Archive for the ‘IT’ Category
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
The emergence of software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud, IT consumerization and mobile are expected to advance the future of the software industry, finds PwC U.S. in its annual Global 100 Software Leaders report. The report, in its fourth year of publication, highlights a deeper understanding of the underlying forces and trends that are influencing the industry.
The PwC study finds that the effects of globalization and consolidation are changing the landscape of the software sector and how companies develop, market, sell, distribute and support their products. Acquisitions are viewed as an R&D strategy as well as a key way to acquire talent and build SaaS capabilities more effectively and efficiently.
“Software companies and vendors are especially beginning to feel the effects of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology on their business models,” said Patrick Pugh , PwC’s U.S. software and Internet leader.
“Vendors need to continually evaluate both the changing priorities of customers and the industry because these evolving sentiments are causing deep structural changes and fundamentally shaping business models.”
SaaS racked up 40 percent of revenues
According to the report, SaaS revenue accounted for at least 40 percent of software revenue for 10 companies on the Global 100, in which nine of the top 10 are U.S.-based.
While U.S. companies lead revenue share on both the global and North American lists of software vendors, PwC finds that powerful newcomers, as well as companies from emerging markets, will increasingly challenge the dominance of the large North American vendors.
“To drive future growth, North American software vendors must prioritize transforming their business models to address the realities of the SaaS environment and incorporate social enterprise, IT consumerization and data analytics. Furthermore, U.S. companies can find new opportunities to expand globally by tailoring their software to specific vertical markets and geographic regions,” added PwC’s Pugh.
Key industry drivers include:
- Priority on pricing: Pricing is the paramount issue for the entire sector. With the rise of IT consumerization via low and no cost online platforms, software companies are already struggling to explain the difference in value between a low-cost mobile app and a full-strength, licensed enterprise software package.
- SaaS is gaining traction: Although SaaS represented only 4.9 percent of total software revenues in 2011, a consistent and significant shift towards SaaS is occurring. Roughly half of 800 North American organizations confirmed they evaluate cloud based solutions when buying software. Perpetual license revenue has been shrinking since 2004 while subscription revenue (including SaaS) is forecast to grow at a 17.5 percent compounded annual rate, reaching 24 percent of total software revenue by 2016. Software companies are now closely evaluating aspects of their business models, including delivery methods, pricing strategies and sales compensation options.
- Customer is king: With the adoption of intuitive cloud services, mobile devices and low-cost apps, CIOs are no longer the sole decision makers in the software purchasing process; end users must be satisfied in order to retain and grow enterprise sales. Additionally, customer perception of the value of software has changed dramatically. Vendors must develop strategies to counter the expectation that software should be free.
- Emerging hybrid models bring new challenges: There will be a range of business models, from traditional licensed software, to pure SaaS, to hybrid approaches, all of which will pose challenges for vendors in the foreseeable future.
- Vendors will need to identify and adopt new business models while trying to maintain revenues and profits during a time when overall industry pricing is under pressure. Industry executives also worry that the new subscription-based business models will increase dependency on renewals and risk of customer turnover.
Friday, May 17th, 2013
Pebble, maker of an e-paper smart watch that connects to iPhone and Android smartphones, received $15 million in Series A funding from Charles River Ventures. The funding will be used to grow the software engineering team, expand Pebble’s open development platform and scale to meet customer demand.
Pebble is a highly customizable device, enabling users to download watchapps ranging from creative watchfaces to activity tracker apps.
Pebble’s open approach to development is core to supporting a vast selection of apps that meet the unique needs and interests of users — or even enabling users to create something themselves. Pebble’s record-breaking launch on crowd funding site, Kickstarter, confirmed interest in this concept with over 68,000 backers pledging over $10 million to make Pebble a reality.
Personally, here at the TechJournal, we’re not big believers in the smart watch concept, but obviously, a whole lot of people are. We have enough trouble with the small screens on smartphones. Nevertheless, the idea appears to be catching on. We’ll see how they do in the marketplace.
“The tremendous response we received from Kickstarter backers validated our belief in the value of a smart watch as a wearable computer, but also in the value an open platform brings to truly personalizing the watch to their daily activities,” said Eric Migicovsky, Pebble’s founder.
“This new investment will help us build out the Pebble development ecosystem and deliver on Pebble’s extraordinary potential.”
Development kits available
The Pebble Smart Watch with a running app.
Pebble released the first stage of its open software development kit (SDK) in April by enabling third party developers to create watchfaces and games for Pebble. Pebble’s enthusiastic developer community immediately went to work and created hundreds of new watchfaces in just a few weeks.
Pebbler supported sites like mypebblefaces.com, forums.getpebble.com and watchface-generator.de are focal points of the growing community. Over 8,000 developers have downloaded the Pebble SDK, resulting in more than 5,000 unique watchapps and 300,000 watchapp installs in just over a month.
Today Pebble released the next stage of the platform enabling two-way communication between Pebble and the smartphone at developer.getpebble.com.
Known as PebbleKit, the update enables third parties to develop watchapps that send and receive information from a connected smartphone.
Watchapps can now be built to receive weather or traffic information, act as remote controls for a phone or internet-connected device, or display bitcoin prices. The Pebble platform will continue improving over the course of this year and into the future.
Also launching today is the Pebble Sports API. RunKeeper, a GPS fitness-tracking app, announcedsupport for Pebble two weeks ago and now that same functionality is available for integration into any sports or fitness tracker app. Other sports apps like FreeCaddie, a GPS golf rangefinder, have also released Pebble-enabled apps.
Pebble’s smart watches have begun shipping to Kickstarter backers and are now available for pre-order at getpebble.com.
