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Robert Half 2015 Salary Guides Show 3.8 Percent Average Starting Salary Increase In Professional Occupations
The just-released 2015 Salary Guides from Robert Half show that U.S. starting salaries for professional occupations are projected to increase an average of 3.8 percent next year. The largest expected gains in salaries among all fields researched are in technology, with an anticipated 5.7 percent overall increase in the average starting salary for newly hired information technology (IT) workers.

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015
Gartner, Inc. highlighted the top 10 technology trends that will be strategic for most organizations in 2015. Analysts presented their findings during the sold out Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with the potential for significant impact on the organization in the next three years.

Security tops CIO worries; IT budgets, turnover on the rise
CIOs are spending more on IT, worrying most about security and privacy, and staying on the job a little longer, according to the latest data from the Society for Information Management (SIM). According to respondents, the top 10 performance measures for CIOs, ranked from 1-10, are: the value of IT to the business; IT’s contribution to strategy; customer satisfaction; innovative new ideas; availability; projects delivered on time; IT cost controls; productivity improvement; business cost reduction controls; and revenue growth.

Top 10 Challenges faced by IT Project Managers
Janco Associates conduct a survey of IT Project Manager in large and mid-sized corporations. 178 Project Managers participated in the study.  The project managers were able to select multiple answers as well as write in their own challenge.  Interestingly almost two thirds (63%) said they spent too much time doing things other than tasks associated with the success of the projects. They attributed that to administrative overhead and organizational bureaucracy.

Worldwide IT Market Showing Tentative Signs of Improvement
According to the newly published International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Black Book, recent volatility will gradually give way to a more positive outlook for IT spending in the second half of 2014. With the U.S. and other mature economies mostly heading in the right direction and a significant commercial PC refresh cycle already underway, improvements in business confidence are set to drive a moderate infrastructure upgrade cycle over the next 12-18 months, while investments in software and services will continue to accelerate.

U.S. CIOs Reveal Hiring Plans For Next Six Months
The newly released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report shows that many companies anticipate bringing in IT staff in the second half of the year, and the number planning to put a hold on hiring is declining. Fourteen percent of U.S. chief information officers (CIOs) plan to expand their teams in the last half of 2014.

Mobile Apps Will Have a Significant Impact on Information Infrastructure
Gartner predicts that, by 2015, most mobile apps will sync, collect and analyze deep data about users and their social graphs, but most IT leaders are failing to consider the deep impact that mobile apps have on their information infrastructure. Gartner also predicts that, by 2017, wearable devices will drive 50 percent of total app interactions.

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.

Mobile and Web Chat Investment Set to Jump in 2014
New research published by ContactBabel 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.

IDC Lowers IT Spending Forecasts Due to Emerging Markets and Mobile Device Slowdown
According to the just released International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Black Book, worldwide IT spending will increase by 4.1% in constant currency this year, down from IDC’s previous forecast of 4.6% and also down from last year’s growth of 4.5%. IT spending has been volatile since the beginning of the year, with macroeconomic wild cards including the crisis in Ukraine and the slowdown in China adding to the general sense of uncertainty which continues to impact business confidence and investment.

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.

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. 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.

Training and Certifications Important to IT Professionals’ Career Growth but Employer Support Lacking
Spiceworks announced the results of a new survey examining the IT training and certification priorities and plans of IT professionals. Results show 84% of IT professionals believe IT training is very to extremely valuable, yet 39% say their employer places limited to no value on IT training.

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.

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