Twelve percent of U.S. chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed recently expect to expand their IT teams in the third quarter of 2013, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report. This compares to 14 percent in the previous quarter. In addition, 56 percent plan to hire for open IT roles, 26 percent expect to put hiring plans on hold, and 6 percent plan to reduce their IT staff in the third quarter.
In the same survey, 85 percent of CIOs said they were somewhat or very confident about their companies' prospects for growth in the third quarter, and 63 percent felt somewhat or very confident in their firms' third-quarter investment in IT projects.
U.S. IT Hiring Forecast*
CIOs planning to add more staff to IT departments:
Q2 - 14%, Q3 - 12%
CIOs planning to hire only for open IT roles
Q2 - 61%, Q3 - 56%
CIOs planning to put IT hiring plans on hold
Q2 - 22%, Q3 - 26%
CIOs planning to reduce their IT staff
Q2 - 2%, Q3 - 6%
Don't know future hiring plans
Q2 - 1%, Q3 - 1%
*Numbers do not total 100 percent due to rounding.
The IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading 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.
In terms of recruiting, 69 percent of CIOs said it's somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals today. It is most difficult to find skilled talent in the functional areas of networking (18 percent), data/database management (14 percent) and help desk/technical support (13 percent).
Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
The survey results suggest that CIOs are optimistic about their companies' growth and IT investments: Eighty-five percent reported being somewhat or very confident in their companies' prospects for growth in the third quarter of 2013.
Sixty-three percent of CIOs also said they were somewhat or very confident that their firms would invest in IT projects in the third quarter of 2013.
Skills in Demand
Among the technology executives surveyed, 55 percent said that network administration and database management were the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT department. Desktop support followed closely, with 54 percent of the response.
Worldwide Software Market Forecast to Continue on Modest Growth Trajectory Through 2017, According to IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) released the latest forecast from the Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker. For 2012, the worldwide software market grew 3.6% year over year, less than half the growth rate experienced in 2010 and 2011. IDC believes these results mark the beginning of a more conservative period of growth. The forecast growth rate for 2013 is 5.7% while the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the 2012-2017 forecast period is 6.3%.
The collaborative applications software category is forecast to have the highest growth in the short term (2013). This category includes social software, which is growing from a lower revenue base. The collaborative applications category is also experiencing more cloud deployments than other categories and this represents new software investments. The structured data management software category is expected to show the strongest growth over the five-year forecast period with a 9.3% CAGR from 2012-2017, fueled by faster growth in the last 2-3 years of the forecast. Data management is at the core of the information-driven economy and will play a critical role in the implementation of Big Data and analytics.
On a regional basis, the emerging economies will experience stronger growth than in mature economies. The average 2012-2017 CAGR for Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, and Central Eastern, Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) is 8.8% while the average CAGR for the mature regions – North America, Western Europe, and Japan – is 5.0%. The emerging regions have been gaining almost 0.7% of market share every year since 2008 and they are expected to represent almost 19% of global software revenues in 2017.
Deloitte Consulting's 2013 Global Contact Center Survey Results
Contact centers continue to grow in size and strategic importance, creating a need for structured operations and processes and flexible technology to adapt to change. Deloitte Consulting LLP recently conducted a survey to help understand contact center industry leaders’ perspectives on both current and forward-looking topics across the dimensions of contact center strategy, operations, people and technology.
Key insights from the 2013 Contact Center Survey:
1) Contact centers continue to grow in size & strategic importance
77% of contact centers expect to maintain or grow in size in the next 12 - 24 months
Expansion plans are driven by the need to improve service and/or to support business growth
2) Location strategies continue to shift
36% of organizations are actively or planning to relocate contact center facilities
The United States is the location of choice for many relocation and/or growth plans
Access to labor is an important consideration for choosing a possible expansion location
3) Volume is growing across all channels
All contact channels expect volume growth in the next 12-24 months, with Email (46%) and Social Media (38%) anticipating the largest growth
Specific channel growth differentiates by industry and closely ties to industry-specific contact center maturity
4) Customer experience is a competitive differentiator
62% of organizations view customer experience provided through contact centers as a competitive differentiator
40% of organizations have dedicated customer experience resources
82% recognized “Accuracy and quality of information” as the most important customer experience attribute
5) Multi-channel contact centers are now expected
85% of respondent organizations support multi-channel customer interactions
Today, 33% of contact centers provide social media contact channels
92% of organizations that view customer experience as a differentiator offer multiple contact channels
6) The struggle to balance cost and quality continues
56% of organizations believe cost and quality management are equally important
Cost becomes more important in larger contact centers and contact center organizations with more outsourced and remote resources
7) Contact Center leaders balance multiple reporting relationships
Overall, there is a 50-50 split between single and multiple function reporting relationships for contact center leaders
However, nearly ¾ of contact center leaders have a multi-functional reporting relationship when contact centers span multiple regions
Contact center leaders report to Operations or Business Units most frequently
8) Call monitoring emerges to be the top customer feedback mechanism
55% of organizations believe “Call / Contact monitoring” to be the most effective way to gather customer feedback
Direct Customer Feedback via the web or email and Customer surveys continue to be a popular method for capturing customer feedback
Social media listening has not emerged for capturing customer feedback
9) Integrated reporting continues to grow in importance
62% of organizations have completely-or somewhat-integrated reporting and analytics
87% will either keep or extend the level of cross-channel integrated reporting and analytics
New Engagement Survey Metric Uncovers More Risk For Employers Who Want To Keep Their Top Performers
HR departments typically track dozens of metrics, many of which are ignored by CEOs. But Leadership IQ has developed a new HR metric that links employee engagement survey scores with performance appraisal ratings. And it’s quickly capturing executives’ attention, with articles and commentary across every major business information medium.
