Archive for the ‘Studies, surveys, reports’ Category
Thursday, June 6th, 2013
A majority of Americans now own a smartphone of some kind, a milestone finding by Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project says.
Because 91% of the adult population now owns some kind of cell phone, that means that 56% of all American adults are now smartphone adopters. One third (35%) have some other kind of cell phone that is not a smartphone, and the remaining 9% of Americans do not own a cell phone at all.
Younger adults have consistently led the way in smartphone adoption, the new Pew report notes.
But, it also says, every major demographic group experienced significant year-to-year growth in smartphone ownership between 2012 and 2013, although seniors—defined as those 65 and older—continue to exhibit relatively low adoption levels compared with other demographic groups.
Some 18% of Americans age 65 and older now own a smartphone, compared with 13% in February 2012.
Smartphone ownership does vary significantly by household income.
However, that variation is unevenly distributed across different age groups. Younger adults—regardless of income level—are very likely to be smartphone owners. Conversely, for older adults smartphone ownership is more of an “elite” phenomenon: smartphones tend to be quite prevalent at the upper end of the income distribution but much less common among those with lower income levels.
Additional details are available with charts in the full report (see link in first paragraph).
Thursday, June 6th, 2013
Did you know that while America leads the world in social network and technology innovation, it trails Brazil, India and China in economic growth?
Despite the lingering economic downturn, the United States is ranked as one of the Top 10 global “Markets to Watch,” according to a new study from Broadbean Technology, a leading online recruitment software provider.
The study, Digital Recruitment: The Hottest Markets in 2020, compares global markets – from the US to Australia– and the factors that will shape recruiting over the next 5-7 years, including GDP growth potential, earnings trends, cultural phenomena, and mobile and social Internet use.
The Hot Markets report recognizes the U.S. as a key driver of change in global digital recruitment – leading the pack in the use of social networks for job sourcing and innovation with nearly one in three businesses using social professional networks as a major hiring source.
Recruiters in the U.S. have embraced digital recruitment tools – from LinkedIn to Facebook to online job boards – as highly effective, lower-cost options to finding the best employees as they wrestle with fewer resources and constrained budgets.
Be more competitive
These tools and services give recruiters the ability to quickly adapt to changing market and social conditions, such as a burgeoning contingent workforce brought on by 77 million retiring baby boomers seeking post-retirement employment.
Other factors, such as the difficulty employers experience in connecting with qualified candidates, will further drive participation in the digital realm. For example, close to 50 percent of U.S. employers today have difficulty filling jobs with qualified talent.
“Contrary to popular belief, employee retention has actually been rising for the past twenty years,” said Kelly Robinson , CEO of Broadbean Technology, referring to a recent report from the Federal Reserve Board showing an increase in average employee tenure.
“Regardless of whether this is due to greater employee loyalty or a general reluctance to move given the current economic climate, the end result is that businesses need to be more competitive and innovative in the ways they target and attract talent. Digital recruitment tools offer increasingly effective means of engaging with potential employees and showcasing a company’s personality and culture.”
For U.S. businesses, innovation will mean looking at how digital recruiting tools can help connect the more than 3 million jobs currently open in the country with the millions of unemployed workers seeking employment.
The Digital Recruitment: Hottest Markets in 2020 List*
1. Brazil – A young, confident and ambitious market, Brazil has growth potential on many levels and is known to be digitally innovative.
2. India – India’s sheer economic growth potential makes it an exceptionally interesting market. Only serious development imbalances keep from the top slot.
3. China – Although significant political and cultural challenges remain, the sheer growth performance and destiny of the world’s largest economy make it attractive.
4. US – Expected to stay a dynamic, innovative economic powerhouse and driver of change in digital recruitment over the next few years.
5. Australia – Another confident and ambitious AsiaPac country, Australia’s skill shortages make it ripe for innovation in digital recruitment.
6. Japan – This massive, technologically innovative economy is undergoing cultural change after many years of stagnation.
7. Canada – Although small in size, Canada has been fast to adopt new ideas, with a range of unique opportunities for the introduction to the new digital recruitment offerings.
8. Germany – Considered as the European economic powerhouse for the foreseeable future, and currently undergoing significant labor market changes.
9. Russia – A wild card, Russia is beset by deep political and economic issues but has a range of opportunities to unlock its untapped potential.
10. Mexico / UK – Mexico, another wild card, is highly problematic at present but has the potential to suddenly take off and become the new Brazil. The UK has significant economic growth issues but is traditionally one of the world’s largest recruitment markets.
