Survey Shows Flat IT Budgets in 2012, but IT Organizations Must Deliver on Multiple Priorities
IT organizations will have to deliver on multiple priorities without an increase in their IT budget, as CIO IT budgets are expected to be flat, increasing just 0.5 percent, with declining IT budgets in North America and Europe, according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, Inc.'s Executive Programs.
The worldwide CIO survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011, and it included 2,335 CIOs, representing more than $321 billion in CIO IT budgets and covering 37 industries in 45 countries.
CIO's increasingly see technologies such as analytics/business intelligence, mobility, cloud and social in combination rather than isolation to address business priorities. Changing the customer experience requires changing the way the company interacts externally rather than operates internally.
Analytics/business intelligence was the top-ranked technology for 2012 as CIOs are combining analytics with other technologies to create new capabilities. For example, analytics plus supply chain for process management and improvement, analytics plus mobility for field sales and operations, and analytics plus social for customer engagement and acquisition.
Sixty-one percent of enterprises responding to the survey say they will be improving their mobile capability over the next three years. The majority have a mobility strategy that calls for becoming a market leader in their industry -- so there will be significant competition as everyone seeks to be "above average" in its industry.
Overall, CIOs rank growth as their top priority -- despite tough economic conditions and future uncertainties. They are particularly attentive to attracting and retaining customers and to creating products and services.
Meeting business expectations for increased growth, reduced cost or a transformed customer experience normally involves a significant increase in IT resources. Forty-six percent of CIOs reported that their CIO IT budget would increase from 2011 to 2012 in terms of actual spending. The average firm in this year's survey will see a modest budget increase of between 2 and 3 percent.
On a global weighted average basis, CIO IT budgets are anticipated to be essentially flat for 2012. These investments are strongest among enterprises in Latin America (with a 12.7 percent IT budget increase) and the Asia/Pacific region (with a 3.4 percent increase), while investments are weakest among the largest enterprises in North America (decreasing 0.6 percent) and Europe (down 0.7 percent). Larger organizations, those with IT budgets more than $500 million, have continued to cut their IT expenditures, offsetting modest growth in the rest of the survey population.
Technology is playing an increasing role in enterprise growth, innovation and operational performance while technology's definition now incorporates new combinations of traditional IT systems, consumer devices and their respective services.
Research Shows 86% of U.S. Adults will Pay More for a Better Customer Experience
The Annual Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of RightNow among 2,291 U.S. adults, once again shows that delivering exceptional customer experiences is essential for any organization that wants to grow and sustain competitive differentiation in today’s market.
The 2011 CEI Report explores the relationship between consumers and brands. The data reveals that consumers call the shots and want personal and engaging experiences that develop into meaningful relationships with brands. Highlights from the report include:
86 percent of U.S. adults will pay more for a better customer experience.
89 percent of U.S. adults who’ve ever stopped doing business with an organization due to a poor customer experience began doing business with a competitor.
When asked specifically how companies can better engage with consumers to spend more, 54 percent said to improve the overall customer experience.
The CEI Report also tracked the impact social media has had on consumers, finding that:
After a poor customer experience, more than 25 percent (26%) of U.S. adults expressed frustration by posting a negative comment on a social networking site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter message boards, forums).
79 percent of those who shared complaints about poor customer experience online had their complaints ignored (i.e., received no response to their post(s) from the company/organization).
57 percent of those surveyed who received a response had positive reactions to the same company: 46 percent of those surveyed were pleased and 22 percent of those surveyed posted a positive comment about the organization.
Positive engagements create longstanding, loyal relationships; and, as the CEI report uncovered, consumers are willing to pay for it. To maximize this opportunity, brands today need to implement comprehensive, cross channel customer experience programs to meet the ever-evolving needs of the modern consumer.
Mobile Worker Population to Reach 1.3 Billion by 2015
By 2015, the world's mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion, representing 37.2% of the total workforce. According to an updated forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC), the most significant gains will again be in the emerging economies of Asia/Pacific thanks to continued, strong economic growth. The Americas will experience a slower growth rate due to a protracted economic recovery and high rates of unemployment.
Among the key findings from this forecast are the following:
The Americas region, which includes the United States, Canada, and Latin America, will see the number of mobile workers grow from 182.5 million in 2010 to 212.1 million in 2015. North America has the largest number of mobile workers in this region, with 75% of the workforce mobile in 2010.
Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) will see the largest increase in total number of mobile workers with 601.7 million mobile workers in 2010 and 838.7 million in 2015. Much of this is due to the sheer size of the population in China and India, combined with strong economic expansion in both countries.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the mobile workforce will see a healthy compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6% as it expands from 186.2 million in 2010 to 244.6 million mobile workers in 2015.
Japan will see a declining CAGR of 0.2% because of its declining population base. However, the share of mobile workers will reach a penetration rate of 64.8% of its workforce by 2015, for a total of 38.6 million mobile workers.
Gartner says Worldwide IT Spending to Grow 3.7 Percent in 2012
Worldwide IT spending is forecast to total $3.8 trillion in 2012, a 3.7 percent increase from 2011, according to the latest outlook by Gartner, Inc. In 2011, worldwide IT spending totaled $3.7 trillion, up 6.9 percent from 2010 levels.
Gartner has revised downward its outlook for 2012 global IT spending from its previous forecast of 4.6 percent growth. All four major technology sectors computing hardware, enterprise software, IT services and telecommunications equipment and services are expected to experience slower spending growth in 2012 than previously forecast.
The Thailand floods, that left one-third of the country under water, are having serious implications for businesses worldwide, particularly with computer and storage purchases.
Although large PC OEMs will see fewer problems than others in the industry, no company will be wholly immune to the effects on the HDD supply chain. Gartner has reduced its shipment forecast for PCs, which has impacted the short-term outlook for the hardware sector. The impact of HDD supply constraints on HDD and PC shipments in the first half of the year compound the cautious environment for hardware spending in general.
Telecom equipment spending is projected to show the strongest growth, with revenue increasing 6.9 percent in 2012, followed by the enterprise software market, which will grow 6.4 percent.
New research from customer management leader Convergys Corporation shows that consumers welcome proactive outreach from service and sales organizations, but only when companies make the interaction relevant by first understanding the consumer’s individual needs and interests.
The Convergys 2011 U.S. Customer Scorecard Research offers an in-depth view of contact preferences – by topic and channel -- and underscores the importance of analytics tools that provide the insights essential to making interactions worthwhile for consumers and companies alike. When communications are on the mark, consumers are receptive to outreach on a variety of issues:
60% of consumers want to be informed of excessive or unusual usage or fraud, and about special offers and discounts;
51% want to learn about product/service upgrades;
43% say it's "okay" to contact them for feedback on the quality of service;
41% approve of a reminder about a payment or deadline renewal.
However, although many consumers are open to proactive outreach, companies often squander the opportunity by using generalized outreach that alienates consumers. According to the Convergys research, nearly one out of every four consumers who complain about the effort of working with companies specifically cite company employees who waste their time trying to sell them something they don’t want.
In addition to favored topics, consumers also expressed specific channel preferences. Nearly three-quarters of respondents preferred e-mail outreach, while more than half said contact via U.S. mail or telephone were also acceptable. Automated and new media channels were less popular, with only one in five consumers preferring IVR and text messages, and fewer than in one in ten saying they prefer to be contacted by social media.