Monday, September 26, 2011

Half Of US Information Workers Split Time Between Office And Remote Locations

Half of US information workers now split their time between the office, home, and other remote locations, according to Forrester’s Q2 2011 US Workforce Technology And Engagement Online Survey of 4,985 US information workers. The report also reveals that workers are untethered from the office as they rise in rank. Fifty-three percent of individual workers are office-bound, but that number drops to 35 percent among managers and supervisors, and plummets to just 10 percent among directors and executives.
The survey also revealed the following:

-- BlackBerry still has the largest installed base of smartphones for work -- but Android and Apple devices combined lead the workplace. While 42 percent of workers use RIM BlackBerry, IT departments are supporting more devices, and Apple and Android are starting to cut into RIM’s enterprise dominance: 26 percent of workers now use Android smartphones, and 22 percent use iPhones.

-- Gen Y (age 18-31) is almost twice as likely as boomers (age 56-66) to use social tools — but adoption of enterprise 2.0 technologies is still nascent. Only one in six Gen Y professionals uses social tools. Despite significant and ongoing investment in enterprise social technologies, their roughly seven-year lifespan within enterprises has yielded a maximum of 12 percent adoption within the overall workforce. This market has failed to displace traditional collaboration technologies like email as a preferred way to communicate at work.

-- The use of tablets in the enterprise is exploding. Eleven percent of information workers are using tablets to do their jobs.

More informatio on Information Technology can be found at

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Survey Reveals Agents Average 49 Minutes of Idle Time Daily

According to a survey of contact center leaders, the average amount of idle time per day per employee is nearly an hour, as respondents report 49 minutes daily per agent on average. Knowlagent, a leading agent productivity solution for the world’s 10 million call center agents, released this and other findings from its 2011 Customer Contact Center Productivity Survey.
Other survey results include:

Management Challenges: Culture Shapes Performance
Seventy-three percent of companies say contact centers are the company “face” to customers. Fifty-seven percent of call center managers are experiencing trouble finding or keeping employees with the right skills for their centers. Additionally, 41 percent say handling increased call volumes is the top contact center challenges for the year ahead. Fifty-nine percent also see productivity as a major challenge in the upcoming year.

Downtime: Measuring Performance and Productivity
A majority of respondents measure both contact center employee “performance,” based on the final results of agents’ work (63 percent), and “productivity,” based on measurable output (52 percent). Leading performance measurement is quality (36 percent), followed by first call resolution (35 percent). The leading productivity measurement is average handle time (32 percent) followed by completed calls per day, month and week (30 percent).

Training and Coaching: Lean and Personal
The survey found 50 percent of call center leaders say they deliver training infrequently or not often, while 30 percent regularly schedule one-on-one coaching. Sixty-nine percent indicated training directly impacts customer satisfaction and 62 percent say it affects sales. While social media interactions are increasing, only 13 percent indicate call center staff receive training in this area.

Technology Challenges: Keeping up with Growing Channels
Thirty percent of respondents see their contact centers’ technology as behind comparable contact centers in their industry or region. Another 46 percent of respondents say getting a better return on investment (ROI) in technology they already own is also a main challenge in the upcoming year. When it comes to social media, results are mixed. Only 24 percent of call centers respond to customer inquiries via social network channels, such as Facebook or Twitter. Twenty-six percent of respondents say their companies maintain separate, distinct teams to engage customers through these channels, and another 26 percent say other departments - such as marketing - tend to take up the task themselves.

More information and research on the contact center industry can be found at

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Evolving cyber threats continue to drive security strategy and investing worldwide

The 2012 Global State of Information Security Survey reveals that 43 percent of global companies think they have an effective information security strategy in place and are proactively executing their plans, placing them in the category of information security “front-runners.” Twenty-seven percent of respondents identified themselves as “strategists” while the remaining identified themselves as “tacticians” and “firefighters” (15 and 14 percent respectively). The study, the largest of its kind, is conducted by PwC US in conjunction with CIO and CSO magazines.

The survey of more than 9,600 security executives from 138 countries found that 72 percent of respondents report confidence in the effectiveness of their organization’s information security activities - however confidence has declined markedly since 2006. The findings of the survey have helped carve a new definition of an information security leader. Even though 43 percent see themselves as “front-runners,” according to the survey only 13 percent made the “leader” cut. Those identified as leaders have an overall information security strategy in place, a CIO or executive equivalent who reports to the “top of the house,” measured and reviewed security policy effectiveness, and an understanding of the security breaches facing the organization in the past year.

Since 2007, there has a been a dramatic leap in organizations’ awareness and insight into the types and frequency of attacks, particularly in the industries of aerospace & defense, financial services, technology, telecom and the public sector.

According to the survey, the rise of cloud computing has improved but also complicated the security landscape. More than four out of ten respondents report that their organization uses cloud computing: 69 percent for software-as-a-service, 47 percent for infrastructure-as-a-service and 33 percent for platform-as-a-service. Fifty-four percent of organizations say that cloud technologies have improved security; while 23 percent say it has increased vulnerability. The largest perceived risk is the uncertain ability to enforce provider security policies.

Mobile devices and social media represent a significant new line of risk -- and a demand for prevention. Organizations are beginning to amplify their efforts to prevent mobile and social media based attacks. Forty-three percent of respondents have a security strategy for employee use of personal devices, 37 percent have a security strategy for mobile devices and 32 percent have a security strategy for social media.

