Survey Shows IT is at Top of Investment Priorities, Tied with Sales
Board directors are prioritizing customers, core competencies and competitive advantage, according to the second annual Gartner-Forbes 2012 Board of Directors Survey. Half of the board directors surveyed were willing to invest in IT as a means to change the rules of competition, and they had IT as the highest priority for investment in 2012, tied with investments in sales.
Gartner and Forbes surveyed 175 board members in March and April of 2012 regarding their perceptions of the key business issues facing their organizations, and the contemporary aspect of their attitudes toward IT.
The priorities of the board directors in this survey were directly centered on customers, building better ways to drive the business forward through better core competencies, working on sustaining competitive advantage, or innovation. Gartner analysts said all of these are proactive efforts to acquire, retain or develop customers and markets.
Eighty-six percent of respondents said they believe that IT's strategic contribution to the business will increase by 2014.
The fastest-rising priority is pursuing greater diversity in the business portfolio, which will drive mergers and acquisitions (M&As). Gartner recommends that IT leaders review their plans for integrating acquired company systems. They should also prepare plans for divestitures as the investment portfolio is restructured for lower risk.
The Gartner-Forbes 2012 Board of Directors Survey asked board directors to rate each of 30 different choices from extremely low importance to extremely high importance. The top five priorities were:
1. Attracting new customers
2. Retaining and enhancing existing customers
3. Focusing on core competencies
4. Maintaining competitive advantage
5. Fostering innovation
The top spots were dominated by issues that have a direct connection to revenue and profit. The fastest-rising priorities point to the rise of pursuing greater diversity in the business portfolio, which is usually a move to reduce the overall risk of an enterprise.
As boards seeking ways to build or extend their competitive advantage increasingly look to IT as a source of that advantage, Gartner believes that IT-enabled business models will be useful as advances in technology continue to gain ground, and the reputation of IT as a means to improve productivity persists.
Gartner Says Worldwide IT Spending On Pace to Surpass $3.6 Trillion in 2012
Worldwide IT spending is on pace to reach $3.6 trillion in 2012, a 3 percent increase from 2011 spending of $3.5 trillion, according to the latest outlook by Gartner, Inc. Gartner's 2012 IT spending outlook has been revised up slightly from the 2.5 percent projection last quarter.
Gartner's global IT spending forecast is relied upon by more than 75 percent of the Global 500 companies in their key technology decisions. The market segments are analyzed by more than 200 Gartner business and technology analysts who are located in all regions of the world.
However, there are some bright spots for IT providers. In contrast to the rather lackluster growth outlook for overall IT spending, Gartner expects enterprise spending on public cloud services to grow from $91 billion worldwide in 2011 to $109 billion in 2012. By 2016, enterprise public cloud services spending will reach $207 billion.
Worldwide IT services spending is forecast to reach $864 billion in 2012, a 2.3 percent increase from 2011. Demand for consulting services is expected to remain high due to the complexity of environments for global business and technology leaders. Gartner analysts said consulting itself is becoming increasingly technology-based with the rise of analytics and big data, having deep implications on the future of consulting services.
The global telecom services market continues to be the largest IT spending market. Telecom services growth is expected to come not only from net connections, especially in emerging markets, but also in mature markets from the uptake of multiple connected devices, such as media tablets, gaming and other consumer electronics devices.
Key Risks Not Being Continually Monitored; Social Media Plays Increasing Role
A new Deloitte and Forbes Insights survey reveals that fewer than 25 percent of executives report that their organizations continuously monitor risk. While the majority of respondents anticipated that the global economic environment will remain the greatest source of risk through 2015, more than one in four (27 percent), predicted that risks posed by social media would play an increasingly important role.
Forty-one percent of respondents said that they saw the global economic environment as the most important source of risk over the next three years, and nearly one-third put government spending and budget into that category. Regulatory changes were of concern to 30 percent of respondents and both social media and financial risk were seen as a concern by 27 percent. The top areas of concern regarding increased volatility over the next three years included financial risk (66 percent of respondents), followed by strategic risk (63 percent) and operational risk (58 percent).
