The Internet of Things is Poised to Change Everything, says IDC
The Internet of Things (IoT) represents a new construct in the information and communications technology (ICT) world that is occupying the minds of IT vendors, service providers, and systems integrators as it represents huge potential for new streams of revenue and new customers. International Data Corporation (IDC) has looked at the components, processes, and supporting IT and connectivity for the Internet of Things and expects IoT technology and services spending to generate global revenues of $4.8 trillion in 2012 and $8.9 trillion by 2020, growing at a compound annual rate (CAGR) of 7.9%.
Some enablers to the rise of IoT include:
Ongoing development of smart cities, cars, and houses
Enhanced connectivity infrastructure
An increasingly connected culture
Even though there is growing demand for the IoT, there are still several factors inhibiting growth of this market. This is not to say that they can't be overcome, but at present, they are hurdles that both vendors and enterprises will have to overcome to make IoT a reality. Some of these challenges are on the supply side, including lack of standards, global scalability, and a nascent ecosystem for application development. On the demand side, the challenges include lack of awareness and other IT/mobility priorities.
Despite these challenges, IDC expects the installed base of the Internet of Things will be approximately 212 billion "things" globally by the end of 2020. This will include 30.1 billion installed "connected (autonomous) things" in 2020. This is largely driven by intelligent systems that will be installed and collecting data – across both consumer and enterprise applications – by the end of the forecast period.
Digital Business Incompetence Will Cause 25 Percent of Businesses to Lose Competitive Ranking by 2017
Digital business incompetence will cause a quarter of businesses to lose competitive ranking by 2017, according to Gartner, Inc. During the second quarter of 2013, Gartner conducted a survey of 151 participants who were intimately involved in making digital business strategy decisions or in locating, developing and acquiring talent for those digital business strategy endeavors. Ninety percent of respondents thought that competition for talent will make or break digital business success.
According to Gartner, a digital business strategy creates value and revenue from digital assets. It goes beyond process automation to transform processes, business models and customer experience by exploiting the pervasive digital connections between systems, people, places and things.
Digital business has rapidly become a lingua franca of modern business, a common and unifying language across people whose native languages — in the modern age, the languages of organizations, companies, cultures and occupations — are different.
To jump-start digital business activity, Gartner recommends identifying key strategy players and possessors of technology and business expertise both inside and outside the enterprise and engaging them to launch a digital business community of practice to enrich cross-business understanding. CIOs who learn to orchestrate talent across multiple employment models and channels can take advantage of global ecosystems to build digital expertise quickly.
The world of digital business does more than pose challenges for CIOs and other executives. It also opens opportunities to use digital technology to reach beyond organizational boundaries, to assemble problem-solving expertise from around the world, to weave a fabric of knowledge and expertise across communities of practice, and to understand and exploit new models of work. Notably, the quest for digital business expertise provides an undeniable opportunity for CIOs and HR executives to create a robust alliance that helps them meet their respective outcomes. Leading-edge CIOs become leading edge because their HR and talent strategy counterparts support them.
Gartner advises CIOs to work with high-influence HR executives to investigate talent orchestration and to redesign the learning programs required to build digital business expertise. The focus should be on hiring, developing and deploying versatile and multidisciplined teams of people. Once teams are hired, the organization should promote employee engagement as doing so will make the organization more attractive to prospective employees and increase talent retention rates throughout the shift toward the digital strategy.
Survey Shows Majority of Tech Executives Planning for Cyber Security Attacks
Silicon Valley Bank, financial partner to the innovation sector, found the majority of technology and healthcare companies view cyber security as a serious threat to both their data and business continuity, and only one-third are completely confident in the security of their information in a survey of more than 200 technology company executives.
Nearly all (98 percent) of companies are maintaining or increasing their cyber security resources and of those, half are increasing resources devoted to online attacks this year. Resources are most likely to be invested in monitoring, preventative policies, training and staffing rather than in preventative infrastructure, indicating they are planning for when, not if, they are attacked.
While most respondents were moderately confident in the security of their information, they were less confident in their partners', vendors' and clients' security measures. Most respondents are storing their data privately, showing a lower appetite for storing their information in the public cloud. Software companies were the exception with 59% using the public cloud, versus more private behavior by hardware, healthcare and cleantech companies.
Forty-six percent of companies, whose main offering is not security, include cyber security functionality in their product and 8% more plan to add a cyber security component to their core offering.
Ventana Research Releases Next Generation Workforce Optimization for Customer Service Benchmark Research
Ventana Research has released its latest Benchmark Research on Next Generation Workforce Optimization. The research evaluated the current methods companies use to manage the workforce handling customer interactions, how applications and technology are used to support agents and best practices for improvements in customer experience.