The Digital Recruitment report, including the top 10 Hottest Markets, is available at broadbean.com. ‘The US Blossoms’ infographic is available at http://bit.ly/14bsGsn
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Enterprise users prefer iPhones and iPads, while consumers tend toward Android devices, study says.
Enterprise mobility trends do not mirror consumer preferences. Despite the hold Android has on global market share, the Good Mobility Index reports that iOS remains the preferred enterprise platform, says Good Technology.
Android is poised to continue to take share, but the total number of Android device activations increased just five percentage points year over year, despite the explosive growth the platform achieved in 2012.
The total number of activations on iOS devices dropped by nearly the same figure year over year, but the platform remains the clear market leader with 75 percent of total device activations.
“With bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies now becoming the rule, rather than the exception, it’s more imperative than ever to have a cross-platform solution that can be deployed across the number of devices coming into the workplace,” said Christy Wyatt , CEO and President, Good Technology.
“And despite what device they may be using, users want a seamless, integrated experience that allows them to be as productive on the go as they are on their desktop or laptop.”
iPads, iPhones most popular in the Enterprise
Good’s Quarterly Mobility Index shows the iPhone 5 topped enterprise users’ most popular device list, followed by the iPhone 4S, and the latest generation iPad came in as the most regularly used tablet.
Perhaps due to explosion of application transformation in the enterprise, another key finding bucking global purchase trends is enterprise tablet usage.
One in four device activations is now happening on a tablet as activations have grown to 27 percent of total device activations in the workplace; in contrast, worldwide figures from IDC show that tablets represent only 1 in 5 devices shipped in the tablet and smartphone category in this quarter.
Claiming seven percent of overall device activations for the quarter, the Samsung Galaxy SIII was crowned the most popular Android device, playing a substantial role in fueling the growth of total Android activations. Among Android devices, activations of tablets almost doubled in Q1 2013 compared to the previous quarter.
Additional report findings include:
- Total device activations jumped almost 30 percent year over year, with 99 percent of activations on iOS and Android platforms.
- Activations from Android tablets almost doubled during Q1 2013 while iPad activations dropped by five percent.
- The Financial Services industry continued to lead other industries in total device activations with 24 percent, as well as iPad activations with 30 percent.
- There was a two percentage point jump in total device activations across the public sector compared to last quarter.
An ongoing initiative to track activations across the breadth of mobile platforms and devices, the report leverages findings from the more than 5,000 Good customers worldwide to highlight global mobility trends and usage patterns. The full report is available to view in PDF.
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Year-over-year smartphone traffic for apparel, health and beauty and home goods brands saw huge increases in smartphone traffic and orders, according to Branding Brand, a mobile commerce platform to major retailers.
Compared to May 2012, the Branding Brand Mobile Commerce Index shows the following year-over-year gains for the 18 clients tracked during both periods:
- Smartphone visits increased 102%
- Smartphone orders increased 104%
- Smartphone revenue increased 103%
In May 2013, mobile devices generated one-third of total online visits (20% smartphones; 13% tablets) and 17% of all e-commerce revenue (4% smartphones; 13% tablets). iOS continued to dominate across all categories.
“Desktop’s piece of the e-commerce pie is shrinking,” said Chris Mason , Branding Brand co-founder and CEO. “We are excited about the implications these numbers have for our clients, not just online but also in-store. Traditional commerce models no longer apply.”
These figures also show that the mobile commerce sector has heated up much faster than the Internet alone did. Mobile provides considerable and increasing juice to ecommerce and digital marketing.
While many people still only occasionally use desktop and laptop computers, nearly everyone old enough to leave the house alone has a mobile device or two. Here at the TechJournal, we’ve seen a fair amount of evidence that tablets are even more shopping/marketing friendly and consumers are using them in growing numbers.
The complete report, along with accompanying images, is available at http://www.brandingbrand.com/data.
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
U.S. consumers continue to go green, as 78 percent say they buy green products and services, a steady increase over 69 percent last year, according to the 5th Annual Tork Sustainability Study.
The study was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of SCA, makers of the Tork brand of away-from-home paper products.
Why people are buying green products appears to be shifting, as more consumers say they buy green products because they are better for their health. This year, 20 percent of consumers cited health reasons as why they bought green products, up from 14 percent last year.
Americans split about paying more for green
That percentage increases to 26 percent for adults between 18 and 44 years old. Those who say they buy green products because it’s better for the environment are virtually unchanged, at 47 percent this year, compared to 48 percent last year.
The sustainability survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive in May 2013 among 2,068 U.S. adults aged 18 and over.
