More Than Half of IT Professionals Make Undocumented Changes to IT Systems
Netwrix, a provider of change and configuration auditing software, released results of a new survey, which finds that a majority, 57%, of IT professionals have made undocumented changes to their IT systems that no one else knows about; while as many as 40% of organizations don't have formal IT change management controls in place. Frequent system changes without documentation or audit processes can cause system downtime and security breaches from internal and external threats, while decreasing overall operational efficiency.
The Netwrix survey, '2014 State of IT Changes', collected data from 577 IT professionals in organisations across multiple industries and range of sizes. Key study findings show that of the respondents:
--65% have made changes that caused services to stop
--52% make changes that impact system downtime daily or weekly
--39% have made a change that was the root cause of a security breach
--40% make changes that impact security daily or weekly. Interestingly, industries with higher regulations are making changes that impact security more often, including healthcare (44%) and financial (46%).
--62% have little or no real ability to audit the changes they make, revealing serious gaps in meeting security best practice and compliance objectives
--Just 23% have an auditing process or change auditing solution in place to validate changes are being entered into a change management solution
With consumers engaging more directly with businesses through mobile and social media, more than 60 percent of CIOs will focus more heavily on improving the customer experience and getting closer to customers, according to a new report released by IBM.
The report, entitled “Moving from the Back Office to the Front Lines - CIO Insights from the Global C-suite Study” is based on face-to-face conversations with more than 1,600 CIOs from 70 countries and 20 industries worldwide. The research, conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, reveals that customers drive CIOs to turn their focus to the front lines.
More than 80 percent of CIOs report they are shifting their focus to the front office where marketing, sales and service managers work directly with customers. To do so, they are investing in new technologies to gain deeper insights into customer data. Examples of these items include sentiment mining and social network analysis to identify unique behavioral patterns and reliably predict critical trends.
New Technologies for Engagement
CIOs at outperforming enterprises recognize that technology factors will have a significant impact on their organizations, according to IBM’s study. This focus on technology represents a notable shift over the past five years -- in 2009, CIOs ranked technology factors as their sixth biggest pressure point behind categories like market factors and macro-economic changes.
Getting the basics right has become table stakes for CIOs looking to push their enterprise forward with new engagement and technology delivery platforms. In fact, 66 percent of CIOs believe their IT departments have mastered the basics of technology within their firms. This investment in knowledge and skills is freeing up CIOs to look at new platforms that enable them to build a “Customer-Activated” enterprise.
As customer engagement becomes a critical driver for CIOs, cloud computing has soared in importance with 64 percent of CIOs naming it as part of their visionary plans compared to 30 percent in 2009. Likewise, mobility solutions have also experienced a similar jump in importance with 84 percent saying it’s their top focus compared to 68 percent in 2009. With these as a main driver, two-thirds of CIOs are now exploring how to better serve and collaborate with customers using cloud computing and social networking tools.
Training and Certifications Important to IT Professionals’ Career Growth but Employer Support Lacking
Spiceworks, a professional network for IT, announced the results of a new survey examining the IT training and certification priorities and plans of IT professionals in North America and EMEA. The report “Making the Tech Grade” shows 84 percent of IT professionals believe IT training is very to extremely valuable, and most believe it can increase job opportunities and salaries. However, 39 percent of IT professionals say their employer places limited to no value on IT training, and 54 percent said they would pay for all or some of their training courses on their own.
More than 75 percent of IT professionals plan to enroll in new training in 2014
-- According to the IT professionals surveyed, 47 percent took at least one training course in 2013, and 78 percent plan to enroll in a course this year. Of those who are not planning to take a training course in 2014, 67 percent plan to train themselves, 63 percent believe training is too expensive, and 62 percent don’t believe they have enough time.
-- When asked what specific types of training courses they were planning to take in 2014, 43 percent said virtualization training, 39 percent cited networking, and 34 percent said operating system and information security courses.
-- Of those who have taken or plan to take a training course in 2014, 62 percent plan to attend a self-paced, online course while 44 percent plan to attend an instructor-led class.
Overwhelming majority of IT professionals see certifications as at least somewhat valuable
-- Ninety percent of the IT professionals surveyed see vendor certifications as somewhat to extremely valuable, although only 19 percent received a new certification in 2013. Forty-one percent are planning to receive a new certification in 2014.
-- IT professionals believe certifications can have a positive impact on their career. Sixty-seven percent said they can help increase the job opportunities available to them, 55 percent said they can improve their credibility and half said certifications can help increase their salary or rate.
-- Vendor certifications IT professionals view as important to their careers mirrored their training priorities. Certifications from Microsoft, Cisco and VMware were rated as the most important to have.
