Monday, February 25, 2013

Tech Spending Still Strong Despite Economic Volatility and Cannibalization from Mobile Devices and the Cloud

According to the new International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Black Book Query Tool just released, IT spending remained broadly strong throughout a difficult end to 2012 as business confidence waned in the shadow of the "fiscal cliff’," economic growth declined in much of Europe, and economies in Asia struggled to cope with reduced exports. In spite of these headwinds, worldwide IT spending recorded annual growth of 5.9 percent in 2012 in constant currency terms, keeping pace with the 5.8 percent growth recorded in 2011. Total IT spending on hardware, software and IT services reached $2 trillion, while ICT spending (including telecom services) increased by 4.8 percent to $3.6 trillion.

Last year was difficult for U.S.-based IT suppliers, however, which were adversely affected by the strength of the dollar throughout most of the year. In U.S.-dollar terms, worldwide IT spending grew by just 3.3 percent. This marked a significant slowdown from the U.S. dollar growth rate of 9.5 percent recorded in 2011. In 2013, IT spending is expected to increase by 5.5 percent as businesses and consumers continue to invest in mobile devices, storage, networks and software applications.

While overall IT spending remained stable, 2012 was another difficult year for the PC industry, which recorded a 2 percent decline in annual revenues. Revenue declines were also recorded in servers, PC monitors and feature phones as cannibalization from tablets and smartphones continued to reshape the IT industry landscape. For the first time, spending on smartphones in 2012 exceeded PCs, reaching almost $300 billion, while PC spending declined to $233 billion.

The global economy has been volatile through the past 12 months, and this sense of uncertainty persisted into the first quarter of 2013. IDC expects the U.S. economy to stabilize in the second half of the year, driving IT spending growth of 5.5 percent. 2013 will be another tough year for Europe, however, where tech spending is expected to increase by just 2 percent as the Eurozone and UK struggle to shrug off the lingering debt crisis. Excluding mobile devices, growth in Europe will be less than 1 percent. Japan has meanwhile lost most of the post-reconstruction momentum that drove IT spending to increase by 4 percent in 2012, and will record IT growth of 0 percent this year.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Dice 2013 Salary Survey Results for Technology Professionals

The job market for technology professionals has been a bright spot amid what economic-types typically have termed a modest recovery. That “bright spot” status should remain true into 2013, according to more than 1,000 technology-focused hiring managers and recruiters surveyed by Dice.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of hiring managers and recruiters say that their companies or clients will likely add new technology workers in the first six months of the new year. In a comparable study of hiring managers and recruiters that recruit for many roles, just 47 percent anticipated adding staff to start 2013.

However, the brightness looks poised to dim a bit, at least in comparison to the technology job market of six months ago, when 73 percent of hiring managers expected to be adding tech workers during the second half of 2012. From a regional perspective the largest change over the past six months is from hiring pros headquartered in the West where six in 10 (64%) anticipate staff additions to start 2013, as compared to eight in 10 (81%) who felt that way about the second half of 2012.

Asked if the time to fill open technology positions had changed compared to last year, more than half the respondents (55%) said it had lengthened (including 16 percent who labeled the change “substantial”). Accounting for the slower hiring process, nearly half the hiring managers (47%) pointed to an inability to find qualified applicants, while another third (33%) cited a desire to wait for “the perfect match.”

Likewise, there is no haste by qualified technology professionals to move on in their careers. Seven out of 10 respondents said voluntary departures hadn’t risen at their company or with their clients during the past year. And asked about the pace of new job applications, more than half (54%) said they hadn’t seen a spike in new applicants as compared to six months ago.

Once a candidate is identified, 53 percent of hiring managers and recruiters said candidates are asking for more money, as compared to six months ago. And, more than one-third (39%) of technology hiring professionals said they are seeing more counteroffers than in the previous six months. Those factors combined appear to be impacting recruiting, with 28 percent of hiring professionals noting they’ve experienced an increase in technology professionals rejecting job offers in the last six months.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Big Data Is Big Challenge For Some CIOs

Big data is not without big obstacles for some CIOs. In a survey from Robert Half Technology, 76 percent of CIOs (chief information officers) said their companies don't presently gather customer data such as demographics or buying habits. Less than one in four (23 percent) executives interviewed for the study said their firms do collect this type of information. Among those that do, more than half (53 percent) said they lack sufficient staff to access customer data, and generate reports and other business insights from it.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees.

CIOs were asked, "Does your company collect customer data, such as email addresses, demographics, buying habits and so on?" Their responses*:

Don't know

CIOs who answered "yes" to the question above were asked, "Does your technology team have sufficient personnel to access and generate strategic reports and insights from the customer data your organization collects?" Their responses:

Don't know

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Survey Reveals Most Wanted Office Perks and What Motivates Workers to Stay With Companies

If you could have one perk - any perk - in your workplace, what would it be? If you had the choice, would you rather have a bigger title or a bigger office? If you were thinking about leaving your company, what would make you stay? A new CareerBuilder survey explores which job factors are most important to today’s workers. More than 3,900 full-time workers nationwide participated in the survey conducted online by Harris Interactive from November 1 to November 30, 2012.

Nearly one-third of employers (32 percent) reported that top performers left their organizations in 2012 and 39 percent are concerned that they’ll lose top talent in 2013. While most workers (66 percent) stated that they are generally satisfied with their jobs, one in four (25 percent) said they will change jobs in 2013 or 2014.

How important is title?

While upward mobility is a key factor in job satisfaction and employee retention, having a certain title isn’t important to more than half of workers (55 percent). The vast majority (88 percent) reported that salary matters more. Other factors that outrank job title in what is most important to workers are:

-- Flexible schedule – 59 percent

-- Being able to make a difference – 48 percent

-- Challenging work – 35 percent

-- Ability to work from home – 33 percent

-- Academic reimbursement – 18 percent

-- Having an office – 17 percent

-- Company car – 14 percent

Do perks matter?

Twenty-six percent of workers said that providing special perks is an effective way to improve employee retention. When asked to identify one perk that would make their workplace more satisfying, early dismissals, convenient gym access and casual dress scored highest:

1) Half-day Fridays – 40 percent

2) On-site fitness center – 20 percent

3) Ability to wear jeans – 18 percent

4) Daily catered lunches – 17 percent

5) Massages – 16 percent

6) Nap room – 12 percent

7) Rides to and from work – 12 percent

8) Snack cart that comes around the office – 8 percent

9) Private restroom – 7 percent

10) On-site daycare – 6 percent

What ultimately entices workers to stay with a company?

Not surprising, the majority of workers (70 percent) reported that increasing salaries is the best way to boost employee retention while 58 percent pointed to better benefits. Other actions workers said employers should take to reduce voluntary turnover include:

-- Provide flexible schedules – 51 percent

-- Increase employee recognition (awards, cash prizes, company trips) – 50 percent

-- Ask employees what they want and put feedback into action – 48 percent

-- Increase training and learning opportunities – 35 percent

-- Hire additional workers to ease workloads – 22 percent

-- Provide academic reimbursement – 22 percent

-- Carve out specific career paths and promote more – 21 percent

-- Institute a more casual dress code – 14 percent
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