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
A first-of-its-kind survey of the global workplace reveals that the cost of routine IT issues experienced by workers and businesses has reached crisis proportions, negatively impacting employee and company productivity – and by extension shareholder value and national economic performance – to an extent not previously understood.
Enterprise technology leader BMC Software (NASDAQ: BMC) asked top analyst firm Forrester Research to examine the issue of “IT friction” in the workplace. The result was a global survey and report entitled, “Exploring Business and IT Friction: Myths and Realities.”
In response to this workplace crisis, BMC launched BMC MyIT, the new enterprise software application that provides personalized assistance to employees experiencing IT issues (see the demo).
Major global leaders in the energy and financial services are among the first to adopt MyIT, a move that will allow their employees to take personal control over the delivery of the technology services and information they need – anytime, anywhere, from any device.
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
A shortage of in-house expertise is among the the biggest reasons companies are outsourcing mobility projects, according to a staffing solutions firm TEKsystems.
The study conducted on behalf of the TEKsystems Mobility Services practice represents the perspectives of 232 IT and business leaders and found that most have yet to develop the mature strategies necessary to implement mobile technology within their organizations successfully.
For an infographic detailing the findings see: http://mms.businesswire.com/media/20130515006090/en/369366/5/MobilityMarketPulse_Infographic_20130501_FINAL.jpg
Key findings include:
Organizations Lack Mature Mobile Strategies
- Maturity: More than three-quarters (78 percent) of respondents ranked their mobility strategies at low to medium maturity, with 40 percent indicating that their organization’s mobility strategy was weak. A mere 22 percent ranked their mobile strategy as being mature.
- Centers of Excellence: More than three-quarters (81 percent) of respondents indicate their organizations do not have a mobility center of excellence (COE) designed to address the unique, rapidly evolving mobile environment, illustrating an absence of an enterprise-wide approach to developing in-house expertise and best practices.
Obstacles for In-House Mobile Application Development
- Skills: Forty-one percent of respondents struggle with finding and attracting the talent and skills required to handle mobility projects in-house. As a result, almost two-thirds (65 percent) say they are likely to partner with a technology- and platform-agnostic mobility vendor.
- Variety of Platforms: Nearly half (45 percent) of the respondents find that supporting the full range of popular mobile platforms is the most daunting aspect of mobile application development.
“Keeping pace with mobile technologies requires organizations to have various skill sets outside of traditional enterprise IT, which many organizations do not already have,” says TEKsystems Application Development Practice Director, Sam Malek. “Often, going outside of the organization provides the biggest bang for the buck because vendors with dedicated mobility practices can deliver the full suite of required talent and services.”
Outsourcing to Mobile Application Development Vendors
- Likelihood and Reasons: More than one-third (38 percent) of respondents have chosen to outsource the development of mobile applications. The top three reasons for outsourcing were:
- Better expertise than available in-house (67 percent)
- Lack of mobility development as a core competency in-house (56 percent)
- Faster time to completion (47 percent)
- Vendor Sourcing and Risk: On average, organizations partner with two external vendors for mobile support, with some partnering with as many as five. However, 65 percent of all respondents indicate that they would like to work with the same number of vendors or less.
- Needs: Sixty percent of respondents would like a vendor to focus more on application development, while more than half (53 percent) seek a vendor that can design and implement sound quality assurance. At least three-quarters of respondents cite developing and testing of mobile applications across different platforms, screen sizes and versions as being among the most important aspects of mobile application development. Thirty-eight percent are concerned with getting the UI and user experience right.
- Expectations: Fifty-seven percent expect their vendor to provide an innovative solution to their needs, including delivery models, tools and best practices. Eighty-one percent believe that it is important for their mobile vendor to handle end-to-end security requirements for mobile applications.
- Vendor Satisfaction: Sixty percent are looking for a better experience from their mobile vendors. More than one-quarter (26 percent) of respondents feel their projects have been put at risk due to their vendors’ unqualified resources and skill sets.
“Vendors offering mobility as a dedicated practice increase their appeal to potential clients by demonstrating that they have a specialized staff that is familiar with the tools, frameworks and unique skills required to deliver effective mobile applications across a number of mobile platforms,” says Malek. “From there, it’s critical to maintain a close relationship with the client so that they can course correct as necessary throughout the development process and deliver a final product that is satisfying for all involved.”
Wednesday, May 15th, 2013
The creator of the legendary Dilbert comic strip, Scott Adams, has teamed up with Corona Labs on acompetition for mobile game developers and enthusiasts. Adams is calling on professional and aspiring developers to create a winning game with Corona SDK, using Dilbert artwork. The contest runs from May 14 through July 12, 2013, with winners to be announced on July 19, 2013.
The Dilbert comic strip is known for its humor around the vices, follies and day-to-day shortcomings of the white-collar office work environment. As one of the most successful syndicated comic strips in history, Dilbert is published daily in more than 2,000 newspapers in over 70 countries. The comic can also be read daily at Dilbert.com.
To qualify for the competition, entries must be built with Corona Labs’ Corona SDK or Corona Enterprise. The game must take place in the Dilbert universe and include content of an ESRB “E 10+” or MPAA “PG” rating.
Corona Labs’ panel of judges will rank each submission and present the top entries to Scott Adams. For the grand prize, one lucky participant will have an opportunity to publish the winning Dilbert game to major app stores. Additional prizes include yearlong subscriptions to Corona SDK Pro (valued at $599), iTunes gift cards and more.