The study also shows that Americans are split when it comes to paying more for products if they could be guaranteed of ethical and responsible manufacturing practices. According to the survey, 43 percent of Americans said they would pay more, while 44 percent said they would not.
The survey found that having children under the age of 18 in the household has a significant impact on consumer decisions. More adults with children in their household (78 percent) say they know how to determine if green claims and statements are true as compared to 72 percent without children. Also, adults with children in the house are significantly more likely to pay more for responsible and ethically sourced products (51 percent) than those without children (39 percent).
Why consumers will boycott companies
“People are paying more attention to health when choosing to buy green, and I believe that adults are more aware when children are in the house. It suggests this trend will continue as future consumers are being raised with these values,” said Mike Kapalko , Sustainability Marketing Manager for SCA’s North American away-from-home professional hygiene business.
“While this survey shows Americans are split on the idea of paying more for ethically and responsibly manufactured products, a recent USA Todayarticle stated that 9 of 10 Americans will boycott companies that engage in irresponsible business practices. It’s not a matter of paying more, but willingness to pay at all. Clearly there is a case for companies needing to be green, be good or be gone.”
The 5th Annual Tork Sustainability Study showcases SCA’s industry leadership and commitment to helping create a sustainable and ethical marketplace. SCA chose to release the results of the survey today to recognize World Environment Day, a United Nations observance of environmental issues. Survey results are available upon request.
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Family-owned business executives may be impacting their companies’ long-term success and competitiveness due to gaps in the areas of governance, board operations and succession planning.
So says a recent Deloitte survey, Perspectives on family-owned businesses; Governance and succession planning.
More than a quarter (28 percent) of respondents from family-owned businesses indicated that they do not have a board of directors. Additionally, a significant majority say their boards have no term (82 percent) or age (89 percent) limits on membership, and one-third do not evaluate or provide any compensation to board members.
“Family-owned businesses are a huge component of the U.S. economy, and their attention to good governance practices can have an impact on success and failure,” says Tom McGee , national managing partner of Deloitte Growth Enterprise Services, Deloitte.
“Tapping into the insights and experiences of an engaged, diverse, and independent board can yield significant operational advantages in the long run. Given that these companies are considered engines of job creation, a sharper focus on governance is important to their longevity, and to the success of our economy as a whole.”
In terms of board composition, of the family businesses that have a formal board, only 39 percent are controlled by a majority of non-family, non-executive members. Moreover, two-thirds of boards have fewer than 30 percent female membership and 28 percent have no female board members; among companies with revenues of $200 million to $500 million, that figure rises to 48 percent.
“It is not enough to simply have a board,” continues McGee. “Members of the board must reflect the changing demographics of the world we live in. They should be expected to bring rich and varied expertise and backgrounds to the role, and also be held accountable for their success in guiding the company’s growth and future.”
Succession planning is one of the main areas of inactivity when it comes to governance of family businesses: Close to half (49 percent) of respondents say they only review succession plans when a change in management requires it. Similarly, 41 percent do not have leadership contingency plans. Moreover, 42 percent of non-executive family members are unfamiliar with succession plans.
“Many family-owned businesses struggle to maintain their family-owned status past the second generation,” adds McGee. “And while succession planning can be an uncomfortable topic for owners, especially founders, it is critical to the success of an enterprise. By creating a stronger governance and succession strategy, a family-owned business is much more likely to preserve the founder’s long-term vision for generations to come.”
Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Challenging economic times, new technologies and new methods for selling information technology (IT) solutions have contributed to an increase in conflicts between vendors and their channel partners, according to a new study released today by CompTIA, the non-profit association for the IT industry.
Six in 10 IT channel companies say the incidence of conflict has increased in the last two years. Eight in 10 say conflict has affected their business negatively, including 21 percent that described the impact as “major.” The findings are included in CompTIA’s Third Annual State of the Channel Study: Channel Conflict and Deal Registration Trends.
“Conflict between IT vendors and their channel partners is not a new issue, but it’s a dynamic that ebbs and flows,” said Carolyn April , director, industry analysis, CompTIA. “Right now, the channel is roiling for many firms.”
The report also includes encouraging news. A significant number of channel firms are responding to conflict by reinventing their business.
“They’re looking inside their own organizations to get their own house in order to become more appealing to the customer,” April explained. “They’re improving their own service capabilities, specializing in vertical markets and making the move to a managed services business model, which cements them to a customer.”
April cited three factors that have contributed to the rise in channel conflict.
- A poor economy, which drove a number of technology vendors to focus more on direct sales to customers at the expense of their channel partners.
