Wednesday, September 26, 2012

CIOs Top 10 priorities as planning for the new year begins

Will the economy recover? What technology will drive the next 12 to 18 months? How can service levels be improved? These are just some of the questions that CIOs are asking as they start the budgeting process, according to Janco Associates.

The Top Ten concerns CIOs are including in planning for the new year are:

  1. Budgets – Budgets have never been tighter. Organizations are striving to keep tight control over expenditures, even though they still need innovative technology to keep ahead of the competition.
  2. Staffing – Recruiting, managing and training staff are the most pressing concerns for CIOs as they are pressured to keep headcounts down while improving service levels.
  3. Security – Internal and external threats are on the increase, especially as enterprises continue to increase the growth of mobile and wireless based applications. 
  4. Compliance – Security and compliance work together for CIOs as many governance and compliance regulations were spawned from risk management and directly affect security.
  5. Resource Management – Enterprise management now demands more efficient processes. CIOs must now allocate more of their time and resources they used to spend on legacy maintenance on more productivity activities.
  6. Infrastructure – Updating technology infrastructures and keeping the backbone of an organization’s IT up to date consumes more resources.
  7. Business Alignment – Keeping IT strategy in line with business strategy is something CIOs have become masters of, but it is still one of the areas that is resource intense.
  8. Managing Users – CIOs must prioritize the needs of their users and customers. Excellent customer service and cost effectiveness in driving the business forward are the two overlying themes for many businesses.
  9. Managing Change – The fast moving pace of technological innovation means change is a guaranteed part of the CIO’s role. But the way they manage its effect on the business is more critical. As business processes change, changes in organizational cultures and how they affect people are very high on the CIO’s agenda.
  10. Organizational Politics – To manage change and integration effectively, CIOs need the support of their senior management team. The success of change management programs and the contribution IT can make to those depend heavily on the support and drive of senior managers. If the CIO lines of report – CEO, CFO or COO -understand the power of transformational IT investment and if a CIO can educate and communicate what is possible.
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

IT Hardware Recycling Remains an Orphaned Function in Most Enterprises

A great number of U.S. businesses continue to struggle with implementing best practices in the recycling of their IT hardware and electronics equipment. The IT hardware disposition function remains undefined among many organizations, an "orphaned" function that is neither the full responsibility of IT departments nor procurement or other related functions.

A new multi-client study from International Data Corporation (IDC), ITAsset Disposal and Recycling: United States Enterprise Practices and Outlook2012-2013, finds that more than one third of the companies recently surveyed do not use proper disposition methods, often adding unjustified cost and complexity to their hardware recycling practices. The use of irrational disposition processes remains high. For instance, the use of company staff to manage donation to charity, adding to cost, risks, and loss of resale opportunity, is practiced by more than 40% of the organizations surveyed. Likewise, the practice of storing assets is alarmingly high as is the use of municipal waste services, which leave companies at legal risk of violating U.S. environmental regulations and preventing them from finding cost containment opportunities through resale and other solutions.

In terms of outlook, IDC sees a number of trends that are likely to influence IT hardware disposition practices over the next few years, further impacting the industry itself. Among the trends to watch are the movement toward cloud computing that could lead to lower procurement of classic assets, as well as the emergence of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), which will create a whole new set of challenges on the data security and compliance front.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Report Reveals 80 Percent of Employees Plan to Stay with Current Employer in the Next Year

As high unemployment persists and the global economic recovery remains halting and uneven, the “resume tsunami” appears to have been reduced to a “resume riptide.” According to Deloitte’s new global talent survey, Talent 2020, four out of five (80 percent) employees plan to stay with their organizations over the next year, a significant increase from 2011 when nearly 65 percent were planning to leave. Forty-six percent of the survey respondents indicate they are less inclined to move because, in the last 12 months, they have changed jobs (9 percent), were promoted (22 percent), or have taken new positions (15 percent) with their current employers. Surprisingly, however, nearly one-third (31 percent) say they are not satisfied with their jobs. 

 Out of a false sense of security, companies may neglect their talent and retention strategies as more employees appear to be staying put. However, the Deloitte report warns that organizations’ top performers are also those with the most employment opportunities.

Deloitte teamed with Forbes Insights for its fourth report in the Talent 2020 series, surveying employees across major industries and global regions. Based on the results and Deloitte’s analysis of the talent market, Deloitte identified three emerging trends:

-- Engage employees with meaningful work or watch them walk out the door. Employees value meaningful work over other retention initiatives. A majority (42 percent) of respondents who have been seeking new employment believe their job does not make good use of their skills and abilities. 

-- Focus on “turnover red zones.” Employee segments at high risk of departure, or “turnover red zones,” are employees with less than two years on the job and Millennial employees (those aged 31 and younger). 

-- When it comes to retention, leadership matters. More than six in ten employees (62 percent) who plan to stay with their current employers report high levels of trust in corporate leadership.

-- Who is leaving and how do companies hold onto key employees?
Interestingly, the incentives to get employees to stay are not exactly the same as the factors that would cause them to leave. 

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Monday, September 10, 2012

IDC Forecasts Worldwide IT Spending to Grow 6% in 2012, Despite Economic Uncertainty

New research from IDC shows Worldwide IT spending remains on course to grow 6% this year in constant currency, only slightly down on last year’s pace of 7% growth, in spite of continuing macroeconomic uncertainty. Strong performance in software, storage, enterprise network and mobile device markets has offset weaker trends in PCs, servers, peripherals and telecom provider equipment. However, the strength of the US dollar in the first half of 2012 means that IT spending in dollar terms is on course for growth of just 4% this year, a significant downturn for US-based tech vendors from the US dollar growth rate of 10.5% in 2011. Including telecom services, total ICT spending will increase by 5% this year in constant currency to $3.6 trillion (growth of 2.5% in US dollars).
Key trends in the Worldwide IT market so far in 2012 include:

-- US IT spending remains on course for weaker performance than 2011 with growth of 5.9% (down from 8.5% last year); the launch of Windows 8 in Q4 should help to drive a meaningful recovery in the PC market next year.

-- While Western Europe remains weak overall due to the slow economy, software growth in Northern Europe was robust, and mobile device shipments (smartphones and tablets) have remained on course; excluding mobile devices, however, Europe is on course for just 1% growth in constant currency (a -4.5% decline in US dollars)

-- The recovery in Japan has lost some momentum, with IT growth in constant currency now on course for an increase of just 2% this year before flat lining again in 2013

-- Growth in emerging markets is still relatively strong,; in China, where the manufacturing sector has been impacted by slowing exports to Europe, IT spending is now on course for 14% growth this year in constant currency (down from 25% growth in 2011), with PC spending on course for growth of just 7% after a weaker-than-expected first half (down from 19% growth in 2011)
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Monday, September 3, 2012

Survey Reveals Voice Still Leads All Customer Communication Channels

NobleSystems Corporation, a  provider of unified contact center technology solutions, announced the results of its latest survey, revealing that phone calls continue to represent the majority of customer service traffic. More than 70 percent of respondents from more than 500 North American contact center operations surveyed indicated that voice service is still the main channel of communications with their customers.

Featuring responses from 556 contact centers across North America, the survey aligns with recent research demonstrating consumers’ continued reliance on phone calls. For example, the American Express 2011 Global Customer Service Barometer found that more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers prefer to resolve their customer service issues using the telephone. Moreover, 70 percent of respondents to the Noble Systems survey went on to indicate that they expect telephone communications to remain the primary customer contact channel for the foreseeable future.

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