Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mid-Market Executives Increase Long-Term Investments Despite Economic Uncertainty

Executives at three out of four mid-market companies are maintaining or boosting their long-term investments despite the U.S. economy’s less than 1 percent growth rate during their first half of the year, according to a new Deloitte survey. The Deloitte report, Mid-Market Perspectives: America‘s Economic Engine -- Competing in Uncertain Times, also indicates a majority of respondents are forecasting growth in revenue (61.2 percent) and profitability (52.6 percent) in the year ahead.
Nearly three quarters (70 percent) of respondents see productivity gains principally from their investments in business process automation, technology and strategic hiring, leaving them optimistic about revenue and profitability growth.

Technology trumps talent

The Deloitte survey shows that technology investments are playing an increasingly larger role in mid-market companies’ bottom line. Business process automation and technology improvements are the two top contributing factors to the jump in mid-market productivity; new hiring ranked fifth overall.

Mid-market executives believe the technology driving increased productivity include business process automation (52 percent); data analytics and business intelligence (49 percent); and customer relationship management software (30 percent).

Cautious hiring and the need for skilled labor

Although 38 percent of companies agree that strategic hiring of new staff with specific skills offers a path to higher productivity, 47 percent of mid-market business leaders say it is difficult finding employees with the skills and education to become productive immediately. Despite the skilled labor conundrum, 44 percent of the respondents indicate that their companies are prepared to increase the size of their U.S. workforce and hire over the next 12 months.

More information on the technology industry can be found at www.SupportIndustry.com

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nearly One in Four Companies Expects to Hire for Executive Level Positions Over Next Six Months

As caution continues to dictate the economic climate, many companies are recruiting top talent to navigate uncertainty and maintain a competitive advantage. Twenty-three percent of employers expect to hire for executive-level positions over the next six months, according to CareerBuilder's new nationwide survey of more than 2600 hiring managers and human resources professionals.
Consistent with hiring expectations for all workers, information technology companies are leading the way in executive hiring, with 35 percent reporting they'll fill top positions over the next six months. Other areas expecting to recruit executives include healthcare (25 percent), sales (24 percent), professional and business services (23 percent), financial services (23 percent) and leisure/hospitality (23 percent).

Profile of Executive-Level Candidates

The survey found that recruiting for executive-level positions is not necessarily an internal task. While a third of employers prefer to look for executive level candidates internally, 18 percent prefer to look externally and half place equal emphasis on internal and external candidates.

One-in-five employers look for a candidate with an MBA, comparable degree, or higher level degree when recruiting executive-level positions. While prior industry experience is an important asset for many employers, 47 percent would still be willing to hire a candidate without it, suggesting that past accomplishments and leadership style are paramount in the executive recruitment process.

The forecast confirms that, for the most part, the right experience comes with age. According to employers, the average executive is age 41 or older. Forty-five percent of executives are between 41 and 50-years-old and 29 percent are older than 50. Twenty-six percent of executives are age 40 or younger.

The following are other qualities employers look for most in executive-level candidates:

-- Proven ability in addressing problems with effective solutions (74 percent)
-- Adept at motivating others (63 percent)
-- Can act with speed and agility in a changing market (55 percent)
-- Creativity (52 percent)
-- Emotional Intelligence (46 percent)
-- Experience in different areas (44 percent)

More information on the service and support industry can be found at www.SupportIndustry.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Enterprise IT Managers Concerned That Employees Have Role in Intrusions

Is the enemy within? In this year's seventh annual survey of 350 enterprise IT managers and network administrators commissioned by VanDyke Software and executed by Amplitude Research, those survey respondents who reported a successful intrusion of their user machines, office network, and/or servers cited the following primary causes or contributing factors to past intrusions:

- Lack of adequate security policies / measures (17%)
- Hacker / network attack (14%)
- Employee carelessness / negligence (12%)
- Unauthorized access by current / former employees (11%)
- Virus / malware / spyware (10%)
- Employee web usage (6%)
- Lack of software updates (6%)
- Software security flaw / bug (6%)

When the same question was asked in 2010, 6% of those who reported experiencing an intrusion had referred to unauthorized access by current / former employees.

More information on Enterprise Computing can be found at www.SupportIndustry.com

Monday, October 10, 2011

Half of US Companies Plan to Increase IT Spending in 2012

Half of US companies plan to invest more on IT resources in 2012 than in 2011, according to a new survey by Nucleus Research. In fact, 10 percent of the companies surveyed are planning an increase of 10 percent or greater. A mere one out of 10 companies plan to decrease spending next year.

Nucleus expects to see continued investment in areas including CRM, integration, business intelligence and analytics, and workforce management. Software in particular is more flexible than ever, representing one of the only investments that can provide both cost containment and revenue growth opportunities.

Five Ways to Improve IT Spending

In the survey report, Nucleus also identifies ways to improve IT spending, including:

-- Move applications to the cloud: Nucleus has found typical companies can redeploy 15 to 25 percent of their overall IT personnel budget by moving applications to the cloud.

-- Move custom applications to the bottom of the list: Today commercially-developed and supported applications typically meet at least 80 percent of requirements.

-- Get real about asset management: A recent Nucleus survey found that 42 percent of companies made unnecessary software or hardware purchases that could have been avoided if they had access to more accurate data about their applications.

-- Cut custom report writing: Custom report writing is costly, time consuming, and often lags behind the need for the answers business users are trying to solve.

-- Eliminate IT training: If an enterprise application is so unintuitive that it requires training, vendor-provided training should be part of the purchase agreement.

More information on IT spending can be found at www.SupportIndustry.com.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Job Losses in U.S. High-Tech Industry Decline in 2010

TechAmerica Foundation released its 14th annual Cyberstates report detailing national and state trends in high-tech employment, wages, and other key economic factors. The U.S. high-tech industry lost 115,800 net jobs in 2010, for a total of 5.75 million workers. This two percent decline in tech industry employment was less than half of the 249,500 jobs lost in 2009, which followed several years of sustained growth. Over the longer term of 2007 to 2010 -- the span of the economic downturn -- the tech industry fared better than the private sector as a whole, with a four percent decline in employment versus a seven percent decline in the private sector.

TechAmerica Foundation also released a midyear jobs report for 2011 based on a different monthly data set from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This report shows that between January and June 2011, the tech industry added a net 115,000 jobs, a two percent gain, not adjusted for seasonality. During this time period, job growth occurred in all four technology industry sectors, with the fastest growth in engineering and tech services.

Key findings include:

-- U.S. high-tech employment totaled 5.75 million in 2010.

-- Tech employment was down in 2010 by 115,800, or by 2.0 percent.

-- High-tech manufacturing employment fell by 4.2 percent, losing 53,600 jobs between 2009 and 2010.

-- All nine tech manufacturing sectors lost jobs between 2009 and 2010.

-- The communications services sector lost 72,100 jobs in 2010, or 5.5 percent.

-- The software services sector added 22,800 jobs in 2010, a 1.4 percent increase.

-- The engineering and tech services sector lost 12,900 jobs in 2010, a 0.8 percent decline.

-- The following key occupation categories: engineering managers, computer hardware engineers, database administrators, and aerospace engineers, all managed to keep unemployment below five percent.

-- The tech industry paid an annual average wage of $86,800 in 2010, 93 percent more than the average private sector wage of $45,000.

More information on the High-Tech Industry can be found at www.SupportIndustry.com