- New methods for reaching customers with technology services, such as cloud computing.
- New entrants into the market, such as telecom companies that now offer IT services in additional to their traditional voice services.
The result has been lost business for many channel firms. More than three-quarters said they lost one or more deals in the last 12 months due to channel conflict.
The study is the result of an online survey of 350 U.S. IT company executives conducted in February 2013. Additionally, a series of in-depth interviews with IT channel executives at a cross-section of Fortune 500 and mid-tier technology vendors were conducted in February and March 2013. The complete study is available at no cost to CompTIA members who can access the report atwww.CompTIA.org or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
Nearly one-half (42%) of employed job seekers are dissatisfied with their current job, with a surprising majority (81%) of the employed expecting to actively search for a new job in the next year, according to job site Monster.com.
Desire for higher compensation, seeking a better skills match, and personal fulfillment were listed by those currently employed as top reasons for seeking a new job. Conversely, over a third (36%) of participants are searching for a new job due to job loss.
The survey also indicated that job seekers, whether employed or unemployed, were generally confident of finding a job. In fact, 79% of the employed and 75% of the unemployed job seekers felt confident about acquiring a new job in the next year.
“Our survey revealed that an overwhelming number of job seekers are in search of a more fulfilling job experience,” said Jeffrey Quinn, Vice President of Monster’s Global Insights. “Unemployed job seekers continue to visit Monster to identify their hiring opportunities, while employed job seekers appear to be expressing greater confidence in entering the job market in search of a fulfilling career.”
While many job seekers express confidence in finding a new job, many are also frustrated. More than half (56%) report they are struggling to find a job matching their salary, title and location preferences. In addition, a sizable amount (47%) cannot find jobs for which they are qualified. More than one-third (38%) of respondents indicate employers do not understand their skills and experiences.
Job seekers looking for more fulfilling work responded with the following sentiments:
- Nearly all (97%) Monster job seekers value the use of their skills and abilities and the enjoyment of the work they do
- The need for respect and appreciation rank among the highest desired traits of a new job (97%)
- Monster job seekers (96%) rate salary as an important factor
- Job security is highly valued (95%)
- A small group (40%) of job seekers value flexible work schedules and the option to work from home
You can view an infographic detailing the findings here. Click on the image to enlarge it.
Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
Have you gone to a store, examined a potential purchase, then bought it online? Many Americans have and continue to “showroom.”
Despite brick and mortar retailers’ best efforts to keep consumers buying in-store, forty percent of Americans have “showroomed,” or tested out a product up close in a store but then purchased it online.
Showrooming was a hot topic back in December, as many shoppers were using the tactic during the holiday shopping season to snag the best prices.
According to a recent Harris Poll, which set out to determine whether the issue still remains, Best Buy, Walmart and Target are the most likely brick and mortar stores to get showroomed, with 23%, 21% and 12%, respectively, of showroomers choosing these stores to most frequently physically examine goods before buying online.
Among these showroomers:
- Men prefer showrooming at Best Buy over Wal-Mart or Target (28%, 19% and 10%, respectively)
- Women’s first showrooming destination is Wal-Mart (23%), followed by Best Buy (17%) and Target (14%)
- Men’s average spend the last time they showroomed ($210.10) is significantly higher than women’s ($137.10)
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,114 U.S. adults surveyed online from April 15-17, 2013 by Harris Interactive. (Full findings and data tables available here)
Death of a Salesman
Amazon continues to be showroomers’ dominant destination, with 57% identifying the online retail giant as site where they most often make their showrooming purchases.
“You’ve got to hand it to Amazon: they are truly a retail darling that knows how to deliver on customer expectations,” said Mike de Vere, President of the Harris Poll.
“The company led the rankings in our annual Reputation Quotient study, as well as taking the E-Retailer Brand of the Year title in our annual Harris Poll EquiTrend® Study; these results further stress the company’s clout, by displaying its ability to pluck customers right from their competitors’ stores.”
What reasons cause consumers to buy online? Are pushy salespeople preventing customers from completing their purchases? Almost six in ten showroomers with smartphones (59%) prefer looking up product information on their phone to asking a salesperson for help.
Give ‘Em What They Want
How can brick and mortar retailers change consumers’ behavior and get them to make their purchases in stores? A majority of showroomers (57%) will be more likely to make purchases in brick and mortar stores that have implemented permanent price matching policies in order to compete with online retailers.