Opportunity for developers
“This is a fantastic opportunity for both professional and budding developers to work with an internationally recognized brand,” says David Rangel, COO of Corona Labs. “Building with Corona SDK Starter, which is completely free, Corona SDK Pro or Corona Enterprise, participants can create a truly impressive mobile experience in a short amount of time. We wish everyone the best of luck and we’re looking forward to seeing some amazing games.”
As a developer-friendly solution for cross-platform mobile development, Corona SDK powers over 27,000 apps and games for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and NOOK. The platform is used by more than 250,000 developers around the world, including professionals, indies, major game studios and global agencies.
For more information and a complete list of rules and guidelines, please visit: http://www.coronalabs.com/dilbert.
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
The CIO’s rapidly evolving role into a more collaborative, business-facing and multi-skilled function is shifting the dynamics of the modern day executive table, according to the Harvey Nash USA 2013 CIO Survey.
The 8th annual survey reports 71 percent of CIOs believe the role of the CIO is becoming more strategic, and 36 percent of CIOs report to the CEO today, compared to 21 percent in 2010. Fifty percent of U.S. CIOs are enabling business change, and almost half of them (47 percent) are managing an IT budget that has grown compared to last year.
At the same time, seemingly paradoxical, CIOs are losing more direct control of their technology vision and sharing it with other departments. Forty-three percent of CIOs say there is a degree of shared ownership of digital technology between the IT and marketing teams.
CIO stamps IT footprint outside department walls
A growing number of CIOs see more than 10 percent of their budgets controlled outside of the IT department: 38 percent today, compared to 34 percent in 2012 and 26 percent in 2011.
“The integration with the marketing team, a direct line to the CEO, a growing dependence on outsourcing and the recent surge of BYOD (bring your own device) have led the CIO to stamp an IT footprint well outside the walls of his department,” said Harvey Nash USA President and CEO Bob Miano. “The role of the CIO is undergoing a paradigm shift that is presenting incredible opportunities. The CIO’s role continues to grow in influence, with a vision for the organization at the highest level, to drive organizational change and significantly impact company performance in brand new ways.”
Key Finding: Innovation Potential Going Unfilled
- Only three percent of CIOs believe their organization’s innovation potential has been fully realized, down even further from last year’s five percent
- 69 percent of CIOs say they are spending too little time and too few resources on innovation projects
- Changing business priorities, lack of budget and a deficiency of the right internal skills are cited as the biggest barriers to achieving innovation
Key Finding: Outsourcing and Offshoring are Growing
- 68 percent of CIOs said their expectations are exceeded or met by offshore partners, up six percent from four years ago
- More U.S. CIOs are investing a greater proportion of their IT budget in outsourced projects for the first time in four years, with 38 percent of CIOs planning further increases in IT outsourcing spend this year
Key Finding: IT Skills in Demand
- 93 percent of CIOs say retention of talent is a concern
- Mobile skills have seen the biggest jump in demand, up 14 percent over the last two years
- 34 percent of CIOs cite skills shortages in big data, a category not even on the radar in 2011 and only emergent in 2012
- Despite emerging technology, classic technology skills like enterprise architecture (42 percent) and business analysis (38 percent) are still the most sought after skills
Key Finding: The Disruptive Technologies Dominating Investment Plans
- Three biggest investments by CIOs: cloud (63 percent), mobility (62 percent) and collaboration (46 percent)
- BYOD (bring your own device) makes a debut this year, at a notable 35 percent of CIOs planning to invest
Key Finding: Women in IT Remains a Challenge
- 10 percent increase from last year in recognition that women are underrepresented and more needs to be done to formalize workforce diversity in hiring practices
- Small increase of women in business-facing IT roles, up from 13 percent to 18 percent suggesting more IT departments have women on staff
- Six percent increase over last year in recognition that an unintentional gender bias exists and a slight uptick indicating that gender bias is intentional
Key Finding: Growing Dependence on Flexible Labor
- 42 percent of CIOs are planning on increasing their use of flexible labor
- 14 percent of CIOs now have more than half their staff on flexible contracts, compared to 9 percent in 2012
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Despite an overwhelming effort by businesses to reduce unnecessary IT costs, many organizations miss out on big IT cost savings each year by prematurely upgrading networking infrastructure and insufficiently scrutinizing ongoing maintenance contracts.
A new commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Network Hardware Resale, revealed that although an overwhelming number (76 percent) of IT decision-makers are concerned about the pressures to reduce costs, many are unaware of the available options that exist for alternative maintenance contracts and are unduly influenced by vendors regarding hardware refresh cycles.
Once not too many years ago, we were responsible for overseeing the IT costs of a local organization and reviewing the very first cost sheet found half a dozen areas in which we could save. The first thing we had to do was challenge vendor agendas that didn’t match our needs.
You might want to do the same sort of scrutiny.
According to the study:
- Up to 79% of organizations refresh their wired networking infrastructure every one to five years guided by industry averages that originate from the vendors.
- Vendors set the end of life agenda resulting in the sometimes unnecessary and expensive replacement of IT equipment — that still carries market value and has 20 plus years mean time between failures.
“After surveying 304 IT decision-makers, Forrester found that even though IT budgets are under constant scrutiny, businesses have defaulted to vendor influence which has blinded them to the rewards of extending hardware lifecycles and third-party maintenance solutions,” according to the Forrester Consulting study.
Forrester study findings:
- End of Life (EoL) equipment is prematurely retired: 85 percent of respondents admitted that they would have kept their legacy networking equipment if the vendor continued to support it.
- OEM maintenance services have little return on investment: More than 80 percent of organizations buy maintenance contracts from their equipment manufacturer even though they see little value in what they are purchasing and express discontent over misrepresented cost savings, new fees, and inflexible pricing models.
