PC Shipments Post the Steepest Decline Ever in a Single Quarter, According to IDC
Worldwide PC shipments totaled 76.3 million units in the first quarter of 2013 (1Q13), down -13.9% compared to the same quarter in 2012 and worse than the forecast decline of -7.7%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. The extent of the year-on-year contraction marked the worst quarter since IDC began tracking the PC market quarterly in 1994. The results also marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year shipment declines.
Despite some mild improvement in the economic environment and some new PC models offering Windows 8, PC shipments were down significantly across all regions compared to a year ago. Fading Mini Notebook shipments have taken a big chunk out of the low-end market while tablets and smartphones continue to divert consumer spending. PC industry efforts to offer touch capabilities and ultraslim systems have been hampered by traditional barriers of price and component supply, as well as a weak reception for Windows 8. The PC industry is struggling to identify innovations that differentiate PCs from other products and inspire consumers to buy, and instead is meeting significant resistance to changes perceived as cumbersome or costly.
United States – The U.S. market had another dismal quarter in 1Q13, contracting -12.7% year on year, with a drop of -18.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. With total volume falling to 14.2 million, quarterly shipments reached their lowest level since the first quarter of 2006. With this latest figure, the U.S. is now in its tenth consecutive quarter of year-on-year contraction (excluding a brief moment of growth – less than 2% year on year – in 3Q11).
EMEA – As expected, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) remained constrained, posting a stronger double-digit decline than anticipated in the first quarter of 2013. Results fell short of expectations in the consumer segment as softness in demand persisted amid a continued shift to tablets and ongoing budget pressures. Meanwhile, the market response to Windows 8 and touch-enabled devices remained slow, leading to cautious sell-in from most vendors. Shipments in the commercial market remained constrained as predicted, following continued economic pressure and lack of major IT renewals.
Japan – PC shipments were in line with expectations in the first quarter. Some economic improvement is helping to support commercial replacement demand ahead of the scheduled end of support for Windows XP next year. However, consumer shipments remained very weak.
Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (APeJ) – PC shipments in APeJ declined sharply, dropping a record -12.7% year on year, the first time the region has experienced a double-digit decline. Although much of the earlier Windows 7 stock had cleared, a lukewarm reception toward Windows 8 hampered new shipments. China's inactivity contributed heavily to the decline, as public sector spending continued to be constrained.
2013 will be a Turning Point Year as CEOs and Senior Executives Plan to Increase IT Investment
2013 will be a turning point year as CEOs and senior executives, by a ratio of more than four to one, plan to increase IT investment in 2013, rather than cut it, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. The 2013 Gartner CEO and Senior Executive Survey found that, as macro uncertainties abate, 78 percent of CEOs now feel able to plan their 2013 and 2014 investments and growth. The survey results show that while major political and economic uncertainties obstructed business investment last year, the fog is now clearing, and digital will play a prominent role in CEOs' 2013 plans.
"This is the year when business leadership teams must commit to investing bravely and deeply to redevelop the technology and information capability of their firms," said Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner fellow. "After more than a decade of modest investment and sorting out the basics, it's time to think ahead. Business leaders tell us they recognize the need to invest in e-commerce, mobile, cloud, social and other major technology categories, and the capabilities they enable. That can't be done from within existing IT budgets alone."
Gartner's CEO and senior executive survey showed that many business leaders think they have a digital strategy, as 52 percent of survey respondents said that they have a digital strategy.
"CEOs and leadership teams must crystallize what they mean by digital strategy and work with a small subgroup from the executive team to define what 'digital' means and how it manifests in the broader business strategy," said Jorge Lopez, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "They must ensure all elements of the digital strategy link clearly to the core business strategy, and that they do not form an independent, possibly distracting, program of change."
Business leaders intend to change the mix of leadership talent needed to make that change — with chief data officers, chief digital officers and new heads of innovation on the way. The survey found that 19 percent of business leaders expect to see a chief digital officer by 2014, and 17 percent expect to see a chief data officer.