Retailers can also benefit from allowing consumers to place orders online that can then be picked up in a physical store – half of Americans (50%) have made purchases this way, and nearly all of those who have (93%) report being satisfied with the process. What offerings won’t bring consumers in? The idea of charging consumers to physically examine a product in a store before purchasing at a different online retailer proved to be unpopular, with only 15% of consumers willing to be charged for showrooming.
Over eight in ten Americans consider the following factors to be very important or important when deciding to purchase in a store rather than online:
- Being able to take the item home immediately (86%)
- Taking advantage of sales in store vs. prices online (84%)
- Not having to deal with the hassles of returning online such as paying for shipping and/or having to pack item (83%)
- Ability to touch and feel item (83%)
Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
A majority of Americans are concerned about data breaches involving large organizations, but are evenly mixed on whether legislation should require private businesses to share cyber attack information with the government, according to new research conducted by Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS).
Results from the Unisys Security Index, which regularly surveys more than 1,000 Americans on various areas of security concern, showed high levels of concern about data breaches among Americans.
Respondents to the survey said they were most worried about data breaches hitting their banks and financial institutions, with two-thirds (67 percent) reporting concern.
Here at the TechJournal, we see weekly reports of companies, agencies and organizations suffering serious cyber intrusions, the theft of personal information, and high costs of repairing their security. The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure seems applicable here.
Split on federal legislation
A majority of Americans surveyed also reported concern about data breaches involving government agencies (62 percent), health organizations (60 percent) and telecommunications and Internet service providers (59 percent).
Findings released last month from the same survey also showed most Americans harbor some level of concern about identity theft (83 percent) and credit card fraud (82 percent), both of which can arise from breaches at large organizations.
Despite these concerns, Americans polled were split on whether federal legislation to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity defenses should require organizations like banks, utilities and healthcare organizations to disclose breaches to the government.
Roughly half (48 percent) of respondents said they do not believe private businesses should be forced to disclose and share cyber attack intelligence, but a similar proportion (46 percent) said they think Congress should pass cybersecurity legislation mandating that the private sector share cyber-attack information with the government.
You have to wonder why people worry about having these security breaches disclosed. What are they hiding besides lax security?
Cost of breaches outweigh those of prevention
The poll was undertaken in March, via 1,006 telephone interviews, approximately a month before the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) was passed by the United States House of Representatives. CISPA is not expected to be considered by the Senate this year, and many point to a lack of consensus on its information-sharing requirements as the reason.
“Americans clearly see a need for stronger methods to prevent cyberattacks, and many see a natural role for government in that process, but they differ on precisely how government and the private sector should interact in that regard,” said Steve Vinsik, vice president of enterprise security for Unisys.
“Regardless of where the legislation ends up, businesses and government agencies need to realize that the costs of breaches far outweigh those of prevention – and that Americans are paying close attention.”
They should be paying close attention. We don’t know anyone with digital segments in their business who has not had to deal with security problems and we know few private individuals who have not had to replace credit cards and change passwords due to these continuing security troubles.
Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
One of the biggest barriers to cloud services adoption by small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) is awareness about what these services are, what benefits they deliver and how to learn about what is available.
Frost & Sullivan says that Sprint stands out for its tightly incorporated, professional cloud solution for SMBs.
SMBs may believe cloud services are difficult to implement or that they lack the technical support needed to maintain these types of solutions for the long term.
But just like larger businesses, SMBs need to continually grow their business, maximize revenues and improve productivity, all while managing a tight budget. In order to compete effectively in this challenging economic climate, SMBs need access to tools that allow them to collaborate across employees, customers and partners in real time, from virtually anywhere.
Factors considered when buying
According to the latest annual survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan of mobile and wireless decision-makers in North America, smaller business respondents cite the cost of doing business, post-sale service and support capability, and professional services capabilities as the top factors they consider when selecting potential mobility partners.
Frost & Sullivan recently recognized Sprint with the 2012 North American Customer Value Enhancement Award in Mobile Communications and Collaboration for its offering of Microsoft Office 365 and the carrier’s Carefree Cloud customer care services.
“We firmly believe that Sprint stands out among its peers by offering not only a tightly incorporated, professional collaboration solution in Office 365, but the wireless provider also meets real small business needs by providing its personalized ‘Carefree Cloud’ onboarding and migration services at no additional charge,” said Jeanine Sterling , principal analyst, Frost & Sullivan.
“Too often, technology can act as a barrier instead of as an enabler. Sprint doesn’t leave small businesses to just cope with day-to-day demands on their own, but instead serves as a true growth partner. These actions place the company in a leadership position, enhancing the value that its fortunate customers receive in this much-needed solution category.”
Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
If Robert Half’s Technology and IT hiring forecast bears out, Raleigh, Charlotte and Atlanta should see significant hiring during the third quarter of 2013.
The just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report for Raleigh, N.C., shows that fourteen percent of Raleigh-area chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed recently plan to expand their teams.
This is up 4 points from the previous quarter’s projections. Another 54 percent plan to hire to fill open IT roles, 27 percent plan to put hiring plans on hold, and 5 percent expect to reduce their IT staff in the third quarter.
The Charlotte report shows that 11 percent of Charlotte-area chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed recently plan to expand their teams in the coming quarter. This is up 1 point from the previous quarter’s projections. Another 51 percent plan to hire to fill open IT roles, 31 percent plan to put hiring plans on hold, and 6 percent expect to reduce their IT staff in the third quarter.
Ten percent of Atlanta-area technology executives surveyed recently expect to expand their IT teams in the third quarter of 2013, a figure unchanged from the previous quarter.
In addition, 55 percent plan to hire to fill open IT roles in the upcoming quarter, 29 percent plan to put hiring plans on hold, and 6 percent expect to reduce their IT staff in the third quarter.
These regional figures are consistent with CIO plans in other areas, with most of those planning IT hiring in the 10 to 13 percent range. Nationally, the average is 12 percent.
Here are some other area figures:
- 13 percent of Boston CIOs expect to hire in the quarter.
- 13 percent of New York CIOS say the same
- 13 percent in Denver say they will hire
- 10 percent of the CIOS in Seattle and Los Angeles plan hiring
- Salt Lake City is exceptional, where 17 percent of CIOS plan IT hiring
In terms of recruiting, 69 percent of CIOs said it’s somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals today. It is most difficult to find skilled talent in the functional areas of networking (18 percent), data/database management (14 percent) and help desk/technical support (13 percent).
Confidence in Business Growth and IT Investments
The survey results suggest that CIOs are optimistic about their companies’ growth and IT investments: Eighty-five percent reported being somewhat or very confident in their companies’ prospects for growth in the third quarter of 2013.
Sixty-three percent of CIOs also said they were somewhat or very confident that their firms would invest in IT projects in the third quarter of 2013.
Skills in Demand
Among the technology executives surveyed, 55 percent said that network administration and database management were the skill sets in greatest demand within their IT department. Desktop support followed closely, with 54 percent of the response.
The IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and conducted by an independent research firm.
Monday, June 3rd, 2013
Columbia Business School
Want a stronger position the next time you negotiate a deal – whether for your salary in a new job, selling a house, or a company? Columbia Business School research suggests a winning strategy.
A recently published study on the art of negotiation by two professors at Columbia Business School could help new hires — and all negotiators — seal a stronger deal than before.
Research conducted by Professors Malia Mason and Daniel Ames and doctoral students Alice Lee and Elizabeth Wiley finds that asking for a specific and precise dollar amount versus a rounded-off dollar amount can give you the upper hand during any negotiation over a quantity.
Use a precise dollar amount
“What we discovered is there is a big difference in what most people think is a good strategy when negotiating and what research shows is a good strategy,” said Professor Mason. “Negotiators should remember that in this case, zero’s really do add nothing to the bargaining table.”
The research, forthcoming in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, looks at the two-way flow of communication between 1,254 fictitious negotiators.
The negotiators were placed in everyday scenarios such as buying jewelry or negotiating the sale of a used car. Some people were asked to make an opening offer using a rounded-off dollar amount, while other people were asked to use a precise dollar amount; let’s say for example $5,000 vs. $5,015.
Conceding more value in the deal
The results showed that overall, people making an offer using a precise dollar amount such as $5,015 versus a rounded-off dollar amount such as $5,000 were perceived to be more informed about the true value of the offer being negotiated. This perception, in turn, led precise-offer recipients to concede more value to their counterpart.
In their negotiation scenarios, the professors concluded the person making a precise offer is successfully giving the illusion they have done their homework. When perceived as better informed, the person on the opposite end believes there is less room to negotiate.
To determine whether people make round offers more often than not, the researchers looked at the real estate market.
Most displayed rounded numbers
Research done on Zillow, the online real estate marketplace, showed the overwhelming majority of displayed prices were rounded numbers, and that only two percent of people listed their homes with precise dollar amounts.
“The practical application of these findings – signaling that you are informed and using a precise number – can be used in any negotiation situation to imply you’ve done your homework,” Mason concluded.
The study, Precise Offers Are Potent Anchors: Conciliatory Counteroffers and Attributions of Knowledge in Negotiations was authored by Malia Mason , the Gantcher Associate Professor of Business; doctoral students Alice Lee and Elizabeth Wiley ; and Daniel Ames , professor. Download the full report.