- Third-party maintenance options are widely unknown: Only 21 percent report that they have leveraged competitor third-party bids when negotiating service and maintenance contracts, while 80 percent claim they would leverage third-party maintenance if they found it to be more affordable than their current contract [see Figure 1].
“Every CIO should make it a priority to read this report,” said Mike Sheldon , President and CEO of Network Hardware Resale.
“Businesses of all sizes need to know that there can be incredible value and cost savings with a reliable third-party maintenance service provider — helping to ease worries about tightening IT budgets without sacrificing quality.”
To achieve greater value and maximize the ROI of network infrastructure they have purchased, Forrester Consulting suggests organizations implement the following key recommendations:
Keep what’s working within an existing infrastructure to avoid premature and unnecessary upgrades.
- Don’t pay for software updates if there are none, or if they are available for free. Organizations should carefully scrutinize ongoing maintenance contracts in order to find valuable Operational Expenditure (OPEX) savings.
- Put maintenance contracts out for competitive bid, not just to different resellers, but also include third-party options.
- Put metrics in place to reward value, quality, and longevity, not just resiliency.
- The study and its findings are explored in further detail in the Forrester study, Challenging the Status Quo on Maintenance Contracts and Refresh Cycles to Lower Costs. Click to download PDF.
Monday, May 13th, 2013
Lack of talent is the primary challenge faced by Enterprise resource planning pros, followed by business/IT alignment and system functionality, according to a new survey by TEKsystems.
The firm created this infographic illustrating its findings:
Friday, May 10th, 2013
By Allan Maurer
Chaitanya ‘Chet’ Kanojia, CEO, founder of AERO, will participate in the upcoming Digital Summit in Atlanta.
One of the factors influencing change in the digital and media worlds over the last decade has been bandwidth. “That’s a huge factor,” says Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of the online TV platform Aereo.
The company has faced some court challenges to its platform, which allows consumers to watch live or recorded HD broadcast television on virtually any type of Internet-connected device, including smart TVs, smartphones, tablets and computers.
All the publicity surrounding Aereo “Is something of a mixed blessing,” says Kanojia. That’s because it can overshadow the company’s mission, he adds.
“The consumer proposition is the key mission here,” he says. The venture-backed company was comfortable with its legal position, so it wasn’t surprised to find that position validated by initial court decisions. “It’s nice to be validated, but wasn’t a surprise,” Kanojia says.
Previously, Kanojia was the founder and CEO of Navic Networks, the industry leader in advanced television advertising. Navic Networks was subsequently acquired by Microsoft in 2008.
Participating at the Digital Summit
The holder of more than 14 patents in fields ranging from robotics to data communications systems, Kanojia is an innovative leader known for pushing beyond the conventional and developing breakthrough solutions. He’ll join more than 100 other digital media and marketing thought-leaders at the Digital Summit in Atlanta next week (May 14-15, 2013).
Kanojia founded Aereo after selling Navic Networks when he noticed too things: broadband penetration and bandwidth had made it easier for people to consumer media on the Internet. And there is a great imbalance between what people watch on TV and what they’re paying cable and satellite companies to receive.
“Most people watch seven or eight channels,” he notes. But they’re paying for 500. ”Any time you see that imbalance, you wonder how consumers may respond to a different choice.”
So far, they’ve responded very favorably, and Aereo, which has raised about $65 million so far and expects to need more as it builds out its infrastructure city by city, expects to have its service available in the first 15 of 22 cities by summer.
It will change everything
Back to his point about bandwidth, Kanojia, who will address the topic more fully at the Digital Summit, points to the way bandwidth changed the music industry as it increased to ten times what was needed to move music around digitally. “We no longer have a Tower Records,” he says.
As a similar bandwidth increase approaches, he sees it affecting the delivery of HD streaming video the way it did the music industry, especially along with the high resolution screens on devices such as iPads. But it won’t just affect the TV industry, he says.
“It will force a massive change that affects everything when everyone has high quality bandwidth at their fingertips.
For Aereo, that means it can offer consumers a great value proposition: a smart way of getting TV at about ten percent of the price from cable and satellite providers.
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
By Allan Maurer
Stephen Pair will provide an overview of the Internet payment system bitcoin at the Atlanta Digital Summit May 14-15.
If you have been wondering what all the buzz about the Internet currency bitcoin might mean to your business, you can get up to speed at the Digital Summit in Atlanta next week. Stephen Pair, co-founder and CTO of BitPay, the leading processor for bitcoin, will provide an overview at the event, which is nearing a sell-out.
BitPay has processed over $5.2 million in bitcoin transactions for its merchants during the month of March, with over 5,100 completed invoices during the month. BitPay has also approved over 1,300 new merchant applications during the month of March, bringing their total number of approved merchants to over 4,500.
Pair has 20 years of experience building software systems in the financial and telecommunications industries.
Before founding BitPay, Mr. Pair held various roles including entrepreneur, architect, manager, team lead and developer. He started programming at a young age and spent much of his early career focused on languages, compilers, operating systems and virtual machines.
He’ll join more than 100 other digital thought-leaders and speakers from top brands such as Google, Twitter, AOL, Adobe, and many others at the Digital Summit May 14-15 in Atlanta.
Newer and better
Pair says of bitcoin, “Fundamentally it is newer and better software for conducting transactions.” It doesn’t require providing any personal or financial information that’s so attractive to thieves online. “There is no other method of payment over the Internet that doesn’t involve a bank, credit card or PayPal,” Pair notes.
Bitcoin has come under some scrutiny by potential regulars. Bart Chilton, one of five commissioners at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission told Reuters that he wants to make sure the bitcoin system isn’t “a house of cards.” Concerns include worries about the currency being used for untraceable illegal transactions.
