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New Study: Businesses Fail to Deliver on CEM Programs

A new study from Avaya, a provider of business collaboration and communications solutions and services, investigates the emphasis companies are putting on customer experience management (CEM) and finds that increasingly high expectations are creating a business environment where the majority of organizations are struggling to keep up. While CEM programs are being undertaken on a global scale by businesses of all sizes, the Avaya survey found that China leads the pack with 84 percent of businesses having a CEM solution followed by U.S. (73), India (72), Brazil (63).

CEM activities are strongly tied to business success and growth trajectories. The study found a solid correlation between a strong CEM program and increased profits. Eighty-one percent of those who have seen a significant increase in profits have a CEM program in place, compared to those who have seen profits remain static (46%) or suffered a decrease in profits (35%). Companies see the biggest improvements in customer satisfaction, loyalty, retention and repeat purchasing, which the survey finds is largely attributed to the fact that 88 percent of customers would rather spend their money with companies that make it easy for them to buy.

Despite the fact that 95 percent of business managers say CEM will be important to their organization in 2014, only 59 percent of those surveyed have a comprehensive plan in place. Even with a plan in place, there is no guarantee a CEM approach will garner results, considering 83 percent of companies can only deliver some elements of a personalized customer experience automatically and in real time. In addition, a staggering, 81 percent of organizations have seen their CEM initiatives fail in the last three years. Moreover, 43 percent of Managing Directors, CEOs and owners think the top reason for CEM failure is project misalignment with customer preferences, indicating communication barriers within organizations themselves. Another possible explanation is that companies do not typically associate functions like finance, R&D, IT and operations as dealing with customers. This could be a blind spot in the way they approach and plan CEM initiatives given that people across all departments within the company have direct or indirect contact with customers and prospects and not just the roles typically seen as customer facing.

Today's multichannel/multidisciplinary way of working with customers requires strong support from enabling technology. Of companies without a CEM program, 31% blame its absence on a lack of appropriate technology in place – a figure that rises to 35% of multichannel companies. Avaya’s expertise and insights from working with thousands of companies and organizations has resulted in a portfolio of Customer Experience Management solutions and services that enables the end-to-end experience customers want.
[Full Article]   Apr-29-2014


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
[Full Article]   Apr-18-2014


Survey: CIOs Have a New Boss – Customers

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.
[Full Article]   Mar-18-2014


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.
[Full Article]   Mar-13-2014


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
[Full Article]   Mar-12-2014


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