Convergence of Digital Technologies Opens Doors for Enterprise Growth
Mobility is the most important digital technology priority for large enterprises, a new global study by Accenture has found. Reflecting its role as an enabler of other technologies in today’s digital businesses, 43 percent of respondents ranked mobility as a top one or two priority, with 77 percent placing it in the top five. Big data analytics came next with 72 percent putting it in the top five, followed by connected products at 65 percent.
Over one third of enterprises (35 percent) expect the convergence of social, mobile, analytics, cloud and connected products – grouped together as digital technologies – to increase their sales in existing markets, according to this research. Three quarters view the adoption of digital technologies as a strategic investment rather than something to be evaluated on a case by case basis, as 29 percent expect their adoption to generate additional revenue; 28 percent plan to build entirely new digital businesses or services as a result of convergence, and 27 percent expect to penetrate new markets altogether, showing significant promise around the world from mobility and digital technologies, and demonstrating that they are viewed as drivers for better engagement with customers, and the creation of new revenue streams.
However, new revenue streams are not the only financial consideration. One in ten respondents reported over 100 percent return on investment (ROI) for mobility implementations in the last two years, and while a further 26 percent saw returns of between 50 and 100 percent, those with the greatest ROI, the leaders, shared common traits in their approach to new technologies, which are viewed as enabling operational efficiency and long-term growth.
Organizations with over 100 percent ROI, of whom over two thirds claimed to have effectively adopted and deployed mobile technologies compared to 45 percent of others, shared a number of common traits:
A formal, enterprise-wide mobility strategy and measurement: Eleven percent more likely than other respondents to have a formal, enterprise-wide mobility strategy, leaders are ahead of the curve. This year, 43 percent of enterprises on average were found to have developed a formal mobile strategy, a vast improvement on the 23 percent that claimed one in a similar survey carried out by Accenture last year. Processes and metrics also offered insight, as 29 percent of leaders have a formal process for identifying, evaluating and prioritizing ways in which mobility can benefit business, versus only 18 percent of others. For leaders and others, measurement is shown as a low priority, as only 22 percent of the former and 13 percent of the latter have formal metrics in place to measure the effectiveness of mobility initiatives.
An aggressive, ambitious attitude: Over half the leaders (54 percent) reported having aggressively pursued and invested in mobile technologies across their business, considering mobility as a key tenet of business strategy. Compared to just 40 percent of other respondents, this was also reflected by leaders being more likely to report they have effectively adopted and deployed mobile technologies (69 percent versus 42 percent). Leaders were also more likely to believe that all the major digital technologies are a top-five priority, an average eight percent ahead of those companies performing less well in mobility projects.
Securing senior leadership buy-in: Leaders showed a higher likelihood to report that the CEO and the leadership team or board of directors ultimately own their mobile strategy, and that their companies’ senior leadership are highly engaged with the organization’s mobility initiatives. Amongst all respondents, 35 percent had CEOs involved in formulating mobile strategy, with 30 percent of CMOs or equivalent also having a say.
The study found that only 30 percent of respondents believed they had the right talent and skills to properly plan and execute their mobility initiatives, which goes part way to explaining why only 27 percent feel they keep pace with new mobile devices, systems and services, adopting them as necessary to improve their businesses.
IDC: On-Demand Contact Center Services Forecast Shows U.S. Spending Will Grow to $1.6 Billion in 2018
In a newly released study, International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that U.S. spending for on-demand (cloud) contact center services will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5% to $1.6 billion in 2018. A majority of companies are using or evaluating a hosted or on-demand solution for their contact center, according to IDC demand-side data.
Key research findings include:
-- While the majority of companies are still using on-premise contact center solutions, most of them are also using or evaluating a hosted or on-demand contact center service. IDC survey data shows that 39% of respondents were using a hosted or on-demand service, 38% were evaluating a hosted or on-demand service, and only 23% were using an on-premise system and not evaluating the hosted or on-demand model.
-- Factors contributing to the growth of hosted and on-demand contact center services include cost reduction and pricing model, cloud-based outsourcing, increased shift in spending, and multi-channel customer care.
-- As customer experience becomes more of a strategic focus for enterprises and the pressures for speed, flexibility, and multi-channel increase, hosted and on-demand contact center services must continue to evolve to keep up to client expectations and support consumers' future channels of preference.
Deloitte Releases 5th Annual Tech Trends Report: Top 10 Trends
Deloitte’s 5th Annual Tech Trends Report, titled Inspiring Disruption, examines the changing landscape of technology and how multiple disruptive technology forces are converging on and impacting business today. The study focuses on the next 18-24 months and is divided into two categories – enablers and disruptors.
Disruptors represent opportunities for technology executives to create sustainable positive changes in IT capabilities, business operations and business models. The current report features: CIO as Venture Capitalist, Cognitive Analytics, Industrialized Crowdsourcing, Digital Engagement and Wearables.