Friday, May 31st, 2013
Apple has been able to maintain its tablet lead by delivering a quality experience at a premium price, but Android devices are poised to overtake the firms lead.
The iPad maker exited the first calendar quarter of 2013 with 50 percent share of all tablet shipments, though, according to market intelligence firm ABI Research, the Android ecosystem is poised to overtake iOS.
The big variable for Android is China. The Middle Kingdom is passionate about the Apple brand as well as the masses’ ability to afford technology devices.
Smaller, 7-inch Android tablets have become popular though most lack the Google suite of apps and Android Play marketplace. A push for sub-$200 tablets is keeping Android relevant in both developed and emerging markets.
“It’s inevitable that Android tablets will overtake iOS-powered slates, though we see no single vendor challenging Apple’s dominance anytime soon,” says senior practice director Jeff Orr. “With media tablets commercially available for more than 4 years, momentum is shifting toward value and affordability, putting tablets in more of the population’s reach.”
IPad Mini becoming dominant
Average selling price (ASP) and size have been moving down-market since Android tablets started honing in on the opportunity in 2012. Rather than try to unseat Apple in the 10”-class space, tablet vendors sought a defensible area they could own; the result is the 7”-class devices.
Steve Jobs was wrong in asserting that tablet computers had to have screens at least 10 inches in size. Consumers are clearly expressing a preference for small tablets. Anyone who has hefted a 10-inch tablet knows why. The small tablets are much easier on the hands and lose little in terms of the experience.
Facing manufacturing limits in its first quarter of offer, the 7.9-inch iPad mini put a dent in the larger iPad sales and Apple profits. The first quarter of 2013 saw Apple cover its backlog and approach the typical 4-6 weeks of sales channel inventory while recording its second-best ever quarter for total iPad shipments.
ABI Research estimates that iPad mini represented 49% of units and 39% of total iPad revenues. “Expect iPad minis to become the predominant iPad model after the June quarter,” adds Orr.
These “Media Tablet Market Share” findings are part of ABI Research’s Media Tablets, Ultrabooks & eReaders Research Service(http://www.abiresearch.com/research/service/media-tablets-netbooks-ereaders/).
Friday, May 31st, 2013
A new analysis by Aon Hewitt, a global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), found that high levels of employee engagement can dramatically influence an organization’s growth rate, operating income and total shareholder return.
In 2012, Aon Hewitt examined the relationship between employee engagement and financial performance using data from 94 global companies representing nearly 9 million employees over the years spanning 2008 to 2012.
The analysis uncovered a strong positive correlation between increased employee engagement and sales growth in the years following. Each incremental percentage point of employees who became engaged translated into an additional 0.6 percent growth in sales.
Operating income jumped
For example, a $5 billion organization with a gross margin of 55 percent and operating margins of 15 percent increased operating income by $20 million with just a 1 percent improvement in employee engagement. With a 5 percent improvement in employee engagement, operating income jumped to $102 million.
“The economic recession of 2009 put significant pressure on corporate spending on talent—and engagement took a significant hit in the following year,” said Dr. Ken Oehler, Aon Hewitt ’s Global Engagement practice leader. “Our analysis concludes that companies that managed higher employee engagement relative to their peers throughout the economic downturn are now seeing dramatic, positive impacts to their revenue growth.”
Aon Hewitt ’s analysis also found a strong correlation between employee engagement levels and Total Shareholder Return (TSR). Organizations within the top quartile of employee engagement levels (where 72 percent or more of employees are engaged) attained a TSR that was 50 percent higher than that of the average organization.
Lower returns for less employee engagement
Likewise, companies in the bottom quartile engagement group (where less than 46 percent of employees are engaged) had a total shareholder return that was 50 percent lower than the average.
“The link we found between engagement and financial performance validates the theory that engaged and productive employees are a critical ingredient in the success of an organization,” said Oehler. “Employers need to recognize the incredible financial opportunity behind their investments in talent and develop a long-term strategy for keeping their employees engaged and productive at work.”
Additional details on Aon Hewitt ’s analysis of engagement and financial performance can be found in its 2013 Global Employee Engagement report.
Friday, May 31st, 2013
Both mobile app downloads and marketing costs rose last month. In April, the Fiksu Cost per Loyal User Index increased by 10 percent, or 14 cents, to $1.50, from March’s $1.36.