Satoshi Nakamoto – which may be a pseudonym for a group of coders – created bitcoin in January 2009. He has since disappeared. Endgadget took a look at the rise of bitcoin here.
BitPay Raised $700K
Twelve-employee BitPay was founded in 2011 and the venture-backed firm raised a $700,000 seed round. “Our customers are merchants who want to accept bitcoin as payment,” Pair explains. BitPay charges a 1 percent transaction fee, lower than merchants pay for credit card transactions, where some pay more than 3 percent.
Customers are now even able to buy mobile gift cards using bitcoins and redeem them at over 50,000 physical retail locations across the USA including GAP, Lowes, Sephora, GameStop, American Eagle, Sports Authority, Nike, Marriott, Burger King, Fandango, Brookstone, and many more household brands.
Bitcoin also allows merchants and consumers to do business online in countries where it is impossible or difficult to do so via credit card transactions.
Money is information
Pair says to understand bitcoin, we need to step back and think about money in general. “Money is information,” he says. “Like other forms, it’s possible to send that information anywhere over the Internet.”
Unlike more traditional forms of currency, however, no central bank controls the supply of bitcoin and it’s not linked to gold, debt or other forms of backing.
“Bitcoin is backed only by its utility in conducting transactions,” Pair says. “It isn’t linked to a commodity, debt or anything else.”
Pair says many people critical of bitcoin may be looking at it from the wrong perspective. “They’re looking at it as a currency, but ignoring the utility it adds. That’s what will make it succeed or fail – how useful it is for things people need to do, such as international payments.”
You can get a fuller perspective when Pair discusses bitcoin at the Digital Summit next week.
Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Third-party data collection across many leading websites continues at very significant levels while data collection via social media/sharing widgets is growing rapidly according to the third-annual Cross Industry Study (CIS) of web data collection activity from Krux.
The Krux study is the only research project solely focused on ‘data leakage,’ consumer and website data collected by companies other than the site owner, often without compensation or consent.
This year, in addition to the top 50 ad-supported content sites, Krux expanded its analysis to also include data from the top 100 e-commerce and marketer sites, as well as 50 smaller content sites.
Unwanted data being harvested
“Though the increase of third-party data collection has moderated due to better data governance by website operators, there’s still a great deal of unknown and unwanted data harvesting happening out there,” said Tom Chavez , Krux co-founder and CEO.
“Given Krux’s role in the data ecosystem, we understand that not all collection is bad. However, when 46 percent of this collection comes from higher risk intermediaries and market middlemen, it raises questions as to which companies are mining the data, if that collection is fully sanctioned and how that data will ultimately be used.”
Study highlights include:
- Data collection activity that is within the website owners’ control dropped by 40 percent. This illustrates a concerted effort on the part of many web operators to implement better data governance practices and exert greater control over what’s happening on their pages.
- The number of third parties observed participating in data collection continued its rise, from 168 individual companies in 2011, to 300 in 2012 and 328 in 2013.
- Collection from higher-risk categories rose as well, from 40 percent in 2012 to 46 percent in 2013. Collectors are considered ‘higher-risk’ if there is the potential that they will use the data they collect to power competitive market activity.
“Data will be one of the core drivers of our business,” said Mark Howard, senior vice president of digital advertising strategy, Forbes Media.
When digging into the data collection dynamics this year, Krux uncovered a number of interesting trends:
- Data collection volume from social media/sharing widgets, including mainstream social media principals like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, as well as intermediaries such as AddThis, grew almost 30 percent from 2012 to 2013. Data collection from social media/sharing widgets now represents 20 percent of all third-party data collection. This growth reflects both more aggressive collection activities by the social players as well as increased reliance on social/sharing tools by websites to grow their consumer reach.
- Data collection from advertising Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) dropped 70 percent from 2012 to 2013. This reflects a significant drop in volumes from AdMeld since its acquisition and integration into Google. It may also reflect increased frequency capping, server-to-server cookie synching and other techniques harder to observe at the page level.
- Like their content counterparts, e-commerce and marketer sites experience a similarly high proportion of third-party collection activity that is beyond their control, 60 percent and 54 percent respectively.
“In expanding the scope of this year’s report, we uncovered one of our most compelling findings: everyone is a publisher,” stated Krux President Gordon McLeod .
“For commerce and marketer sites, much of the data collection stems from the same types of media and technology players we see on content sites. And on commerce sites specifically, we saw a prevalence of higher-risk collectors, not surprising given the relative value of consumer purchase and intent data.
Ultimately, this underscores the fact that first-party data is extremely valuable. If not, why are so many third-parties so intent upon collecting it?”
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Fewer than 100 seats remain for the Digital Summit in Atlanta which is only a week away. One of the largest digital marketing events in the Southeast, the Digital Summit features more than 80 presentations from marketing and technology thought-leaders.
Speakers from brands including Twitter, Google, Mashable, Porsche, Reddit, Adobe, TMZ, Bing, Nascar, Coca-Cola, Salesforce, AOL and many more will discuss the latest trends and insights into all things digital.
More than 1,500 are expected to attend.
Hours of networking
People networking at a previous TechMedia event.
In addition to learning the latest digital trends and best practices with actionable takeaways from over 100 world class speakers, you’ll get hours of networking opportunities at two open bar receptions, day one’s gala reception with heavy appetizers, breakfast & lunch on day two, cool giveaways, opportunities to check out the latest digital technologies and startups, a concert from a grammy nominated artist and a lasting experience.
Digital Summit will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. The conference is readily accessible with a direct flight from most major US cities. The World Congress Center is a just short hop on Atlanta’s mass transit system from the airport.
