Friday, March 29, 2013

Worldwide IT Spending on Pace to Reach $3.8 Trillion in 2013

Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.8 trillion in 2013, a 4.1 percent increase from 2012 spending of $3.6 trillion, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. Currency effects are less pronounced this quarter with growth in constant dollars forecast at 4 percent for 2013. 

Worldwide devices spending (which includes PCs, tablets, mobile phones and printers) is forecast to reach $718 billion in 2013, up 7.9 percent from 2012. Despite flat spending on PCs and a modest decline in spending on printers, a short-term boost to spending on premium mobile phones has driven an upward revision in the devices sector growth for 2013 from Gartner's previous forecast of 6.3 percent. 

The outlook for 2013 for data center systems spending is forecast to grow 3.7 percent in 2013, down 0.7 percent from Gartner's previous forecast. This reduction is largely due to cuts to the near-term forecast for spending on external storage and the enterprise in the economically troubled EMEA region.

Worldwide enterprise software spending is forecast to total $297 billion in 2013, a 6.4 percent increase from 2012. Although the growth for this segment remains unchanged from Gartner's previous forecast, this belies significant changes at a market level, as stronger growth expectations for database management systems (DBMS), data integration tools and supply chain management compensate for lower growth expectations for IT operations management and operating systems software.

While the outlook for IT services remains relatively unchanged since last quarter, continued hesitation among buyers is fostering hypercompetition and cost pressure in mature IT outsourcing (ITO) segments and reallocation of budget away from new projects in consulting and implementation. 

The global telecom services market continues to be the largest IT spending market and will remain roughly flat over the new several years, with declining spending on voice services counterbalanced by strong growth in spending on mobile data services. 

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Professionalism in the Workplace Study Results

According to the third annual professionalism poll conducted for the Center for Professional Excellence, professionalism is more prevalent in existing employees than in new hires. Consistently, managers were less likely than the HR respondents to report a lack of professionalism. When managers specified the employee segments that most lack professionalism, they pointed to younger employees. The generation gap in behaviors and expectations discovered in earlier studies continues with this study.

Despite the apparent generation gap, the majority of both managers and HR respondents feel that the definition of what is professional should not be subject to change. The attitude appears to be that young employees should learn to conform to current standards of professionalism rather than the standards being modified in response to larger societal changes.
The predominant qualities associated with professionalism are: interpersonal skills, appearance, communication skills, time management, confidence, being ethical, having a work ethic, and being knowledgeable.

The quality of Interpersonal skills involves several dimensions. It includes etiquette, being courteous, showing others respect, and behavior that is appropriate for the situation. Similarly, time management encompasses being punctual as well as using one’s time efficiently.

The differences that exist between HR and manager respondents are predictable. Managers more often than HR respondents name work ethic (managers, 32.7% vs. HR, 14.2%) and time management (managers, 27.2% vs. HR, 20.8%) as qualities of the professional. Managers are more likely to see these qualities in existing employees than HR professionals are to experience them in the interview process.

The qualities that define being unprofessional tend to be the mirror image of the qualities of the professional. Again, managers name the same qualities as do the HR respondents. The qualities named most often as unprofessional by both types of respondents are: inappropriate appearance, lack of dedication, poor work ethic, sense of entitlement, disrespect, poor communication skills, unfocused, and a poor attitude.

Again, the differences that do exist between HR and manager respondents are understandable. Managers are notably less likely to mention sense of entitlement (managers, 9.1% vs. HR, 22.7%) and communication skills (managers, 11.2% vs. HR, 21.0%). A sense of entitlement is probably more apparent during an employment interview than once the person is hired. Someone with poor communication skills may get no further than an interview.

State of Professionalism

For a sizable percentage of respondents, the state of professionalism in employees has decreased over the past five years. A third of the HR respondents (33.1%) and a fifth of the managers (21.2%) feel this way.

The good news is professionalism has increased for 16.0% of the HR respondents and 27.2% of the managers. This could be one good result of a bad economy. When asked why they believe the presence of professionalism has increased, respondents most often observe that the poor economy and consequent downsizing has increased the pool of applicants from which to choose.

IT Abuses

After two years when nearly 40% of the HR respondents indicated that IT abuses have increased, the percentage feeling this way has increased to 51.8% this year. About a third of the managers (34.3%) report an increase in IT abuses. Comments by the managers suggest that, while this problem encompasses most of the workforce, it is still the younger employees who are most likely to be engaging in this behavior.

The IT problems being witnessed are similar for both HR and manager respondents. The most common abuses are excessive twittering/Facebook (managers, 79.4%; HR, 82.5%), inappropriate use of the Internet (managers, 86.9%; HR, 78.1%), text messaging at inappropriate times (managers, 79.4%; HR, 81.9%), and excessive cell phone usage for personal calls (managers, 64.5%; HR, 65.0%).