The Fiksu App Store Competitive Index (which measures the average aggregate daily download volume of the top 200 free U.S. iPhone apps) rose 11 percent, to 5.61 million daily downloads in April from March’s 5.02 million.
Three key forces at play
“April’s Fiksu Indexes reflect three key forces at play which, when combined, created increases in volume and costs,” stated Micah Adler , CEO, Fiksu.
“First, the relentless industry investment in mobile by brands large and small that kept competition high. Second, the industry’s smooth transition from Apple’s UDID to its new Advertising Identifier (IDFA) actually kept traffic stable when it could have caused some disruption. And third, the rapid traction of Facebook mobile app install ads, which may have provided developers with a greater pool of efficient inventory and consequently may have buffered the industry against even greater rises in costs.”
The increase in mobile marketing costs noted in the April Fiksu Indexes could be attributed to the end of UDID and the impact of Apple’s new IDFA which has prompted many high-visibility, valuable app publishers, such as Pandora, to enter the marketplace, bumping up available premium inventory for advertisers. Previously, these kinds of publishers had been reluctant to participate using earlier identifiers, but they are now reassured by the advertising-friendly IDFA.
The Fiksu Indexes measure monthly fluctuations in competition for rank in the Apple App Store and the cost to acquire loyal users1,helping mobile app marketers benchmark their performance against industry trends.
For Fiksu’s full analysis, visit http://www.fiksu.com/resources/fiksu-indexes#analysis
Friday, May 31st, 2013
Fifty-seven percent of corporate buyers have purchased goods online, and 37 percent expect to increase the amount of their budget spent online in the next year, according to the Acquity Group (NYSE MKT: AQ), 2013 State of B2B Procurement Study.
The study surveyed corporate buyers with annual budgets in excess of $100,000 on their purchasing habits and preferences.
The majority of corporate buyers are comfortable making major purchases of $5,000 or more online.
In fact, 59 percent of respondents are currently making major purchases online with varying frequency:
- 27 percent make a major purchase of $5,000 or more once per month
- 30 percent make a major purchase 2-4 times per month
- 23 percent make a major purchase 5-11 times per month
- 22 percent make a major purchase 11 or more per month
However, many B2B suppliers are missing out on this online revenue, especially among purchasers with budgets in excess of $500 million.
Only 13 percent of business buyers with a budget of $500 million or more purchase directly from a supplier’s website, even though 50 percent of buyers in this budget range spend 90 percent of their budget or more online. This means they’re spending 37 percent on third-party websites, such as Amazon Supply.
“B2B suppliers have a significant opportunity to increase their revenue from eCommerce,” said Robert Barr , Senior Vice President at Acquity Group. “Our study revealed corporate buyers are comfortable and willing to make major purchases online – and many are already doing this, but not on suppliers’ websites. With online spend expected to rise in the next year, suppliers who don’t invest in eCommerce and multi-channel initiatives will miss out on revenue gains from this channel.”
Best practices for B2B companies
For the 63 percent of respondents who do not plan to increase online spend in the next year, the main reason is they do not see any major advantages to ordering electronically, suggesting that B2B companies need to offer more compelling content, research tools and in some cases, fully functional eCommerce capabilities on par with popular consumer brands.
“B2B suppliers need to give their buyers a reason to go to their site,” said Barr. “Buyers are consuming content and shopping on a wide array of devices on consumer retail sites, and they’ve come to expect the same experience in their business purchasing. B2B sellers can take steps to drive more traffic to their online channel – reducing overhead costs, increasing efficiency and growing revenue – to get ahead of competitors.”
The vast majority of respondents (71 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that the amount of their budgets spent online would increase if it was easier and more convenient to browse and purchase items from suppliers’ websites. When choosing between two suppliers who carry the same product at the same cost, 71 percent of respondents indicated they would purchase from the supplier with easier electronic search and purchase processes, despite loyalty to a current supplier.
Respondents said they would be more likely to make a major purchase of $5,000 online if a site featured:
- Increased security (51 percent)
- Free delivery (39 percent)
- Customer service representatives available via phone (37 percent)
- Improved online customer service or live chat features (30 percent)
- Better sources for research online (29 percent)
- Faster delivery than a catalog order (24 percent)
- More customer friendly design (21 percent)
In addition, 28 percent of respondents would be more likely to make a major purchase of $5,000 or more using a mobile device if suppliers offered easy-to-use mobile optimized sites.
“The most important takeaway for B2B companies is to think omni-channel,” said Barr. “There’s a lot of pent-up demand for more robust, user-friendly online offerings, and we are about to reach the tipping point. B2B companies must act quickly, or risk being left behind.”