Chaitanya ‘Chet’ Kanojia, CEO, founder of AEReO, will participate in the upcoming Digital Summit in Atlanta.
AEREO CEO participating
Among other top speakers, the CEO and found of AEREO, which has been much in the news lately with its technology for capturing over-the-air broadcasts and delivering them to customers via Internet connected devices, will be on hand.
For more about the event and links to interviews the TechJournal has done with a number of participating speakers, see: More than 100 digital thought-leaders headed to Atlanta.
Confirmed speakers include:
- Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder, reddit
- Baratunde Thurston, Technology-Loving Comedian
- Frederick Townes, Sr Technical Advisor, Mashable
- Matt Wallaert, Behavioral Scientist, Bing/Microsoft
- Brent Herd, Dir Southeast, Twitter
- Brian Wong, CEO, Kiip
- Joshua Fruhlinger, Head of Digital, TMZ
- Kelly Deen, Dir Consumer Marketing, Turner/Cartoon Network
- Lizzy Nephew, Social Media & Emerging Technology Specialist, Porsche
- Tom Daly, Group Director, Global Connections, Coca-Cola
- Maureen Schumacher Cole, Head of Financial Services, Google
- Steven Tedjamulia, Dir of Digital Strategy & Innovation, Dell
- Michael Tippett, Dir of New Products, HootSuite
- Steve Robinson, Dir of Online Analytics & Business Intel, The Home Depot
- Michael Rodriguez, Product Manager of Digital News, The Weather Channel
- Scott Carlis, VP Digital & Social, AEG Digital
- Chet Kanojia, CEO & Founder, Aereo
- Bert DuMars, VP & Principle Analyst, Forrester
- Randall Lloyd, Dir of Social Ad Sales, Salesforce
- Mallory Colliflower, Community Manager, HGTV
- Tim Clark, Dir of Optimization, NASCAR
- Mandar Shinde, Sr Dir Mobile Monetization, AOL
- Jeff Siegel, SVP Worldwide Advertising, Rovi
- Loni Stark, Director of Product Solution & Industry Marketing, Adobe
- Lance Broumand, CEO, UrbanDaddy
- Anthony Napalitano, Dir Global Partnerships, StumbleUpon
- Brian D’Amato, SVP Analytics, Moxie
- Matt Kaplan, VP Sales, Mail Online
- Jason Hartley, Group Media Dir, 360i
- Jeff Dennes, SVP – Head of Digital, SunTrust
- Nick Ayers, Mgr, Social Marketing, Intercontinental Hotel Group
- David Favero, Southeast Sales Dir, Shoutlet
- Justin Carll, Digital Strategist, PureRED
- Rory Felton, VP of Business Development, Music & Entertainment, Chirpify
- Brian Ford, Sr Dir of NA Sales & Service, 3DSystems
- Gretchen Fox, Social Architect, grtchnfx
- Bob Gilbreath, CEO, Pingage
- Laurie Hood, VP of Product Marketing, Silverpop
- Kami Huyse, CEO, Zoetica Media
- Simms Jenkins, CEO, BrightWave
- Manny Ju, Dir of Product Management, Blue Hornet
- Lawrence Kimmel, Executive Director, Hawekeye
- Mike King, Dir of Inbound Marketing, iAcquire
- Topher Kohan, Assc Dir of Search Strategy, Rockfish
- Chris Korbey, Creative Director, Emma
- Yoel Leinwand, Account Executive, YouTube
- Rebecca Lieb, Industry Analyst, Altimeter Group
- Michael Marshall, CEO, Internet Marketing Analysts
- Erica McClenny, SVP Client Services, Expion
- Josh McCoy, Lead Strategist, Vizion Interactive
- Mark Miller, SVP/CRM Practice Lead, Digitas
- Howard Morton, CEO & Managing Partner, Boardwalk International Advisors
- Erik Muendel, CEO, Brightline
- Dave Mundo, VP, Analytics Director, BKV
- Stephen Pair, CTO & Co-Founder, BitPay
- Jacques Panis, Dir of Strategic Partnerships, Shinola
- Mike Pearla, Dir of Conversion Optimization, Fathom
- Claudia Perlich, Chief Scientist, Media6Degrees
- Steven Roe, Dir of Business Development & Marketing, Response Media
- Lindy Roux, Principal Content Strategist, Siteworx
- Nigel Sanctuary, VP Cloud Propositions, Kognitio
- Joey Sargent, Principle, Brandsprout
- Becky Scheel, Graphics/Website/Exhibit Designer, ZooAtlanta
- Aaron Schildkrout, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, How About We
- Jenny Schmidt, Principle, CloudSpark
- Jeff Sheehan, CEO, Sheehan Marketing Strategies
- Rob Sanders, Founder, RSO Consulting
- Patrick Toland, CRO, Optimal Social
- Stefan Tornquist, VP Research (US), Econsultancy
- Chad White, Principle of Marketing Research, ExactTarget
- Scott Williford, Fouder & CEO, vLink Solutions
- Luke Barton, Technical Director, Siteworx
- Trevor Sumner, President, LocalVox
- Yakka Murphy, Art Director, Digital Experience, The Weather Channel
- Cara Citino, Dir of Digital Services, R2integrated
- Jeff Ferguson, CEO, Fang Digital Marketing
- Victor Wong, CEO, PaperG
- Ade Adeosun, Sr Dir Digital Business Analytic, comScore
- Kelley Mitchell Price, Chief Experince Officer, PocketFirm
- Annalise Kaylor, Dir of Social Media, Intrapromote
- Trish Nettleship, Dir of Social Media & Influence, UCB
- Danny Davis, CEO & Founder, Proving Ground
- Thomas Cornelius, President of Adility, InComm
- Adam Harrell, President, Nebo Agency
- Nikhi Deshpande, Director, GeorgiaGov Interactive
- Peter Lee, Editorial Director, GeorgiaGov Interactive
- Alankar Tayal, Optimization, Usability, Testing & Analytic Expert
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
In a challenging time for retail, many brick-and-mortar merchants are seeking to transform themselves into more effective selling and customer service organizations – with technology playing a central role in this process.
