Over 80 percent of IT managers think that enterprises with a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy hold a competitive advantage over other organizations, according to research commissioned by BT.
The research, which surveyed attitudes towards employees' use of their own laptops, tablets and smartphones for work, covered 2,000 IT users and IT managers in 11 countries and from a range of sectors. It suggests that BYOD has arrived -- over four in five companies say they already allow BYOD or will do so within the next 24 months and sixty per cent of employees claim they are already allowed to connect personally-owned devices to the corporate network.
The study reveals that both employees and decision makers are positive about the opportunities presented by the growing use of personal devices on corporate networks. Sixty-four percent of IT managers think that having a BYOD policy will enable employees to be more productive. Forty-eight percent think it will also allow employees to work more flexibly and 47 percent think it will enable employees to serve customers better. This sentiment is shared by employees -- 42 percent of employees using their own device for work believe that they are more efficient and productive as a result.
Despite these benefits IT managers are nervous. Only one in ten think that all BYOD users recognize the risks and less than one in five believe all users understand the access/permissions related to their mobile devices. And it appears IT managers are nervous with some justification. Of employees who use their own device for work, one in three see "no risk" in using their own device in a work context and just a quarter recognize the significant risk they pose to company security.
Thirty-nine percent of enterprises have experienced a security breach due to employees bringing in unauthorized devices -- most commonly in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and pharmaceuticals sectors. More than four out of five (83 percent) of IT decision makers believe that putting 24/7 access to corporate systems into the hands of an increasingly mobile workforce is now the main threat to corporate IT security.
Mid-Market Executives Focus on Moving Forward During Uncertain Economic Recovery
In the wake of a slower, less predictable economic recovery, mid-market executives are adapting to managing uncertainty, according to Deloitte’s “Mid-Market Perspectives: 2012 Report on America’s Economic Engine.” The annual survey of 528 U.S. executives indicates that 86 percent of respondents believe that continued uncertainty is tempering their expectations for economic growth. To prepare for continuing, uneven market conditions, mid-market executives are taking careful actions in three key areas in 2012; talent, finance and technology.
In last year's survey, respondents were overly optimistic about hiring plans. This year, executives are investing in their people and moderating plans to hire new employees:
The percentage of executives planning to expand their domestic workforce dropped to 42 percent from 48 percent in 2011.
Despite high unemployment, every executive interviewed acknowledged that it is difficult to find certain categories of skilled talent especially in engineering, healthcare, and IT.
More companies (51 percent) plan to invest in their existing workforce through training compared to last year (34 percent). Additionally, fewer firms plan to increase the number of part-time workers (only 13 percent compared with 18 percent in 2011).
Mid-market companies remain focused on balance sheet health and improving their cash positions while continuing to invest.
Thirty-five percent of respondents are predicting higher cash balances.
Ninety percent expect capital investment to grow or at least remain stable.
Twenty-seven percent are not planning to secure external financing this year, compared to 14 percent last year.
Interestingly, only 7 percent of privately held mid-market companies would consider going public in the next year.
Last year's survey showed that mid-market executives understand the importance of technology to their business. This year, respondents re-affirmed that technology continues to be vital to increasing productivity.
Business process automation remains the top investment pick to increase productivity for 46 percent (down from 52 percent last year).
Forty percent– up from 29 percent last year – recognize cloud computing and Software as a Service (Saas) as one of the top three technology investments for 2012.
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.