Survey: U.S. Corporations Aim to Tackle IT Challenges with Cloud Computing
Forty-four percent of U.S. executives aim to tackle current IT challenges through leveraging cloud solutions, and they are planning to invest more in cloud computing in the future. That is the finding of an IDC survey commissioned by T-Systems. Corporations expect cloud computing to deliver lower IT costs (26 percent) and to enable them to replace legacy systems (21 percent) and adopt new applications more flexibly (14 percent).
Cloud computing is seen as most likely to deliver solutions for Customer Relationship Management (31 percent), productivity tools like email, collaboration or Office packages (28 percent), online stores, and Enterprise Relationship Management (26 percent each).
Corporations continue to have reservations about security, but they are no longer the decisive criterion against cloud. The concept of security now extends to issues such as how cloud computing will impact compliance requirements or data availability. That is prompting corporations to consider the right cloud type and cloud service needed. Enterprises see an opportunity in the private cloud for providers to fulfill their security requirements and agree on service level agreements. 40 percent of U.S. respondents have implemented a private cloud strategy while only 13 percent are relying on public cloud and 16 percent on hybrid cloud solutions.
In the course of adopting cloud computing, enterprises are increasingly considering new service providers, and they are also considering providers whose services they have not previously used. In ERP more than half are considering providers with whom they have had no previous experience.
Survey Exposes Concerns about Employee Privacy for BYOD
Fiberlink, a provider of cloud-based solutions for secure mobile device management (MDM) and mobile application management (MAM), announced the results of a Harris survey revealing that business users are alarmed about employers' ability to access and collect personally identifiable information (PII) through mobile devices, such as iPhones, iPads and Androids.
As the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend sweeps across the business world, it raises a significant management challenge for companies and has implications that go beyond the IT department. Although many may not know it, some employers are able to track employee locations during work and non-work hours, which applications they've installed and review or delete personal pictures and music.
The survey found that business users are overwhelmingly concerned, and would not allow employers to have this access into their personal lives.
The results show significant employee concern:
82 percent of respondents consider this ability to be "tracked" an invasion of their privacy. Tracking is easily accomplished through a number of technologies built into most of the popular smartphones. Tracking with an MDM solution can be accomplished using GPS and triangulation, which provides a company with a way to locate where a device is physically located.
Similarly, 76 percent of respondents would not give their employer access to view what applications are installed on their personal device. What users install on their personal device is considered private information.
75 percent of respondents would not allow their employer to install an app on their personal phone which gives the company the ability to locate them during work and non-work hours in exchange for receiving corporate email and gaining access to other corporate resources.
Business users expressed a great deal of concern about their employers looking into their lives. In fact, very few respondents expressed no concern.
82 percent are concerned to extremely concerned about their employers tracking websites they browse on personal devices during non-work time
86 percent are concerned to extremely concerned about the unauthorized deletion of their personal pictures, music, and email profiles
Only 15 percent are not at all concerned about employers tracking their location during non-work time
Only 15 percent are not at all concerned about employers tracking personal apps installed on their devices
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.
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.
By 2014, 10-15% of Social Media Reviews to be Fake, Paid for by Companies
Consumers' increased reliance on social media ratings and reviews will see enterprise spending on paid social media ratings and reviews increase, making up 10 to 15 percent of all reviews by 2014, according to Gartner, Inc. However, analysts predict that increased media attention on fake social media ratings and reviews will result in at least two Fortune 500 brands facing litigation from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over the next two years.
Organizations who opt to pay for fake reviews can, and have, faced both public condemnation as well as monetary fines. In 2009, the FTC determined that paying for positive reviews without disclosing that the reviewer had been compensated equates to deceptive advertising and would be prosecuted as such.
As the FTC begins to crack down on this practice of fake reviews/ratings, some reputation management companies are taking a different approach, not posting new, fake, favorable reviews, but identifying fake and defaming reviews and requesting the reviewers or host site remove them or face legal repercussions. Gartner analysts said they expect a similar market of companies to emerge specializing in reputation defense versus reputation creation.
Gartner believes that although consumer trust in social media is currently low, consumer perception of tightened government regulation and increased media exposure of fake social media ratings and reviews will ultimately increase consumer trust in new and existing social media ratings and reviews.
Chief information officers (CIOs) plan a modest increase in IT staffing activity in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report. In the latest quarterly survey, 9 percent of CIOs said they expect to expand their IT departments, and 6 percent anticipate cutbacks, for a net 3 percent projected increase in hiring activity. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed plan no change in personnel levels.
In the same study, nearly all of the technology executives interviewed (91 percent) said they are at least somewhat optimistic about their companies' growth prospects in the next three months; 30 percent are very optimistic. Forty-four percent rated the likelihood that their companies would be investing in IT projects a four or higher on a five-point scale, with five being the most confident.
The net 3 percent increase in anticipated IT hiring activity is up two points from last quarter's projection.
Eighty-three percent of CIOs plan to maintain their current staffing levels.
Network administration, database management and technical support professionals are in greatest demand, according to survey respondents.
Fifty-four percent of CIOs said it's challenging to find skilled professionals today.
Ninety-one percent of technology executives surveyed are at least somewhat confident in their companies' growth prospects in the next three months: Sixty-one percent of CIOs are somewhat confident, and 30 percent are very confident. The total compares to 76 percent of CIOs who expressed confidence in their firms' growth prospects in the third quarter.
Forty-four percent of survey respondents expressed confidence that their firms would be making investments in IT projects in the fourth quarter, rating their confidence a four or higher on a five-point scale, with five being the most confident.
Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
Ninety-one percent of CIOs reported being somewhat or very confident in their companies' prospects for growth in the fourth quarter of 2012, up 15 points from the third-quarter survey. Sixty-one percent of CIOs are somewhat confident, and 30 percent are very confident.
Forty-four percent of technology executives rated the likelihood that their companies would be investing in IT projects a four or higher on a five-point scale, with five being most confident.
Skills in Demand
Technology executives surveyed said it is most challenging to find IT professionals in the functional areas of security (22 percent), networking (21 percent) and applications development (12 percent).
Network administration is the skill set in greatest demand, cited by 72 percent of CIOs. Database management and desktop support followed, with 67 percent and 65 percent of the response, respectively.
CIOs in the East South Central (AL, KY, MS, TN)and West South Central (AR, LA, OK, TX) regions plan the most IT hiring in the fourth quarter. A net 8 percent of executives in both regions expect to add staff.
Executives in the transportation industry anticipate the most active IT hiring in the fourth quarter. A net 15 percent of CIOs in this sector plan to expand their IT departments, followed by a net 7 percent of technology leaders in the wholesale industry who anticipate adding staff.