Survey Shows Connection Between a Good Sound Environment, Employee Satisfaction and Increased Productivity in the Contact Center
Contact centers can be noisy places to work. The sound and disruptions from the many calls taking place at the same time can result in missed sales opportunities, misunderstandings and reduced productivity. A recent study conducted by Jabra and analyst firm, Frost & Sullivan, found that 73% of contact center managers surveyed rated quality headsets as the number one factor for creating a satisfactory work environment. The study polled 250 contact center managers in five countries around the globe to research the connection between a good sound environment, employee satisfaction and increased productivity in the contact center.
Distracting sounds that break the concentration of a contact center agent are an issue within both outbound and inbound contact centers. Ninety one percent of the contact center managers surveyed actively strive to reduce sound disturbances by removing background noise caused by loud coffee machines or copiers away from the active work area and by laying carpets over wooden floors. Just as important, 89% are working on improving the sound quality of the actual conversations.
Reducing background noise is especially crucial for large contact centers with 500 or more agents. According to the survey, 95% of these managers were acutely aware of sound disturbances and, in addition to helping reduce the background noise, have chosen to implement headsets with noise cancellation features in order to optimize the sound quality of conversations. Seventy three percent of managers polled responded that a quality headset was the most important factor in creating a good work environment in the contact center. That number jumped to 91% in large contact centers where managers said that a quality headset is key to reducing stress and increasing employee satisfaction - and thereby productivity.
Emerging Markets will Generate $1.22 Trillion in IT Spending in 2012
Emerging markets will generate $1.22 trillion in IT spending in 2012, representing more than 31 percent of the worldwide total, according to Gartner, Inc. The emerging regions of Asia/Pacific (which exclude the mature markets of Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan), Latin America, the Middle East and Africa (minus mature Israel), and Central and Eastern Europe, continue to show positive IT momentum, despite economic deceleration and a high degree of financial uncertainty in mature markets.
From a regional perspective, Latin America will generate nearly $326 billion in IT spending in 2012, of which professional markets will represent 48.4 percent of the total IT market in reaching $157.7 billion in 2012. Consumer markets in Latin America will reach $168 billion in 2012.
IT spending in the Middle East and Africa is expected to reach $244 billion in 2012, with Saudi Arabia, Turkey and South Africa accounting for nearly 35 percent of this revenue. The Middle East and Africa professional markets represent 38 percent of the total IT market in the region, and will reach $93 billion in 2012.
Central and Eastern Europe are expected to generate nearly $158 billion in IT spending in 2012. Professional markets will represent 48.2 percent of this, totaling $76 billion, while the consumer market is predicted to reach $81.7 billion. Russia's share of IT spending in the region in 2012 is expected for be nearly 45 percent, followed by Poland with 11.8 percent, the Czech Republic with 7.7 percent and Hungary with 3.7 percent.
IT spending in emerging Asia/Pacific countries is expected to reach $496 billion in IT spending in 2012. Emerging Asia/Pacific professional markets will reach 42 percent of the total IT spending in the region, while consumer IT spending will reach $288 billion in 2012.
CEO Survey Shows 2012 is the Year of Living Hesitantly
2012 is the year of living hesitantly, as 85 percent of CEOs surveyed said they believe their enterprises will be impacted by an economic downturn in 2012, according to Gartner, Inc.
The Gartner CEO and senior business executive survey of more than 220 CEOs in user organizations from more than 25 countries was conducted in November and December of 2011. Qualified organizations were those with annual revenue of $500 million or more. The survey results show that many CEOs believe that an economic downturn will impact their companies in 2012. Although concerns are less severe in Asia/Pacific and North America than in Europe and Africa, it is the dominant point of view within each of the three geographies.
While the economy is certainly a concern for chief executives, the survey results showed by a ratio of more than two to one that CEOs said they will increase IT investment in 2012, rather than cut it.
Gartner analysts said the difficulty with investing in newer technologies for strategic outcomes is that organizations need the right kinds of leadership and change management. Many business leaders learned the hard way in the 1990s and 2000s that simply buying and installing technology doesnít deliver results if itís not carefully directed and delivered in conjunction with coordinated changes to policies, processes, organization, roles and culture.