More than 50 percent of executives believe that regulatory, technological and geopolitical risk will increase in volatility, and 55 percent of executives surveyed reported that their organizations will revamp their risk approach within the next 12 months; roughly nine in 10 (91 percent) reported that they plan to reorganize their approach to risk management in some form or other over the next three years.
When asked how they planned to accomplish this, the majority (52 percent) said that they would elevate the profile of risk management throughout their organizations. Other areas viewed as key included reorganizing risk management processes (39 percent), additional training for staff (37 percent), incorporating new technology (31 percent) and integrating risk into strategic planning (28 percent).
Despite advances in risk-related technologies as well as concern about unstable risks, the survey found that automation tools and tools used for continuously monitoring risk are underutilized. Most monitoring is done periodically, on a monthly, quarterly, biannual or annual basis.
Additional Survey Findings:
Risk viewed as C-suite issue. Risk management has become a C-suite issue. Twenty-six percent of those surveyed said that the main responsibility for overall risk management belongs to the chief executive officer, with 23 percent assigning this responsibility to the chief financial officer or treasurer. Interestingly, the chief risk officer or head of risk came in third place, with 19 percent.
Automated risk management systems and processes. Dashboard reporting for senior stakeholders, data analysis and self-assessment are most often a mix of manual and automated processes. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said that their companies were in the process of automating their risk reporting.
Budgeting for risk expected to remain stable. Respondents indicated that strategic risk and technology risk were the two areas where budgets will increase the most. Around 50 percent of respondents said they expect minimal change to risk management budgets across the board. Fewer than 15 percent of respondents across all risk areas said risk budgets would decrease over the next three years.
Survey Reveals Americans Working More, But On Their Own Schedule
Good Technology, a provider of secure and managed enterprise mobility for a range of mobile devices, announced that the average American puts in more than a month and a half of overtime a year – just by answering calls and emails at home.
In a survey of U.S. working adults, more than 80 percent of people continue working when they have left the office - for an average of seven extra hours each week – almost another full day of work. That's a total of close to 30 hours a month or 365 extra hours every year. They're also using their cell phones to mix work and their personal life in ways never seen before.
While 60 percent do it simply to stay organized, almost half feel they have no choice because their customers demand quick replies. Thirty-one percent of respondents admit to continuing to work at home as they find it hard to 'switch off.' Half of Americans can't even put their phone down while in bed, as they read or respond to work emails after climbing under the covers.
This overtime has become so commonplace that only a quarter of the 1,000 workers polled said it caused an occasional disagreement with their partner. In what points to changing attitudes to mobile work, well over half surveyed reported no arguments whatsoever from their spouse or significant other over answering email or making work calls at home.
The study also revealed:
68 percent of people check their work emails before 8 a.m.
The average American first checks their phone around 7:09
50 percent check their work email while still in bed
The work day is growing – 40 percent still do work email after 10 p.m.
69 percent will not go to sleep without checking their work email
57 percent check work emails on family outings
38 percent routinely check work emails while at the dinner table
Enterprise Social Software Market Shows Significant Gains and Is Quickly Becoming the Main Way to Connect Employees, Data, and Systems
New International Data Corporation (IDC) research shows that enterprise social software adoption has accelerated significantly, finding use cases across almost all industry verticals as it continues to become a critical decision support and worker productivity tool. Many companies are now looking to build and implement an overall social business strategy and the most appropriate enterprise grade social tools will be a critical component of that strategy.
According to IDC, companies are turning to social software in increasing numbers as they look for ways to increase collaboration, improve both business and individual worker productivity, and efficiently manage a growing deluge of content and information. Compartmentalized and specific collaboration is still required by many organizations and traditional collaborative applications providing closed loop and B2B communications will retain their existence in organizations alongside more open social solutions.
IDC's research found that almost all vendors in the market had double-digit growth for 2010–2011, with the top 2 vendors, IBM and Jive, delivering greater than 70% year-over-year growth – almost double the market average. The fastest-growing vendor in the top 20 was Yammer, with a year-over-year growth rate of 132.3%.