Leadership IQ researchers linked employees' scores on their annual engagement surveys with the scores they received on their annual performance appraisals at 207 companies. And then, by identifying statistical relationships between engagement and appraisal scores, Leadership IQ is able to make predictions and recommendations about high performer turnover, low performer accountability, middle performer development, and much more.
In the latest example of this metric, Leadership IQ identified that in 42% of the companies, low performers are MORE engaged than high and middle performers.
Leadership IQ's study, titled "Job Performance Not a Predictor of Employee Engagement" also detailed a 1,000-person technology-services firm, where low performers were more engaged than high performers. The annual appraisals at this technology firm use a 4-point scale, ranging from Unacceptable to Superior. According to the company’s 2012 statistics, 18% of employees can be considered low performers, 20% are considered high performers, and 62% are considered middle performers.
After Leadership IQ administered an employee engagement survey, it found …
Low performers were significantly more motivated to give 100% effort at work than high performers
Low performers were significantly more likely to recommend the company as a great organization to work for than high performers
Low performers were significantly more likely than high performers to believe that leadership holds people accountable for their performance
Low performers were significantly more likely than high performers to feel that all employees live up to the same standards
Examining these findings, the firm then expanded the review across more than 200 companies and the results were amplified. There are ample reasons why these findings put organizations at risk. One of them is the fact that high performers, who thrive on being highly engaged, don’t tend to stick around very long if they aren’t engaged. It’s disturbing news for any company that believes their people are their most important asset.
The best leaders are responding by learning the facts and taking action. They discover and act on the factors pushing valuable employees out the door and build on the factors that tug at them to stay. They take action to make all employees more mentally and physically accountable.
Great organizations also identify the key attitudes that define their success and failure so their leaders can accurately identify, reward and correct behavior according to actual employee performance. They make sure employees, especially high performers, understand the company vision and they recognize that what defines most low performers is the wrong attitude (not a lack of skill).
Lower Expectations for IT Spending as Sequester & Global Economic Uncertainty Impact Business Confidence
According to the just released International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Black Book (Version 1, 2013), IT spending was slightly below expectations in the second half of 2012 and first quarter of 2013. Economic uncertainty surrounding the U.S. government sequester, European debt crisis, and weakening GDP in China has resulted in volatile spending patterns across most segments of the market, with many IT vendors reporting difficulty closing deals at the end of Q1 2013. IDC now projects worldwide IT spending growth of 4.9% this year in constant currency, down from the previous forecast of 5.5% growth and representing a slowdown from the 5.6% growth recorded in 2012. As a result, worldwide IT spending is forecast to reach $2.06 trillion in 2013. Worldwide ICT spending, which includes telecom services spending, will increase by 4.5% to $3.7 trillion.
The strength of the U.S. dollar may continue to have an adverse impact on the reported revenues of U.S.-based IT vendors. In 2012, IT spending increased by just 2.9% in U.S. dollars, a significant downturn from 9.5% U.S. dollar growth in 2011. Based on average exchange rates from Q1 2013, this year's growth is on track to increase by 4.2% in U.S. dollar terms.
Deteriorating PC Shipments
The reduction in IDC's overall forecast for 2013 is largely driven by rapidly deteriorating PC shipments since the second half of 2012. According to the new report, IDC now expects PC spending to decline by 3% in constant currency this year, representing a third successive year of declining PC revenues. The shift to mobile devices remains a key driver for overall tech spending growth. Excluding mobile phones and tablets, worldwide IT spending increased by only 2.8% in 2012 and is forecast to grow by just 2.6% this year. Worldwide spending on smartphones will increase by 17% in 2013 while tablet spending will grow by 32%.The combined growth rate for PCs and tablets, meanwhile, will remain stable in the range of 4-5%.
Cloud Services Cannibalizes Software and IT Services
Just as tablets are cannibalizing PC spending, so the growth of cloud services continues to cannibalize commercial software and IT services. Software spending in the U.S. grew slightly slower than forecast in 2012, and IDC has consequently reduced the U.S. software forecast to 6% growth for 2013 (from 7%). IT services demand remains stable, but the pass through from capital spending and software deployment remains tepid by historical standards. IDC now forecasts growth of 5.6% in worldwide software spending in 2013 (constant currency), and 3.8% in IT services.
Decline in Server Revenues
Meanwhile, the report suggests a decline in overall server revenues while storage infrastructure spending will cool somewhat after the major spending cycle of 2011/2012. IDC now projects 2.4% growth in worldwide storage hardware revenues this year, down from 6.1% growth in 2012. Network infrastructure investment was strong in 2012, as many carriers invested in the deployment of LTE networks, but this will also cool in 2013. Service provider spending on network equipment will increase by 1.1% this year, compared to 5.8% in 2012. Enterprise network spending should remain more stable, projected to post growth of 6.8%.
Emerging markets are still the engines of growth for worldwide IT spending, with strong trends continuing in markets such as India and Brazil in recent months. The weakest performing geographies will be Western Europe and Japan, where slow economic growth is inhibiting IT spending while the U.S. market remains fragile in the context of political uncertainty.