A key component of this transformation is collecting and acting on the best possible data regarding how shoppers behave inside their stores.
At the annual RetailNext Executive Forum, which gathered nearly 100 retail executives and thought leaders, in-store analytics leader RetailNext surveyed attendees to understand their opinions about how these critical technology trends will affect them in the next few years. The survey findings revealed great interest in collecting the factual information retailers need to improve their stores to drive more sales and profit.
When asked, “How does in-store data collection and analysis compare to two years ago?“ respondents were asked to select one response. No attendees noted somewhat or greatly declined usage.
- 60% answered increased significantly
- 23% answered somewhat increased
- 17% answered about the same
When asked “Who are the most important stakeholders for in-store data collection?,” the top-two responses from attendees ranked, in order of importance, indicated that interest in collecting in-store data comes from those in pragmatic roles looking to improve the day-to-day effectiveness of the ongoing programs that drive business, led by store operations and marketing.
- Store operations: 81%
- Marketing: 76%
- Business intelligence or customer insights: 43%
- IT: 10%
- Finance: 0%
In an industry where minute margins matter, metrics are critical. RetailNext asked retailers ”Which measurements are most important to your company?,” and found the top-two responses to be, in order:
- Conversion: 89%
- Shopper yield: 53%
- Average Transaction Value (ATV): 26%
- Entrance traffic: 26%
- Sales per square foot: 5%
“Not surprisingly, conversion, a staple of the retail industry, was by far the most chosen critical metric among top-two answers. Shopper yield, which is a fairly new and sophisticated metric, was the second most popular answer,” observed Tim Callan , CMO of RetailNext.
“It’s interesting to note that sales per square foot, often referenced in retail industry analysis, ranked lowest among this set of retail executives and thought leaders.”
To establish which major technology trends are most on retailers’ minds, RetailNext asked “What do you think are the most important technology trends affecting retail in the next 5 years?” The top-two responses ranked as:
- Omnichannel: 62%
- In-store mobile POS: 48%
- Big Data: 43%
- Mobile commerce: 29%
- Showrooming: 19%
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
A cloud security survey by NetQ commissioned through IDG Connect, revealing that while companies have become increasingly comfortable with the security of third-party cloud service providers, data security – particularly at the end user level – as well as concerns over meeting compliance requirements, remain top-of-mind among cloud adopters.
Fifty-one percent of IT executives surveyed believe that the cloud increases data security overall. However, almost 70 percent of respondents indicated that consumer cloud services pose a risk to sensitive data in their organizations and 45 percent are not fully confident that their cloud provider’s security processes and programs meet their data security requirements.
Additional findings found a mix of concern and confidence in cloud security:
- Forty-five percent do not have full visibility and control of their cloud-based data when users sign up on their own.
- Only 46 percent train end users on how they should securely access data in the cloud.
- Forty-two percent of organizations are not fully confident that they demonstrate regulatory compliance concerning sensitive information/assets in the cloud.
- Fifty-nine percent are very confident in their ability to control and manage access from mobile devices to cloud services.
“These survey findings demonstrate that IT executives are feeling more confident in the execution of their cloud security strategies and programs. However, this confidence may be at odds with the concerns security teams have while addressing an ever-increasing number of threats to corporate information,” said Geoff Webb , director, Solution Strategy at NetIQ.
“Data-centric security programs remain the most targeted and effective way to build security programs ready to embrace the complexities inherent in adopting cloud. Identifying sensitive data, applying appropriate layers of protection around that data, and tracking who is accessing it remain the best ways to respond to threats, meet regulatory requirements and minimize organizational risk.”
This survey was conducted on behalf of NetIQ by IDG Connect to understand perceptions about cloud security worldwide. Researchers interviewed IT executives at companies with 500 or more employees. Sixty-one percent of respondents occupied director-level or higher roles within their organization.
The overall number of respondents was split between those from North America(36 percent), EMEA (36 percent) and APAC (28 percent). Full survey results are available at http://cloudreadyzone.com/.
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Three-quarters of software publishers are turning to the cloud in search of new revenue, according to SafeNet Inc. and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) joint survey of more than 600 software developers and 200 enterprise software end users.
The survey reveals other industry trends as well.
- Three-quarters of software publishers plan to be in the cloud by the end of 2013; hybrid models expected to dominate through 2017
- More than half of software publishers expect operating costs to decline once in the cloud; 25 percent still cite cost and complexity as the biggest barriers to entry
- Thirty-five percent of enterprise end users cite inflexible licensing as the top software consumption headache; close to half of software publishers expect to improve end-user experience with cloud
Here’s an infographic detailing the survey findings:
Cloud Adoption Trends
Today, 65 percent of software publishers report offering all or a portion of their portfolios as a cloud service, and on average, cloud services comprise 24 percent of a typical company’s software portfolio.
Though approximately one-third of software publishers have yet to offer cloud-based services, 75 percent of the respondents have plans to offer at least some of their product portfolios as a service in the next year. Of those with mixed portfolios (i.e., both cloud and non-cloud offerings), the percentage of cloud offerings is expected to remain steady at 25 percent.