Increased awareness of attacks may correlate with organizations mobilizing in certain areas of IT spending. Investments in application firewalls increased from 72 percent last year to 80 percent this year and malicious code detection tools have increased 11 percentage points -- from 72 percent last year to 83 percent this year.

More information on Information Technology can be found at

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Employers Want CIOs to be Strategists or Revolutionaries

Driven by rapid advancements and integrations of new technologies and evolving business needs, the role of the chief information officer (CIO) is shifting from steward to strategist or revolutionary, according to a new Deloitte survey of information technology (IT) executives in the United States. 

According to the poll, 45 percent of nearly 1,000 IT executives surveyed say their own CIO is viewed as a steward while another 45 percent say their CIO is a strategist. The remaining 10 percent claim their CIO is a revolutionary -- a percentage Deloitte expects to grow as technology continues to change the way business is done.

Among respondents who do not view their CIO as a revolutionary, 66 percent believe that to be a revolutionary CIO requires four critical skills -- industry knowledge, business knowledge, technological experience and staff development.

The perception of the CIO within a company contrasts survey respondents' understanding of what IT's primary contribution to an organization should be. A majority (60 percent) of survey respondents think IT should facilitate growth and productivity -- nearly twice as many respondents that believe IT needs to be a competitive advantage (36 percent) for their company.

More information on IT and CIO's can be found at

Monday, September 12, 2011

CIOs Reveal Fourth-Quarter Hiring Plans

Technology executives expect information technology (IT) hiring to continue in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. In the latest quarterly survey, 12 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) said they plan to expand their IT departments, and 6 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 6 percent projected increase in hiring activity. This is up two points from the previous quarter's projections.

Key Findings
-- The net 6 percent increase in anticipated IT hiring activity is up two points from a net 4 percent increase in hiring activity projected last quarter.

-- Ninety-two percent of CIOs are confident in their companies' growth prospects in the next three months, up five-points from last quarter.

-- Eighty-eight percent of technology executives rated the confidence of their firms investing in IT projects in the fourth quarter a 3 or higher on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the most optimistic.

-- IT security and networking professionals are in greatest demand right now, according to survey respondents.

-- Two-thirds (66 percent) of CIOs said it's challenging to find skilled professionals today, up eighteen points from the previous quarter.

Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments

Ninety-two percent of CIOs reported being at least somewhat confident in their companies' prospects for growth in the fourth quarter of 2011; 39 percent rated the probability of investing in IT projects a 4 or higher on a 5-point scale, with 5 being the most optimistic.

Skills in Demand

The functional areas in which executives say the greatest challenge in finding skilled IT professionals are security (18 percent) and networking (17 percent). Data/database management and help desk/technical support followed, each with 11 percent.

Network administration remains the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 63 percent of CIOs. Desktop management ranked second, with 50 percent of the response, followed by desktop support at 43 percent.

Industries Hiring

Executives in the transportation industry expect the most IT hiring in the fourth quarter. A net 18 percent of CIOs in this sector plan to expand their IT departments. This was followed by the business services industry with a net 12 percent of technology leaders anticipating hiring increases. Manufacturing and wholesale were next, with a net 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively, of executives in these industries planning to add staff.

More information on IT hiring can be found at

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Results Show "IT Spending Squeeze" is Over

During the recession, companies cut IT spending as they focused on cost reduction to stop the bleeding in earnings. Doing more with less, businesses put strategic projects on hold. However, according to the recently launched Maven Wave Partners IT Investment Index (the "MIT Index"), a new measure of investment in information technology spending, the IT spending squeeze is officially over. From its low in 3Q 2009 at the depths of the financial crisis, the MIT Index, representing aggregate enterprise spending on IT, is projected to increase by 16.9% to an all time high by the end of 2012.

During the financial crisis, the MIT was crushed by sharp reductions in hardware and software spending. Spending on headcount suffered too, just not as much. In a so-called "normal" market, spending on headcount and tools moves together—it takes people to make the technology work. But the disruption resulting from the collapse of the credit markets opened up the largest gap between these two components of the MIT in at least 10 years, creating the IT spending squeeze.

A new study released in connection with the launch of the MIT Index reveals that the gap between spending on tools and spending on headcount opened in 2Q 2009 and reached a 10 year high of 7.1% in 2Q 2010. However, by 4Q 2010, the gap had closed, signaling increased appetite for corporate spending on information technology through the end of 2012. Strong Q1 earnings announcements from IT giants such as IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Oracle support these findings that, despite the largest "IT Squeeze" in years, spending on hardware and software is back in 2011.

Additional key findings from the study show how IT investments affect earnings including:

-- March 2009 marked the bottom when companies earned $12.67 for every $1 spent on IT headcount.

-- Maven Wave Partners predicts that corporate earnings from

IT investment will reach a 6-year high of $21.80 for every $1 spent on IT headcount by the end of 2012.

In a contracting market, the earnings generated per IT worker decreases because earnings fall faster than headcount. In a growing market, IT skills become scarce, and the opportunities to improve earnings through technology innovation are often growth dependent, so earnings per IT worker go up. Given the depth of the recent contraction, big earnings gains are available for companies that invest wisely.

More information on IT can be found at