Gartner Says Correct Categorization Is Key to IT Program Management
The ability to categorize IT programs and assign them appropriate tactics, skills and resources is critical to the generation of positive outcomes, according to Gartner, Inc. Programs that are not properly categorized are significantly more likely to run over budget, to fall short of one or more of the intended objectives, or to fail completely.
To help program managers categorize their programs and plan accordingly, Gartner has identified five types of program:
-- Bottom-up: Multiple projects that are recognized — after they have started — as part of a larger set of problems and as sharing dependencies. They are then assembled into a single program for better control and avoidance of redundancy.
-- Change-oriented: These programs are generally triggered by a high-level need for major change. They normally encompass multiple initiatives that may or may not be formally assembled into a program.
-- Policy-driven: This type of program is unique to government and the public or public service sectors, including government, social, charitable and nongovernmental organizations. A policy-driven program typically enables provision of a law, regulation or defined service — and continues until canceled or no longer funded.
-- Outcome-driven: These programs are driven by a concept of, or a vision for, a product, service or generally identified set of results, or to address a specific need. The concept, program contents and required results evolve naturally during program execution.
-- Transformational: These programs represent an effort that transcends the organization's current vision and its recent history and direction. They usually represent reinventions of one or more aspects of the organization's functions, services, culture, markets or products.
Although this introduces an extra step to the startup process for programs, it is upfront work that can go a long way toward avoiding some of the root causes of program failure, such as incorrect or poor governance and ineffective change management.
Mobile and Web Chat Investment Set to Jump in 2014
New research published by ContactBabel, the contact center industry analysts, reveals that US contact centers plan to invest heavily in mobile customer service applications and web chat technology within the next 12 months. Senior contact center decision-makers expect the penetration rate of mobile apps for customer service to increase from 25% to 42% over the next 12 months. The use of web chat is expected to grow from 41% to 58% over the same period.
Furthermore, significant upgrades to call recording technology and workforce management systems are also expected, driven respectively by the growing use of speech analytics tools, and the requirement to forecast and schedule for multichannel work, rather than just telephony. 21% of the contact centers that use call recording expect to upgrade it this year, with 17% investing in improved workforce management solutions.
U.S. Consumers Have Little Security Concern With BYOD
Despite the rise in the use of personal devices for business use, U.S. consumers are showing scant concern for security when it comes to bring your own device (BOYD). According to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc. a quarter of business users admitted to having had a security issue with their private device in 2013, but only 27 percent of those respondents felt obliged to report this to their employer. The survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013 with 995 full or part time workers in the U.S., all of whom use a private device for work purposes.
The threat of cyber attacks on mobile devices is increasing and can result in data loss, security breaches and compliance/regulatory violations. One of the biggest challenges for IT leaders is making sure that their users fully understand the implications of faulty mobile security practices and to get users and management to adhere to essential steps which secure their mobile devices. For many organizations, overcoming BYOD security challenges is a full-time task, with a host of operational issues.
Nearly half of the survey respondents said they spend more than one hour each day using private devices for work purposes. The data also suggests that around half of respondents regularly use their devices for social as well as productivity tasks. This has different implications. It might point to employees considering their personal devices as necessary tools for their jobs. On the other hand, it also points to work-related documents regularly being transferred to private devices, leaving the security of the company network. In fact, 20 percent of respondents also stated that they do access data behind the workplace firewall using private devices.
The key to having a secure device is making sure it is well-managed. Enterprises are being compelled to make decisions about whether or not to allow employee-owned devices to access their enterprise's network and information. Failure to embrace BYOD will force it underground and into the shadows, where it will have the potential to publicly expose private data and open the enterprise to a data breach situation.
In our survey, 26 percent of respondents said their employer required use of BYOD devices and 15 percent had signed a BYOD agreement. A third of respondents have employers who are aware but don’t have a policy in place, and the rest said their employer was either not aware or they didn't know. This means 59 percent of survey respondents who regularly use their private devices for work have not yet signed a formal agreement with their employer.
Organizations that do decide to allow employee-owned devices need to develop solid BYOD policies based on their business requirements and risk profiles. At the moment, BYOD laptop, smartphone and tablet security policies are still incomplete in many companies, and contain gaps and other inconsistencies that don't measure up to business obligations. Many enterprises (especially in the smaller and midsize sector) lack the proper organizational structures to create these policies and must reorganize to provide the necessary governance for a successful mobility implementation.
For a BYOD program to work there has to be strict policy enforcement and compliant users - an issue that CIOs and IT directors are grappling with right now. All policy agreements have to be created with clear guidelines for cases of security breaches.
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.
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