Worst Problems in New Employees
Managers were asked about the worst problems they see in new employees once they are hired and working. The four mentioned by a fifth or more of the managers are: lack of urgency in getting a job done (32.6%), a sense of entitlement (27.2%), poor performance coupled with a mediocre work ethic (23.0%), and poor attendance (22.2%). Often cited with the lack of urgency was employees exercising poor time management.

The final set of mistakes examined was activities or shortcomings that can lead to an employee’s dismissal. For both HR professionals (50.7%) and managers (43.6%), the most common factor that causes an employee to be fired relates to attendance. Poor attendance includes being tardy, leaving early, and numerous absences.
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Monday, March 11, 2013

Unexpected IT Issues Monopolize Staff Hours

How many IT professionals does it take to fix an issue? The answer is five, working a combined average of 100 hours a week to fix unexpected IT issues, proving why IT continues to focus on IT efficiency.

One IT professional averages 20 unexpected issues per week, putting out fires such as dealing with network slowdowns/outages, poor performing applications, unanticipated change requests, or equipment failures according to a survey by independent market research firm Kelton Research commissioned by TeamQuestCorporation.

Daily business hiccups affect the efficiency and productivity of IT. Dynamic IT environments demand that IT use its resources wisely as business leaders focus on exploiting the benefits of cloud computing and virtualization to better serve customers and boost profitability.

One of the presumed benefits of the cloud is freeing IT staff to work on strategic initiatives such as planning for cloud initiatives or understanding the risks associated with BYOD. However, with 30% of an IT organization's time spent on maintenance and mundane tasks, companies too often compensate by over-provisioning, wasting energy and money. IT is faced with a growing service demand from the business and consumers.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

CIOs Reveal Second-Quarter Hiring Plans

Fourteen percent of U.S. chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed recently plan to expand their IT teams in the second quarter of 2013, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecastand Local Trend Report . In addition, 61 percent of CIOs said they will not be adding positions but will fill IT positions that open in the next three months. Twenty-two percent will not be hiring, even to fill an open position, and 2 percent expect to reduce their IT staffing levels.

Q2 IT Hiring Forecast

CIOs adding more staff to IT departments
CIOs planning to hire only for open IT roles
CIOs planning to put IT hiring plans on hold
CIOs planning to reduce their IT staff

The IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 2,300 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metro areas with 100 or more employees. Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis and has been tracking IT hiring activity in the United States since 1995.

Recruiting Challenges Seventy percent of CIOs surveyed said it's somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals today.  Respondents cited networking (16 percent), data/database management (13 percent) and applications development (12 percent) as the most challenging functional areas in which to recruit.

Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
The survey results suggest that CIOs are optimistic about their companies' growth and IT investments. Eighty-nine percent of CIOs reported being somewhat or very confident in their companies' prospects for growth in the second quarter of 2013.

Seventy-two percent of CIOs also said they were somewhat or very confident that their firms would invest in IT projects in the second quarter of 2013.

Skills in Demand
Among the technology executives surveyed, 51 percent said both network administration and database management are the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT department. Desktop support followed, with 48 percent of the response.

More information about IT, service and support can be found at

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

U.S. Enterprise IT Spending to Grow by 6% in 2013

According to the new International Data Corporation (IDC) United States Black Book 4Q12, total IT spending on hardware, software, and IT services across all 15 enterprise industries is forecasted to grow by 6% in 2013, to approximately $474 Billion. Over the last quarter, the U.S economic outlook has been clouded with uncertainties surrounding the fiscal cliff, contracting G.D.P growth, and declining international trade owing to reduced economic activity in the Euro zone. IDC expects the U.S. economy to stabilize in the second half of 2013, leading to moderately strong IT spending growth.

Specific industries expected to grow at above-average rates for the coming year include healthcare, which is forecast to grow by more than 8% in 2013, due in part to the need to process and analyze increasing volumes of data from new clinical systems such as EHR. The professional services industry is also expected to grow more than 8%; a high correlation between overall corporate profitability and IT spending by professional services firms suggests robust spending within this industry as corporate profits are forecasted to improve.

IDC's United States Black Book: State IT Spending by Vertical Market is a quarterly analysis of the status and projected growth of the IT industry in 50 states, segmented by 15 vertical markets as well as 15 technologies across hardware, software, and services. The quarterly releases are provided as Microsoft Excel pivot tables that allow for customized views of the data. The current release offers IT spending forecasts for the 2011-2016 period.

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