Global Business Growth Jeopardized by the Failure of Organizations to Adjust to 21st-Century Workforce
The highly connected and global 21st-century workforce is here and, according to the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2014 report, organizations are not prepared to respond to the challenges it represents. According to the report, the single biggest challenge cited by most (86 percent) respondents is leadership development, followed by retention and engagement (79 percent), and reskilling the HR function (77 percent). Importantly, most respondents indicate that their organizations are not ready to address these challenges.
The 12 trends identified in the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2014 report can be analyzed within three major categories: 1) attracting and engaging, 2) leading and developing, and 3) transforming and reengineering the HR function. Trends highlighted in the report include:
Attract & Engage
Reinventing talent acquisition: Even as the majority of respondents (62 percent) say their organizations rely on social tools for sourcing and advertising positions, when it comes to fully utilizing analytics for recruitment and staffing, more than half (54 percent) indicate that their practices are “weak.”
The overwhelmed employee: Information overload and the always connected 24/7 work environment are overwhelming workers, undermining productivity and contributing to low employee engagement. Sixty-five percent of executives responding to the survey rate the overwhelmed employee phenomenon as being an urgent or important trend, while 44 percent say that they are “not ready” to deal with it.
Engaging the 21st-century employee: Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2015, and 66 percent of the respondents report “weak” capabilities when it comes to providing focused leadership programs for Millennials and 58 percent of executives report “weak” capabilities in “providing programs for younger, older and multi-generational workforces,” underscoring the challenges associated with a multi-generational 21st-century workforce.
Shifting from diversity to inclusion: Nearly all respondents say their organizations promote diversity, but most fail to realize the business benefits of a diverse workforce. About one-third (34 percent) of respondents say their organizations are unprepared in this area, while only 20 percent claim to be fully ready.
Lead & Develop
Developing leaders at all levels: Eighty-six percent of respondents in the Deloitte survey rate leadership as “urgent” or “important,” however, only 13 percent say they do an excellent job in developing global leaders.
The quest for workforce capability: While 75 percent of respondents rate “workforce capability” as an “urgent” or “important” challenge, only 15 percent believe they are ready to address it.
Time to replace “rank and yank”: Even as the nature of the work done by a majority of employees has changed dramatically, the way organizations evaluate employees has not. Only eight percent of respondents believe their organization’s performance management process drives high levels of value, while 58 percent say their current performance management process is not an effective use of time.
Corporate learning redefined: More than two-thirds (70 percent) of respondents surveyed see new learning methods, such as free online and mobile learning platforms, as “urgent” or “important,” yet only six percent say they have mastered the content and technology capabilities needed to make online learning accessible and compelling for their employees.
Transform & Reinvent
Delivering on big data: Talent analytics is starting to enable HR departments to make informed talent decisions, predict employee performance, and enable advanced workforce planning. While 78 percent of respondents from large organizations (with 10,000 or more employees) rated HR and talent analytics as “urgent” or “important,” enough to place analytics among the top three most urgent trends, 45 percent of the same respondents rated themselves “not ready” when assessing their readiness in HR analytics—among the lowest readiness rankings for any of the 12 global trends.
Racing to the cloud: Organizations are rapidly moving away from legacy systems to implement a new breed of highly integrated, cloud-based talent and HR systems. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Deloitte’s respondents say that HR technologies are “urgent” and “important” and yet 56 percent report no definitive plans for their HR systems.
The global and local HR function: Global HR and Talent Management, an integrated global operating model that allows for customizable local implementation, is the second most “urgent” and “important” trend for large organizations around the world (those with 10,000 or more employees), according to the survey.
Reskilling the HR team: More than one-third (34 percent) of the respondents report that their HR and talent programs are just “getting by” or even “underperforming” and twice as many respondents rate HR and talent programs as “underperforming” (10
Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2014
Temkin Group has published a data snapshot, Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2014. This annual research effort shows a strong surge of CX activity in 2014, which will outpace the effort, spending, and hiring in 2013. Areas gaining momentum in 2014 include text analytics, web and mobile experiences, and CX consultants.
Here are some additional findings from the research:
-- Sixty-three percent of companies expect to spend significantly more or somewhat more on customer experience in 2014 than they did in 2013, which is up from 54% in 2012 and 46% in 2011.
-- 51% of companies plan to increase the staffing of their centralized customer experience team in 2014, while only 3% expect a decrease.
-- When it comes to areas of CX spending, text analytics has the most spending momentum while market research firms have the least.
-- Executive commitment has reached an all-time high as 84% of the respondents agree that their executives are fully committed to their company’s customer experience goals.
-- 78% of companies plan on dedicating significantly more or somewhat more effort to improving their web experience in 2014
-- There is a surge in focus on phone agent experience.
-- Eighty-four percent of companies expect to increase their focus on customer experience measurements and metrics.
-- CX executive dashboards and customer journey mapping are the two CX activities that had the largest increase in focus since last year.
-- While 73% of companies with the most positive CX impact understand the link between customer experience and business results, only 35% of companies with the least positive CX impact claim the same.