CIOs Indicate a Return to Growth and a Change in Priorities Creates New Skills Challenges
CIOs are more confident of securing technology budget increases than at any time in the last five years, according to the CIO Technology Survey 2012, conducted by Harvey Nash in association with Telecity Group.
The 14th annual survey, presenting the views of 2,400 CIOs and technology leaders across twenty countries, revealed that despite continued uncertainty in relation to the global macro-economic outlook, the rapid growth in demand for mobile applications and digital media innovation has ensured that the role of the CIO continues to remain key in 2012 and beyond. However, there is growing concern about the impact of a digital skills shortage and the question of gender diversity, in particular the availability of female talent in the technology sector.
Key indicators of growth:
Increasing budgets: 44 percent of global CIOs saw a budget increase this year; the highest proportion since 2007, and a leap from 39 percent in 2011 and 28 percent in 2010.
Leap in demand for digital and mobile solutions: Digital media is firmly on the CIO's agenda with 58 percent of global CIOs actively promoting the development of solutions for smartphones and tablets such as iPads.
Demand for improving time-to-market: Of the areas of focus for CIOs, the category that grew the most in 2012 was Improving Time-to-Market, underlining the importance of growth and expansion planning.
Profit focus: More than half of CIOs (56 percent) say projects that make money from technology rather than save money are the priority.
Women in technology and skills shortage
Increased shortages in digital skills: Of all the categories of skills where shortages exist, mobile, security and social media displayed the greatest growth in shortage.
Overall skills shortage grows: Almost half (47 percent) of CIOs believe a skills shortage is preventing them from keeping up with the pace of change.
Gender balance within leadership in the technology sector: 93 percent of CIOs in the Survey are male, virtually unchanged from the 2005 Harvey Nash CIO survey.
Dearth in pipeline of female leadership talent: Over a third of those surveyed confirmed they have no females in technology leadership or management roles in their organisation, and over three-quarters (81 percent) have less than a quarter of management roles populated by women.
Software engineering not seen as attractive to female graduates: almost a quarter of CIOs (24 percent) have no women in their technical and development teams, suggesting more needs to be done to encourage women into IT at an early stage.
Outsourcing, role of CIO
Outsourcing plays a bigger role: almost half of the respondents (46 percent) plan to increase their spend on outsourcing this year. This compares to 45 percent in 2011, however, it is 10 percent up on 2010 figures (36 percent).
Multi sourcing in vogue: The use of multi sourcing will increase this year for 43 percent of CIOs, up from 39 percent last year.
According to Corporate Executive Board, a research and advisory services firm, the rise of new technology has fundamentally changed the way consumers buy, providing greater access to information and choice than ever before. Feeling overwhelmed, consumers want support -- not increased marketing messages or "engagement" -- to more quickly and easily navigate the purchase process. Brands that help consumers simplify the purchase journey have customers who are 86 percent more likely to purchase their products and 115 percent more likely to recommend their brand to others.
In a study of 7,000 consumers and marketing executives representing 125 consumer brands across 12 industries, CEB identified a significant disconnect between current marketing strategies, including customer engagement, and preferred consumer buying behavior. While most marketers are behaving as if the majority of consumers are open to having a relationship with their brand, CEB found only 20 percent of consumers report being open to such relationships. As a result, today's marketing tactics are making customers less loyal and resulting in lost revenue for companies.
To capture customers' attention and build loyalty, companies should invest in making the purchasing process so simple that customers' decision-making actually becomes easier. CEB's insights show a 20 percent increase in simplifying the decision-making process results in a 96 percent increase in a customer's likelihood to purchase, re-purchase or recommend a particular brand. Companies can simplify the buying process in three important ways by helping consumers:
Trust Information: provide recommendations by consumer advisors, ratings and reviews
Navigate the Purchase Process: simplify the research process by offering clear and streamlined brand-specific product information targeted to each decision stage
Weigh Comparison Options: make transparent buying guides and brand differentiated information easily available
No Slowdown for IT -- Robust Job Growth Continues in April
Despite an anemic overall jobs report, IT jobs continued to grow briskly in April--reaching yet another historic milestone.
In April, the number of IT jobs grew by 17,000 or .4 percent sequentially to 4,168,700, according to TechServe Alliance, a collaboration of IT services firms, clients, consultants and suppliers.
April marks the fourth consecutive month where IT employment has reached a new record high. IT jobs have increased by 117,000, an increase of 2.9 percent, in the past 12 months. In comparison, the number of overall jobs grew only 0.1 percent in April and was up only 1.4 percent from the same time last year.
IT Employees: Engaged, Committed but Likely to Consider Leaving
A study released by Randstad Technologies and Technisource shows IT employees tend to be engaged at work and loyal to their organizations, yet over half (53 percent) plan to explore other employment options when the job market picks up.
Findings from the latest Randstad Engagement Index show that IT workers display more volatility than other employees when it comes to their intentions to leave their current jobs. Despite this, three-quarters of IT workers are proud to work for their organizations and 75 percent are inspired to do their best every day.
76 percent of IT employees are proud to work for their company, up 6 percent from last quarter
63 percent of IT employees enjoy going to work every day, 5 percent less than employees surveyed overall
75 percent of employees feel inspired to do their best each day
68 percent of IT employees feel their efforts at work are recognized and valued, 5 percent higher than employees surveyed overall
67 percent indicate they trust their company leadership to make good decisions for the workforce, up 4 percent from last quarter
67 percent of employees believe their company shares their values
IT workers on the job market:
More than half, 59 percent, of IT employees believe the job market will pick up in 2012 (5 percent higher than employees overall)
80 percent of employees feel secure in their employment (5 percent higher than employees overall)
IT workers feelings towards the future:
More than three-fourths, 77 percent, believe their company has a great future
64 percent believe their company is making the right investments now in their workforce for the future
60 percent report being only a little or not at all concerned about having to take a pay cut
Nearly 60 Percent of Businesses in the US and UK Use Twitter and Facebook for Customer Service
Sword Ciboodle, a provider of customer solutions, and customer experience advisory thinkJar, released the results of a research survey targeting US and UK companies with medium- to large-sized contact centers on their use of social media specifically for customer service. With nearly 400 responses from around the globe, and representation from more than 10 industry verticals, the research helped to reveal insights into how organizations are leveraging social channels for customer service. The analysis covers topics such as the longevity and maturity of the social customer service practice, the integration of social channels with traditional channels, and the decision and selection criteria used to determine social customer service programs.
Survey results indicated that social channels have been strongly embraced, with 59 percent of organizations having adopted Twitter and 60% adopting Facebook, and almost 85 percent of those who have adopted one, have adopted both together. However, while social channels are widely used, participants showed that justification and validation of social customer service is proving to be a challenge. There are a variety of differences in how social channels are used, and factors such as an organization's size, industry and geography also play an important role. Integration of data, as well as finding the right balance between social customer service and more "traditional" channels, is an important part of what companies are wrestling with.
The size of the company is an additional factor in the maturity of its social customer program. For example, 40 percent of respondents in companies with 1000 or more contact center agents say that their social customer service initiatives have been in place for at least two years. In contrast, 53 percent of companies with smaller contact centers say that current programs were implemented within the past year to two years. The reasons behind the move of all companies, regardless of size, to social customer service is customer driven, with 56 percent of respondents implementing social customer service due to customer request, compared with 40 percent that put the programs in place to keep up with competitors.