Ninety percent of CEOs can name a company they admire for its use of IT in gaining a competitive advantage, but when restricted to their own industry, a quarter cannot. Apple easily eclipsed everyone as the most admired company for its use of IT, as it accounted for 39 percent of the responses. Google was second with 11 percent share, followed by Amazon at 5.8 percent.
The survey results showed that CEOs are advancing innovation management, but many face a digital business strategy gap. This year, Gartner probed investment attitudes toward innovation management and leadership attribution. Overall, innovation management is advancing with few CEOs cutting innovation, and approximately half the CEOs saying they are investing more.
However, a quarter indicated that they still don't address it as an explicit discipline. When Gartner asked who leads innovation in their firms, approximately one-third of the CEOs selected themselves. After that, a wide variety of executive and senior management leaders were named, however CIOs were rarely identified, and CFOs were never identified.
Most CEOs know what new information they need now and in the future, so their CIOs must keep pace. In this year's survey, Gartner asked the: "If there was one additional piece of information you could use, what would it be?" Nearly all the CEOs had a specific answer close at hand. Most were in the areas of customer and sales information or competitor information. Gartner also asked CEOs what new kinds of information will disrupt their industries during the next five years. About half the CEOs could not give a good answer; however, the other half provided a wide range of ideas, demonstrating that thinking about the new kinds of information that technology will make available is a potential source of competitive advantage between firms.
The survey results showed most CEOs still regard their CIOs as itinerant specialists. The role needs development attention. The CFO was, by far, the most cited close strategy advisor to the CEO in the survey, while CIOs were rarely mentioned. In an age of such digital disruption to business, many CIO roles remain underinvested. Most CEOs thought the best next step for their CIOs would be to do the same job in the same industry or in another industry. Few thought they would move on to a business leadership role.
'Can I Turn on the Coffee Pot With My Computer?' Unusual Support Requests
Can you help me fix my toilet?" Believe it or not, the person who asked this question was calling his company's IT help desk, not the plumber. It's just one of the unusual requests chief information officers (CIOs) said they or their support staff have received, according to a new Robert Half Technology survey. These types of inquiries aren't all that bizarre for help desk professionals, and they demonstrate it often takes patience, as well as technical know-how, to assist colleagues at work.
The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees.
CIOs were asked, "What is the strangest or most unusual request you or a member of your help desk or technical support team has ever received?" Their responses included:
"How do I clean cat hair out of my computer fan?"
"How do I remove a sesame seed from the keyboard?"
"I need help drilling holes in the wall."
"Can you come over and plug in this cord for me?"
"I need you to install a video monitoring system."
"Can I turn on the coffee pot with my computer?"
"I dropped my phone in the toilet. What should I do?"
"I want to download software to change an audio file to video."
"How do I pirate software?"
Help desk professionals are known for lending a hand even if a request falls outside their job description, but these employees took the concept too far:
"We need you to fix the microwave in the lunchroom."
"Can you recommend a good dry cleaner?"
"Can you help me fix my chair?"
"Can you help us get money out of the vending machine?"
"I can't find my packages online! Can you help me?"
"Can you help me fix my toilet?"
"My car's cup holder is broken. Can you fix it?"
"Can you help me repair a washing machine?"
"Where can I find a video of Elvis Presley online?"
Help desk professionals are willing to answer just about any technical question, but some end users may want to enroll in a "Computer 101" course:
"I'd like to download the entire Internet so I can take it with me."
"How do I start the Internet?"
"Will you show me how to use the mouse?"
"My computer won't turn on or off." (The computer was unplugged.)
US Tech Market will Grow by 7.5% in 2012, 8.3% in 2013
With the US economy showing signs of improvement, the US tech market has been rejuvenated, according to a new US tech market forecast from Forrester, which is forecasting US tech market growth of 7.5% in 2012. This is up from the 6.6% growth projected in November 2011. For 2013, Forrester is forecasting 8.3% growth. Including telecom services, business and government spending on information and communications technology (ICT) will increase by 7.1% in 2012 and 7.4% in 2013.
The lead tech growth category will shift from computer equipment in 2011 to software in 2012 and 2013. Software growth will occur across all categories, but software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, general business intelligence products, and specialized analytical tools will have the strongest growth. These products will help push total software sales growth up to 11.4% in 2012 and 12% in 2013.