"CIOs should embrace growing digital, data and innovation needs, and not stand back from them," said Mr. Lopez. "CIOs who intend to stay with their firms for longer than two years should be developing digital business, business information governance and innovation leadership capabilities in themselves and in their teams. CIOs who intend to retire or step back into other roles should help their organizations by incubating next-generation talent in the areas of digital media, information exploitation, and digitally enabled product and service innovation. This can be done inside as well as outside the IT department."
Research Demonstrates Happy Customer Service Agents Positively Impact Customer Experience
LiveOps, Inc., a provider of cloud contact center and customer service solutions, announced the findings of research that provides a holistic view into the state of today’s customer service. LiveOps evaluated the inter-dependency between the agent experience, customer experience and business bottom line. The research revealed four key points that are supported by the data:
Happy Agents Equal Happy Customers: 92 percent of consumers surveyed report that a customer service agent’s perceived “happiness” has a direct impact on their customer experience with the brand.
Integrating Social Channels on the Agent Desktop Is a Requirement: 85 percent of consumers surveyed feel that how a brand handles issues on their website or on social channels, like Facebook or Twitter, is a good indicator of a brand’s ability to deliver customer satisfaction and quality of support.
Most Brands Fail to Provide Consistent Service Across Multiple Channels: 89 percent of consumers surveyed believe it is important to be able to communicate with companies by any channel, including social media, and still receive the same quality and efficiency of response. Furthermore, 61 percent of social media users feel that brands do not effectively communicate with them on these channels.
Live Agent Service, Regardless of Channel, Is Preferred Over Self-service: 90 percent of customers surveyed value the ability to communicate with a live person on any channel--voice, email, chat, SMS or social.
Study Reveals That 83% of Knowledge Workers Lose Time to Document Versioning Issues Each Day
Poor document collaboration practices are very expensive, time-consuming and the source of much frustration, according to Perforce Software, which commissioned an independent survey of business professionals. Conducted online by Harris Interactive, the survey of 1,004 knowledge workers in the United States and United Kingdom shows that document collaboration problems in the workplace are pervasive, frustrating and the cause of costly productivity issues—even when document sharing tools are in place. It also indicates that these issues have far-reaching consequences, including missed business opportunities, damaged reputations and poor impressions on colleagues and customers.
Known by Few, Felt by Most
While less than half (45 percent) of knowledge workers are familiar with the term “version issues,” the survey found that more than four in five (83 percent) lose or waste time each day from these problems.
Searching their hard drives or email inboxes for the most up-to-date or correct file (73 percent)
Having to wait while someone else finishes working on a document (59 percent)
Manually reviewing documents to sort out the changes from one or more contributors (56 percent)
Working on a document, only to realize after some time that it was the wrong or outdated file (47 percent)
Interestingly, of the 69 percent of knowledge workers whose companies use a document management or file sharing service, about 9 in 10 still experience document versioning issues (86 percent and 90 percent, respectively), indicating that existing solutions do little to solve these problems.
More Time-Consuming than Spam, More Frustrating than Parking Tickets
The survey found that document versioning issues are productivity killers. They combine (75 percent) to have an impact on productivity for a higher percentage of knowledge workers than:
Not having network access (71 percent)
Dealing with spam and junk mail (59 percent)
Leaving a mobile phone at home (34 percent)
In addition, 81 percent report having worked on the wrong version of a document or spent too much time looking for the right file. Of those, 29 percent stop working on a project altogether or leave work early when they realize all the time they’ve wasted. Other startling responses include:
Yell at their computers (33 percent)
Think about heading to the nearest bar or pub (21 percent)
Throw something (12 percent)
Banged their heads against their desks (12 percent)
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.
The Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast is the leading indicator of major technology trends across the hardware, software, IT services and telecom markets. For more than a decade, global IT and business executives have been using these highly anticipated quarterly reports to recognize market opportunities and challenges, and base their critical business decisions on proven methodologies rather than guesswork.
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.