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.
Report Reveals 80 Percent of Employees Plan to Stay with Current Employer in the Next Year
As high unemployment persists and the global economic recovery remains halting and uneven, the “resume tsunami” appears to have been reduced to a “resume riptide.” According to Deloitte’s new global talent survey, Talent 2020, four out of five (80 percent) employees plan to stay with their organizations over the next year, a significant increase from 2011 when nearly 65 percent were planning to leave. Forty-six percent of the survey respondents indicate they are less inclined to move because, in the last 12 months, they have changed jobs (9 percent), were promoted (22 percent), or have taken new positions (15 percent) with their current employers. Surprisingly, however, nearly one-third (31 percent) say they are not satisfied with their jobs.
Out of a false sense of security, companies may neglect their talent and retention strategies as more employees appear to be staying put. However, the Deloitte report warns that organizations’ top performers are also those with the most employment opportunities.
Deloitte teamed with Forbes Insights for its fourth report in the Talent 2020 series, surveying employees across major industries and global regions. Based on the results and Deloitte’s analysis of the talent market, Deloitte identified three emerging trends:
Engage employees with meaningful work or watch them walk out the door. Employees value meaningful work over other retention initiatives. A majority (42 percent) of respondents who have been seeking new employment believe their job does not make good use of their skills and abilities.
Focus on “turnover red zones.” Employee segments at high risk of departure, or “turnover red zones,” are employees with less than two years on the job and Millennial employees (those aged 31 and younger).
When it comes to retention, leadership matters. More than six in ten employees (62 percent) who plan to stay with their current employers report high levels of trust in corporate leadership.
Who is leaving and how do companies hold onto key employees?
Interestingly, the incentives to get employees to stay are not exactly the same as the factors that would cause them to leave.
According to the survey, the top five reasons people seek new employment are primarily non-financial:
Lack of career progress (27 percent)
New opportunities in the market (22 percent)
Dissatisfaction with manager or supervisor (22 percent)
Lack of challenge in the job (21 percent)
Lack of compensation increases (21 percent)
However, the top five retention incentives for employees are primarily financial:
Additional bonuses or financial incentives (44 percent)
Promotion/job advancement (42 percent)
Additional compensation (41 percent)
Flexible work arrangements (26 percent)
Support and recognition from supervisors or managers (25 percent).
Other factors such as trust in leadership, effective communication and a company’s ability to execute on its strategy can also differentiate between an employee who is committed to his or her current job or an employee who is searching for the next opportunity.
IDC Forecasts Worldwide IT Spending to Grow 6% in 2012, Despite Economic Uncertainty
New research from IDC shows Worldwide IT spending remains on course to grow 6% this year in constant currency, only slightly down on last year’s pace of 7% growth, in spite of continuing macroeconomic uncertainty. Strong performance in software, storage, enterprise network and mobile device markets has offset weaker trends in PCs, servers, peripherals and telecom provider equipment. However, the strength of the US dollar in the first half of 2012 means that IT spending in dollar terms is on course for growth of just 4% this year, a significant downturn for US-based tech vendors from the US dollar growth rate of 10.5% in 2011. Including telecom services, total ICT spending will increase by 5% this year in constant currency to $3.6 trillion (growth of 2.5% in US dollars).
Key trends in the Worldwide IT market so far in 2012 include:
US IT spending remains on course for weaker performance than 2011 with growth of 5.9% (down from 8.5% last year); the launch of Windows 8 in Q4 should help to drive a meaningful recovery in the PC market next year.
While Western Europe remains weak overall due to the slow economy, software growth in Northern Europe was robust, and mobile device shipments (smartphones and tablets) have remained on course; excluding mobile devices, however, Europe is on course for just 1% growth in constant currency (a -4.5% decline in US dollars)
The recovery in Japan has lost some momentum, with IT growth in constant currency now on course for an increase of just 2% this year before flat lining again in 2013
Growth in emerging markets is still relatively strong,; in China, where the manufacturing sector has been impacted by slowing exports to Europe, IT spending is now on course for 14% growth this year in constant currency (down from 25% growth in 2011), with PC spending on course for growth of just 7% after a weaker-than-expected first half (down from 19% growth in 2011)
Strong growth is still expected in India (14%), Brazil (14%), Russia (11%) and South Africa (8%)
Overall Worldwide IT spending is now expected to grow by 6% in 2013 to $2.1 trillion (ICT spending including telecom services will increase by 5% next year to $3.8 trillion)
Survey Reveals Voice Still Leads All Customer Communication Channels
Noble Systems Corporation, a provider of unified contact center technology solutions, announced the results of its latest survey, revealing that phone calls continue to represent the majority of customer service traffic. More than 70 percent of respondents from more than 500 North American contact center operations surveyed indicated that voice service is still the main channel of communications with their customers.
Featuring responses from 556 contact centers across North America, the survey aligns with recent research demonstrating consumers’ continued reliance on phone calls. For example, the American Express 2011 Global Customer Service Barometer found that more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers prefer to resolve their customer service issues using the telephone. Moreover, 70 percent of respondents to the Noble Systems survey went on to indicate that they expect telephone communications to remain the primary customer contact channel for the foreseeable future.