In the last two decades, contact centers have evolved into the hub for customer interactions and relationships. They now support multi-channel, multi-interaction, multi-stage customer communications. To be able to handle the volume and complexity of these new models, next generation technologies need to be implemented to support efficient and consistent handling of interactions. Our recent research shows that more than 90 percent of customer interactions still are conducted on the telephone. Therefore it is vitally important to manage the contact center workforce - the agents - to ensure it delivers superior customer experiences at reasonable costs.
The research found the vast majority (78 %) of the participants indicated it is very important to improve agent performance with the over-arching goal (86%) to improve customer satisfaction. Almost 80 percent use call recording and quality monitoring tools, more than half use workforce management and agent coaching systems, and more than 40 percent use e-learning and screen capture systems.
The research also revealed conflicting evidence that operational goals may get in the way of efforts to improve the customer experience. Ranked first in importance is to reduce the cost of handling interactions by increasing the use of self-service (by 27%) and to optimize agent utilization (15%). The results show that larger companies more often handle calls by self-service. Three in five organizations have implemented Web-based self-service systems, and nearly half use touch-tone interactive voice response (IVR). Previous research shows that such systems have had limited success with the majority of customers reverting to calling the contact center.
America's IT Decision Makers Far More Attentive to News than General Population
Every profession has its share of stereotypes to contend with, from the image of the dishonest car salesman to that of the corrupt politicians. For those in information technology, like other technological fields, there is sometimes a perception of existing in something of a high-tech echo chamber, cut off from the world at large. However, findings from Harris Interactive's new Harris Poll® ITDMQuery - a national omnibus survey of IT professionals - suggest that IT decision makers may be paying much more attention to what's happening in the world than the general population of U.S. adults.
These are among the findings of a Harris Poll of 299 full-time U.S. IT decision makers interviewed online August 7-13 and 2,286 U.S. adults, ages 18 and older, interviewed online August 14-19 Harris Interactive. The IT decision makers portion of the study utilized the ITDMQuery platform.
With over a third (36%) of ITDMs describing themselves as "news junkies," this group is nearly three times as likely as the general population (13%) to display this level of interest in the news. In contrast, general U.S. adults are roughly three times as likely as ITDMs to indicate that they are not really interested in the news (14% and 5%, respectively). The remaining 59% of ITDMs and 73% of U.S. adults say they like to keep up with the news, but it's just one of many ways they spend their leisure time.
Modes of choice
All talk of shattering stereotypes aside, it may not come as a surprise that ITDMs are much more likely than U.S. adults overall to list some sort of online source as their preferred way to get news (65% and 38%, respectively). More specifically, nearly half of ITDMs (45%) prefer to get their news online, on a computer (vs. 27% of U.S. adults), 12% look to a tablet computer (vs. 5% among the general population) and roughly one in ten (9%) reach into their pocket to use their mobile device (vs. 6% of Americans overall).
On the other hand, ITDMs are only half as likely as U.S. adults to identify television as their preferred way of getting news (24% ITDMs, 50% U.S. adults). Roughly one in ten from each group selects print as their preferred news mode (9% ITDMs, 10% U.S. adults).
But before you can expect someone to read any, let alone all, of an article, you need to reel them in. So, how do IT decision makers compare to the general population in terms of factors making them more likely to read an online or print article?
As it turns out, ITDMs are consistently more likely than the general population to indicate that each of a series of potential "draws" makes them more likely to read an online or print article. Majorities of both groups are driven by a catchy headline (59% ITDMs, 53% U.S. adults), but ITDMs are driven much more strongly than their general population counterparts by the inclusion of interesting data or research which supports the article (59% ITDMs, 41% U.S. adults). ITDMs are also more likely to be drawn in by an interesting picture with the article (55% ITDMs, 38% U.S. adults) and an interesting infographic (48% and 26%, respectively).
Response to research in reporting
When presented with a list of statements regarding research in news, ITDMs are slightly to moderately more likely than Americans overall to agree with most of those statements:
I am more likely to trust an online or print article if there is research in it which supports the story (91% ITDMs, 84% U.S. adults).
When reading articles which cite research statistics, the person or company who conducted the research is important to consider (89% ITDMs, 84% U.S. adults).
I prefer to read articles that include research results (88% ITDMs, 78% U.S. adults).
I enjoy seeing news articles which include what people like me think about something (81% ITDMs, 76% U.S. adults).
There are two exceptions to this overall trend, though:
On the one hand, ITDMs show a much stronger likelihood to agree that their purchase decisions are often influenced by research conducted about a product or service (84% ITDMs, 65% U.S. adults).
Looking to the other extreme, the groups are identical in their agreement that research needs to be conducted by a credible organization in order for Americans to trust it, with nine in ten agreeing from each group (89%).