During the next five years, the survey indicates that the cloud will continue to grow as a percentage of overall portfolios for publishers, even though the number of publishers with no cloud presence will remain steady at 25 percent.
“Cloud-based software delivery is attractive to software publishers and end users alike, most often because of the promise of increased transparency, more flexible business models and perceived operational simplicity,” said Michelle Nerlinger , Vice President at SafeNet.
“The ability to reap these benefits is strongly dependent on a software publisher’s ability to effectively track, control and manage their applications in an automated and operationally effective manner. This means that the implementation of effective licensing and entitlement management techniques will be key to achieving software monetization success in the cloud. For transitioning or hybrid software publishers, a platform capable of managing on-premise and cloud applications in tandem will be absolutely critical.”
Understanding Publisher and End-User Adoption Drivers
The most common driver for software publishers to offer cloud-based services is to reduce the operational costs associated with product delivery, activation and support (cited by 62 percent of respondents).
Additional motives include improving customer experience by “reducing end-user headaches” (46 percent); the ability to access new and niche markets (48 percent); improved usage tracking (33 percent); and faster time to market (32 percent).
Sixty-one percent of software publishers that have already adopted a cloud-based software delivery approach confirm the validity of these expectations by reporting a positive financial impact, due to reduced operations costs or increased revenue.
Reinforcing that, only six percent of respondents reported a negative financial impact or security threat once introducing cloud-based software delivery.
Number one headache
Software publishers are not alone in their desire for the flexibility and transparency promised by cloud-based software delivery. Thirty-five percent of enterprise end users reported inflexible licenses that don’t meet organizational needs as the number one headache related to software consumption.
In addition, 14 percent of enterprise end users cited cloud-based services as their top software licensing model preference, and 16 percent specifically identified a metered billing method as their preferred pricing model.
“At the SIIA, we’re watching with great interest how cloud-based software delivery has changed and continues to change over time,” said Rhianna Collier , Vice President of the SIIA’s Software Division. “We’re expecting to see a rise in the adoption of software-as-a-service as developers and users alike look to take advantage of the benefits that the cloud can offer.”
Monday, May 6th, 2013
One thing is certain these days: technology runs the world. IT Employment hits another all-time high in April.
The number of IT jobs grew 0.24 percent sequentially last month to 4,424,200, according to TechServe Alliance, a collaboration of IT & Engineering Staffing and Solutions firms, clients, consultants and suppliers.
With the upward revision in March’s numbers from 0.38 to 0.58 percent, IT employment has grown by 5.1% since April 2012.
“I am pleased to see demand for IT professionals remains very strong. With April’s numbers, IT employment has grown for the 17th consecutive month hitting yet another all-time high,” observed Mark Roberts , the CEO of TechServe Alliance.
“IT continues to handily outperform most other sectors with an annual growth rate of more than three times the growth rate of the general workforce,” added Roberts.
For the complete April 2013 IT Index please visit:http://www.techservealliance.org/pressroom/documents/IndexreleaseMay2013.pdf
Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Banking convenience dominates all options amongst reasons to stay with banks, according to a new study conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Yodlee Interactive.
With the convenience of online and mobile banking, more customers are utilizing these services, while banks are responding by reducing the number of physical branches. This survey was conducted among 2,219 Americans (ages 18+) between February 28 and March 4, 2013.
The study found that 63 percent of U.S. adults who have a bank account indicate they stay with their current bank because of convenience.
Customer service (48 percent) and the lack of/low account and ATM fees (42 percent) follow convenience as the other primary reasons. Interestingly enough, 1 in 3 of those who use mobile banking see their mobile banking experience as a reason why they stay with their banks (33 percent).
Mobile banking may keep customers loyal
Seventy-one percent of mobile bankers are either satisfied or very satisfied with their bank’s mobile and web offerings. This has led the report’s sponsor, Yodlee Interactive, to conclude that mobile banking may, in fact, keep loyalty high among bank customers as physical branches decline.
“Customer loyalty is a primary concern for banks,” says Yodlee Interactive General Manager, Joseph Polverari. “Our findings suggest a corollary between one of banks’ biggest priorities – customer loyalty – and consumers’ usage patterns for mobile banking.
With the anticipated growth of mobile banking in the next four years, banks that want to boost customer loyalty should strongly consider developing apps that increase the convenience of consumer banking.”
Overall, 31 percent of U.S. adults who have a bank account indicate that they use mobile banking (i.e., use a smartphone, tablet device, or some other mobile device to access their banking information). Close to half (49 percent) of smartphone owners who have a bank account access their banking information on their smartphones, compared to 36 percent of tablet owners who have a bank account.
Banking app development has yet to fully catch on with consumers on tablets. Most smartphone owners who have a bank account use their bank’s mobile app to access their banking information on their smartphone, while most tablet owners access their banking information on their tablet’s mobile web browser. This distinction is most evident among adults ages 18-44 (the largest demographic of mobile device users).
Tablet optimized apps needed
“Banks have focused on smartphone apps, but stretching the same app to work on a tablet seems to have backfired as consumers are opting for mobile web experiences on tablets,” continued Polverari. “We believe that tablet optimized banking apps represent a major opportunity to reach customers with a better and richer experience.”
Another interesting finding is that smartphone owners who use mobile banking indicate they deposit checks on their smartphone device more than tablet owners indicate they deposit checks on their tablet device (33 percent versus 22 percent).
Additionally, within this group of smartphone owners, those with a household income (HHI) of $75k+ are twice as likely to deposit checks to their bank account (44 percent) as those who make less than $35k (21 percent) and nearly twice as likely to do so as those with a HHI of $50-$74.9k (27 percent).