting in 2012, tablets will outsell netbooks, and by 2014, more consumers will use tablets than use netbooks. In 2015, tablets will constitute 23 percent of PC unit sales.

While desktop sales will slide over the next five years, going from 18.7 million units sold in 2010 to 15.7 units in 2015, desktops will continue to play a relevant role in the market, buoyed by consumers' desire for processing-heavy activities such as gaming and watching and editing HD and 3D video and graphics.

By 2015, Forrester forecasts the US PC market will break down as such (based on percentage of units sold in 2015): notebooks (42 percent), tablets (23 percent), desktops (18 percent), and netbooks (17 percent).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Investment in speech analytics in call centers set to double

Global call center spending on speech analytics is set to double, growing from around $95 million in 2009 to $180 million by 2014 according to Ovum.

A new report by the independent telecoms analyst has found that although still an early-adopter technology, speech analytics will grow in importance over the next few years, helping businesses to improve customer loyalty and processes.

According to Ovum, spending on speech analytics will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5% between 2009 and 2014.

The key functions of speech analytics are call categorization, emotion detection, and root cause analysis to find the key reasons that customers call a call centre. Speech analytics can be used to search for key words and phrases in order to determine whether agents are adhering to scripts. Calls can also be grouped into categories such as repeat calls or cancellations.

By using speech analytics to identify repeated issues, companies can work towards improving problem resolution strategies, create better processes and improve customer service.

More information on speech analytics can be found at

Monday, June 14, 2010

Efficient and Secure Enterprises Will Safely Reduce the Share of Security in their IT Budgets by 3 to 6 Percent of Overall IT Budgets Through 2011

While security risks are not going away for companies, efficient and secure enterprises will actually safely reduce the share of security spending by 3 to 6 percent of their overall IT budgets through 2011, according to Gartner, Inc. Organizations with very mature and recently updated security programs will be able to show even greater efficiencies.

While security spending tied to "keeping the bad guys out" was not heavily affected by the economy and will remain on pace for 2010, a significant number of IT security organizations had to scale back on large, capital-intensive projects in 2009. In 2010, however, security spending that is more tightly tied to new business initiatives, such as complex identity and access management (IAM) and data loss prevention (DLP) projects, is beginning to reappear.

IAM is the top security priority for 20 percent of organizations surveyed in Gartner's 2010 CIO Survey, making it the clear leader among the most-important projects. More than 40 percent of organizations named intrusion prevention systems, patch management, DLP, antivirus and identity management among the top five security priorities for 2010.

In addition, spending is set to continue for such priorities as supporting guest networking and employee teleworking, securing wireless LANs, meeting Payment Card Industry standards, consolidating audit trails, security information and event management, and penetration testing requirements. Gartner is also continuing to see strong spending on intrusion prevention.

North American companies led security spending in 2009, averaging 5.5 percent of IT budgets. This compares with 5 percent in Asia/Pacific, 4.8 percent in Latin America and 4.3 percent in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Security spending also varied significantly from industry to industry and was typically higher for industries that are high-visibility or in regulated environments or require higher levels of risk mitigation, such as professional services (6.8 percent), government (5.9 percent), and banking and financial services (5.3 percent) because of requirements for the protection of lives, financial assets and intellectual property.

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

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Survey Finds 40% of Virtual Teams Underperform

According to a study released, 80% of corporate managers work virtually at least part of the time and 63% are members of global virtual teams. The key factors that impair productivity are: cultural differences, communication styles, time-zone differences, language and a lack of face-to-face contact, according to the Virtual Teams Survey Report 2010 – The Challenges of Working in Virtual Teams, conducted by RW3 CultureWizard, an intercultural training consultancy specializing in online intercultural training for global business managers.

The survey identifies three challenging areas: time zone and language difficulties, communication styles and cultural differences.

1. Time Zones and Languages: 81% indicated time zones presented the greatest general hurdle to virtual teams, followed by 64% who found language (accents and dialects) to be a barrier.

2. Communication style: 94% said the inability to read non-verbal cues is very challenging, and 90% stated the absence of face-to-face contact interfered with the ability to build a relationship (which is perceived as a challenge facing virtual teams). In addition, 81% said being virtual made it more difficult to establish trust and rapport.

3. Cultural differences: 80% said that virtual teams slowed down decision making, 77% were hampered by different leadership styles and 76% felt the method of decision-making was a challenge.

More information can be found at

Monday, June 7, 2010

“Uneasy” CIOs reconsider outsourcing; bring IT security in-house

A global survey by the independent technology analyst firm Ovum has found that organizations are contemplating reducing the outsourcing of security and other IT management applications.
Of more than 500 CIOs surveyed by Ovum, only 7% said they were considering outsourcing IT security over the next two years, down from 18% currently.

Rhonda Ascierto, senior analyst at Ovum, described the planned reduction in IT security outsourcing as one of the most striking trends revealed by the survey.

She said: “The main reason for this shift away from IT security outsourcing is most likely a lack of confidence. Organizations are now more subject to compliance considerations in the form of both formal external and internal policy-driven requirements, particularly in the wake of the US banking controversies and other financial scandals.

“Some may find it difficult to obtain a measurable security metric from an outsourced provider because security is often reported only after negative security occurrences. If security is not breached then there is nothing to report.

Additionally, contractual clauses from outsourcers often do not give the quantitative assurance that organizations need or desire. This may be viewed as a problem with IT outsourcing in general, rather than IT security specifically, since any failings impact the whole business while the contract is limited to the aspects of the IT operation that are outsourced.

Ovum believes this may have contributed to growing unease about the security of outsourced IT in general, with IT security outsourcing simply being the first part of the spectrum to feel this change of mood.

More information on IT can be found at

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Survey Finds Increased IT Hiring on the Horizon

More than three-quarters (78 percent) of HR managers or recruiters who have responsibility in recruiting technology positions are looking to hire IT workers in the next six months, according to the 2010 IT HIRE Intelligence Survey. In addition, the vast majority of respondents are confident that their company’s performance will improve across the same time period.

Among the key findings:

  • 76 percent of respondents have confidence that their company’s performance will improve in the next six months.
  • 78 percent of respondents plan to hire IT staff in the next six months.
  • When asked what technology oriented positions IT hiring managers were looking to fill, applications and infrastructure positions took the lead.
  • Of the companies planning to hire, only 26 percent are new openings and only nine percent are replacement positions. The remaining percentage is a combination of both.
  • When recruiting IT talent, job boards, referrals, and social media, are top methods for doing so, according to IT HR technology managers and recruiters.
  • According to respondents, salary and stability of position lead in recruiting technology talent to an organization, but a company’s reputation came in a close third in order of importance.
  • More information on the IT market can be found at