Enablers are technologies in which many organizations have already invested, but new developments and opportunities have inspired new business applications, thereby warranting a fresh look. The current report features: Technical Debt Reversal, Social Activation, Cloud Orchestration, In-memory Revolution and Real-time DevOps.
Example of trends that Inspire Disruption includes:
-- CIO as venture capitalist - CIOs who want to help drive business growth and innovation will likely need to develop a new mindset and new capabilities. Like venture capitalists, CIOs should actively manage their IT portfolio in a way that drives enterprise value and evaluate portfolio performance in terms that business leaders understand—value, risk and time horizon to reward. CIOs who can combine this with agility and align the desired talent can reshape how they run the business of IT.
-- Wearables - Wearable computing has many forms, such as glasses, watches, smart badges and bracelets. The potential is tremendous: hands-free, heads-up technology to reshape how work gets done, how decisions are made and how you engage with employees, customers and partners. Wearables introduce technology to previously prohibitive scenarios where safety, logistics, or even etiquette constrained the usage of laptops and smartphones. While consumer wearables are in the spotlight today, we expect business to drive acceptance and transformative use cases.
-- Cloud orchestration - Cloud adoption across the enterprise is a growing reality, but much of the usage is in addition to on-premises systems—not in replacement. As cloud services continue to expand, organizations are increasingly connecting cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-core systems—in strings, clusters, storms and more—cobbling together discrete services for an end-to-end business process. Tactical adoption of cloud is giving way to the need for a coordinated, orchestrated strategy—and for a new class of cloud offerings built around business outcomes.
-- Social activation - Over the years, the focus of social business has shifted from measuring volume to monitoring sentiment and, now, toward changing perceptions. In today’s recommendation economy, organizations should focus on measuring the perception of their brand and then on changing how people feel, share and evangelize. Organizations can activate their audiences to drive their message outward—handing them an idea and getting them to advocate it in their own words to their own network.
Not Good News for IT Professionals – Salaries Remain Flat
The 2014 Salary Survey, just released by Janco Associates and eJobDescription.com, is not good news for IT Professionals. The survey shows that hiring and salaries has not significantly improved for IT professionals in most North American metropolitan areas.
Salaries are up less than 1% for IT pros in the past 12 months and the only winners are the top level postions in mid-sized companies. Salaries for most IT pros have finally gotten back to the level they were at in 2007 and that is a very good sign.
The seven major findings of the survey are:
-- IT compensation for all IT Professionals has increased by 0.67% in the last 12 months.
-- CIOs compensation has stayed flat in larger companies and increased in smaller and mid-sized companies in the past 12 months.
-- Positions in highest demand are all associated with the quality control, BYOD implementation, and service level improvement.
-- Over the long term IT executives have fared better in mid-sized companies than large companies.
-- In 2013 the IT job market grew by 74,900 versus 62,500 in 2012 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – better but not enough to employee the number of IT graduates from US universities or to increase demand.
-- Lay-offs seem to have tapered off, however some companies continue to cut the size of the IT organizations.
-- Cost control is still the rule of the day; however we have seen an increase in the number of "part-timers" and contractors who are focused on particular critical projects. This has resulted in few IT Pros getting health coverage
-- Companies are continuing to refine the benefits provided to full time IT professionals. Though benefits such as health care are available to 80%, IT professionals are now paying a greater portion of that cost.
Contact Center Satisfaction Index Drops 10 Percent in 2013
In its seventh year, CFI Group's Contact Center Satisfaction Index (CCSI), finds customer satisfaction with company contact centers dropped a whopping 10 percent in 2013. With a score of 69 (on a 100 point scale), the 2013 score reflects an eight point pull back from the record high of 77 in 2012.
The only ongoing national study of its kind, the 2013 CCSI collected data from more than 1,500
consumers across six major industries: banking, cell phone service, health insurance, property insurance, retail, and cable or satellite TV.
Beyond basic policies and procedures, CFI Group advances two hypotheses for the large drop coming from the larger world environment. The first is that consumers have low confidence with the economy and government and are generally fatigued as the economy continues to stall, leading to the score backlash. The second is that after years of steady growth in performance, consumers have built an expectation of great service, and contact centers failed to meet it this year.
While overall satisfaction is dropping, the research identified an opportunity for contact centers to increase satisfaction through non-call channels. In 2013, the desire for self-paced or instantaneous service continued to grow. Almost half of respondents indicated their preferred method of contact would be a non-call communication, such as email, chat or via the company's website.
Chat as a preferred customer service tool has remained steady at nearly 10 percent for the past two years. The adoption of chat and its growing preference is evident as 63 percent of this year's respondents indicated that they actively look for the chat function when visiting a company's site.
The CCSI also found that social media is growing as an avenue for customers to share and voice opinions in a community setting and for businesses to conduct damage control. Nearly 40 percent of respondents turned to social media to voice a concern, increasing from 17 percent of respondents in 2012.