Nearly 1 Billion Smart Connected Devices Shipped in 2011 with Shipments Expected to Double by 2016
The universe of smart connected devices, including PCs, media tablets, and smartphones, saw shipments of more than 916 million units and revenues surpassing $489 billion dollars in 2011, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). These numbers reflect the combined total from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, Mobile Phone Tracker, and Media Tablet Tracker.
Looking ahead, unit shipments for smart connected devices should top 1.1 billion worldwide in 2012. By 2016, IDC predicts shipments will reach 1.84 billion units, more than double the 2011 figure, as consumers and business of all shapes and sizes around the world are showing a nearly insatiable appetite for smart connected devices. This works out to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.4% for the five-year forecast period.
In terms of platforms, IDC expects a relatively dramatic shift between 2011 and 2016, with the once-dominant Windows on x86 platform, consisting of PCs running the Windows operating system on any x86-compatible CPU, slipping from a leading 35.9% share in 2011 down to 25.1% in 2016. The number of Android-based devices running on ARM CPUs, on the other hand, will grow modestly from 29.4% share in 2011 to a market-leading 31.1% share in 2016. Meanwhile, iOS-based devices will grow from 14.6% share in 2011 to 17.3% in 2016.
2012 IT Budgets up by 20% but Employer Fears Loom Regarding Losing IT Talent
According to two just-released surveys by Boca Raton-based Information Technology (IT) search and staffing firm, PROTECH, IT budgets and salaries continue to increase while employers show increased concern about losing their IT employees.
Average 2012 IT budgets increased to 10.2% from 8.5% in 2011. The 10th Annual Tech Leadership survey also revealed 42% of Tech Leaders plan to increase IT staff this year (up by 13% compared to 2011). And 57% of Tech Executives are concerned about losing top IT talent in 2012 (up by 14%). The top reason continues to be compensation with a 58% response (up by 35% from 2011).
The number of companies offering professional development and technical training jumped to 88% in 2012 from 63% in 2011 (almost a 40% increase). And for the first time since 2006, employee retention and training came up as key non-technology priorities for IT hiring executives.
A marked shift is also taking place towards direct employment versus temp staffing in this year's survey, showing the balance of direct employees up by 21% compared to 2011. "Employers are more confident about making longer term hiring decisions in IT which can further propel corporate growth and streamline operations," said Vazquez.
The 8th Annual Tech Talent survey showed the most important aspects when considering a job being salary; followed by stability, benefits, work-life balance and career growth. Flextime/telecommuting was cited as the best perk offered by a past/present employer followed by bonuses (including sign-on, retention and annual bonuses).
Employees received an average 2011 pay increase of 3.5% from the 2% they received in 2010. "We are effectively now in an employee-driven market due to low unemployment in IT and specialized candidates weighing multiple job offers," said Vazquez.
PROTECH surveyed over 700 IT Director to CIO level executives for its 10th annual Tech Leadership Survey; and over 15,000 IT professionals for its 8th annual Tech Talent survey. All participants are located in Florida's Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Additional survey highlights:
Economic Outlook: The number of Tech Executives who perceive the current health of the overall economy as "Getting Stronger" this year was 56% versus 53% in 2011.
The top three technology-related priorities for 2012 are "Infrastructure Upgrades" (38%); "Web site redesign" (23%); and "New Large Applications Development endeavor" (20%).
56% of tech leaders reported the IT function being viewed as "critical" within their organizations (up from 50% in 2011).
How Cloud Computing is Generating New Business Opportunities and Fueling Job Growth in the United States
Cloud computing is a powerful catalyst for job creation and has greater potential for employment growth than the Internet did in its early years, according to a new study by the Sand Hill Group, sponsored by SAP America, Inc., a subsidiary of SAP AG.
According to the study, cloud computing is already generating a sizable number of jobs in the U.S. today. Based on numerous trends and indicators, it has the future potential to create very large business opportunities and hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the U.S. The study, titled “Job Growth in the Forecast: How Cloud Computing is Generating New Business Opportunities and Fueling Job Growth in the United States,” looked at several ways cloud computing may create jobs and found specifically:
Eleven cloud computing companies added 80,000 jobs in the United States in 2010, and the employment growth rate at these organizations was almost five times than that of the high-tech sector overall.
Companies selling cloud services are projected to grow revenues by an average of US$20 billion per year for the next five years, which has the potential to generate as many as 472,000 jobs in the U.S. and abroad in the next five years.
Venture capital investments in cloud opportunities are projected to be US$30 billion in the next five years, which could add another 213,000 new jobs in the U.S.
The economic impact for companies buying cloud services can be even more significant. Cloud computing could save U.S. businesses as much as US$625 billion over five years, much of which could be reinvested to create new business opportunities and additional jobs.
Survey: Service Providers Have an Opportunity to Substantially Reduce Call Center Traffic with Proactive and Improved Self-Care Options
Amdocs, a provider of customer experience systems, announced the results of a global survey that highlights the critical business importance of effective self-service channels for resolving customer issues. The survey highlights a massive opportunity for service providers to reduce call center costs and to improve customer experience by creating a more complete, consistent and accessible self-service capability, while leveraging customer insight to proactively prevent and eliminate calls.
Key survey findings:
Smartphones still present a challenge: the majority of smartphone users encounter issues related to device or service during the first year of use. 82 percent asked their service provider at least one question, while 50 percent had two or more questions.
Online support can be improved: 75 percent of surveyed consumers said they would prefer to use online support if it were reliable, but only 37 percent currently even try to use self-service options, which are often perceived as inaccurate or incomplete. An overwhelming 91 percent say they would use a single, online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs.
Social media channels are under-used by service providers: more than half of all respondents (54 percent) have already complained directly to their mobile service provider through social media channels, but 73 percent of these respondents said they did not receive satisfactory answers.
The call center picks up the pieces: this lack of satisfactory online support is driving large numbers of consumers to call centers, wasting valuable resources. More than 40 percent of customers contact a call center after they cannot find answers to their question via self-service and up to 50 percent of "How do I ...?" calls could be deflected to self-care channels.
Customers expect proactive care: 96 percent of surveyed consumers expect problem notification without having to ask, preempting calls to a call center. For example, should a problem emerge with email setup on a particular handset, all owners should be proactively sent the solution, without them having to call in to the service provider.
The survey, conducted by Coleman Parkes, analyses the results of questionnaires completed by 2,900 smartphone users between the ages of 18-40 across North America, UK, Asia Pacific and Central and Latin America in January 2012.
Knowlagent, an agent productivity solution for the world’s 10 million call center agents, has sponsored the performance portion of “The U.S. Contact Center Decision-Maker’s Guide".
The report analyzed multiple metrics that help to determine the success for contact centers, but the key findings primarily related to a call center’s performance and productivity include:
Agent Activity -- This year's report found that talk time has declined (58.7 percent, which is down from 65 percent last year), which may be due in part to the introduction of email and text chat. The report also found that an agent spends anywhere from to 12.8 percent to 3.9 percent of their time idle.
First Call Resolution -- Twenty-three percent of this year’s respondents stated that they do not measure first-call resolution at all. Meanwhile, 38 percent measure the success of the call and whether the required business processes were actually successful and 39 percent measure only the success of the call.
Average Handle Time -- Depending on the activity the agent is engaged in, short call duration does not necessarily translate to a satisfied customer.
Customer Satisfaction -- The importance of customer satisfaction continues to increase with 59 percent of respondents saying that this is more important than two years ago.