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Posts Tagged ‘survey’

Companies not making employees aware of BYOD policies

Friday, December 21st, 2012

mobile devicesIT departments are not making employees aware of their BYOD policies, according to a survey by Globo.

In the survey, 68 percent of respondents said they use their personal devices for work, while only 29 percent said that their company actually has a BYOD policy in place.

Furthermore, 42 percent of respondents don’t know if their company’s BYOD policy allows IT to have full access to their personal devices.

These findings show a significant lack of communication between companies and their employees with respect to BYOD, an issue that must be addressed.

Other key findings include:

  • 14 percent reported that they don’t know if their company currently has a BYOD policy.
  • 91 percent responded that they do not know if their company plans to implement a BYOD policy.
  • If IT clearly stated that they have access to their employee’s personal information such as emails and contacts, 93 percent of respondents said that they would not participate in a BYOD program.
  • 69 percent said that they would not consider breaking a company policy in regards to BYOD even if they knew that they would not get caught.
  • People using a personal device for work say that they are using it first and foremost to check emails (62 percent).

According to Aggelos Grypaios , vice president of Business Development and Marketing for Globo, “With the significant number of employees already using their personal devices for work, companies should be focused on creating a BYOD program and policies that fit the specific needs of the company.

The next important step is to communicate the policy to employees and make sure that they understand their rights and the rights of the company.

Defining and managing a BYOD strategy that protects the security of the employee and the employer will keep companies competitive in the market by creating a mobile workforce.”

SMBs optimistic but also see potential threats to success

Thursday, December 13th, 2012
Report cover Nearly half (49 percent) of business leaders expect general business conditions to be slightly or much better six months from now, compared to the 27 percent who say it will be slightly or much worse.
Despite this optimism, 45 percent of small and medium-sized business leaders expect 2013 hiring levels to fall short of 2012.

The findings stem from the Winter 2012 Cbeyond Business Leader Snapshot, a blind survey of 435 executives who own or manage a small to medium-sized business with 10 or more employees.
Atlanta-based Cbeyond Inc, (NASDAQ: CBEY), which calls itself the technology ally to small and mid-sized businesses, conducted the survey which studied the current business sentiment and technology outlook among small and medium-sized business decision makers in the U.S.
Complete survey findings are available athttp://go.cbeyond.net/smbsnap.

Taxes the biggest immediate threat

Among the business leaders surveyed, 51 percent believe taxes are the biggest immediate threat to the success of small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S., followed by government regulations (41 percent), the cost of labor (34 percent) and the federal deficit (32 percent).
 
A plurality of SMB leaders (38 percent) fear the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as ObamaCare, will have a negative impact on their bottom lines in 2013.  At the same time, only 15 percent expect this legislation to have a positive impact on their bottom line numbers.

When asked to rate their stress levels today versus before the November election, the majority (58 percent) of small business leaders say their stress level is on the rise with 30 percent stating their stress level is much greater and 28 percent stating it is somewhat greater.

Business Leader 2013 Technology Outlook

Small business leaders also expect technology to play a major role in their businesses in 2013.  The specific technologies business leaders said would be very or somewhat important to them in the coming year ranked as follows:
  • 94 percent network access (high-speed, always-on Internet access),
  • 94 percent desktop/laptop management (desktop support, software/antivirus maintenance),
  • 91 percent applications (security, productivity and collaboration software),
  • 90 percent mobile services,
  • 85 percent enterprise-grade voice and broadband services,
  • 82 percent cloud services.
CLOUDThe cloud is gaining traction among SMB leaders.  Of the respondents, 21 percent stated operating their business without cloud services (use of hardware and software delivered as a service over the Internet) would be a major challenge.
The majority of cloud users also find significant benefits from the technology, with 83 percent stating the cloud made them more flexible; 78 percent crediting the cloud for making them more productive and 71 percent stating that the cloud is saving them money.

SMBs interested in cloud-based solutions

Other findings showed SMB leaders are interested in leveraging cloud-based solutions for a variety of business functions in the coming year, including:
  • 33 percent for banking (i.e., online banking or cash management),
  • 33 percent for company email,
  • 30 percent for file sharing,
  • 30 percent for data archival,
  • 29 percent for accounting/ERP.

Most plan increased technology budgets

More proof of the importance of technology is evidenced by spending plans for 2013.  Sixty-four percent of SMB leaders plan to increase their technology budget in 2013.  Thirty-one percent expect their technology budgets to remain flat, and only 5 percent anticipate a decrease in their technology budget.

“Cbeyond takes great steps to understand our customers’ needs and the trends and economic conditions that are impacting their businesses and technology decisions,” said Paul Carmody, senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Starting to see light at the end of the tunnel

“This study showed there are still concerns about market conditions and the impact of healthcare costs.  As small and medium-sized businesses seek to cope with macro factors affecting their companies, leaders increasingly view technology as a way to help them drive productivity.”
He added, “They also are starting to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel – a collective sentiment which we hope is indicative of the overall U.S. economy moving forward in the coming months.”

The survey also includes findings on SMB usage of onsite and offsite servers, business continuity planning, offsite data backups and cyber security.  For in-depth survey findings visit http://go.cbeyond.net/smbsnap.

Executives want better access to mobile device and social data

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

KPMGA large number of companies have adopted a data analytics strategy to better leverage in-house information, but management teams don’t seem to have the right access to marketplace data needed to make strategic decisions, says a new survey from KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm.

More than 60 percent of respondents to a KPMG survey said their organization has a defined data and analytics strategy.

However, only 39 percent of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that senior management had access to the rising volume of data gathered from the marketplace necessary to predict the needs of their customers.

That sounds like a problem for innovative startups to solve. Getting the important data to decision-making executives in forms they can grasp quickly is becoming one of the Holy Grails of analytics. While numerous tools exist that try to do that, there is apparently room for improvement.

This “unstructured” data executives need is typically generated by customers, vendors and analysts over websites, by mobile device users, and via social networking.

Management increasingly challenged

As a result, senior management remains increasingly challenged to analyze current data and to act meaningfully on the results, according to 45 percent of more than 370 executives surveyed during the leading IT conference.

In addition, more than one-quarter of respondents said their major challenge has been dealing with data raining in from other sources.

“Data generated on the Internet by customers and vendors can help offer new predictive opportunities to anticipate market changes,” said Jeanne E. Johnson, who leads KPMG’s Data & Analytics (D&A) innovation initiative.

“But it remains a huge challenge to harness this kind of data as it is not only generated from disparate reporting systems, but is generated by a wide variety of external stakeholders.”

New extreme stress old conventions

The old conventions for measuring, managing and monitoring a business—as well as assuring the quality of its data—will be stressed to new extremes as speed, the need for trustworthy information and machine learning continue to influence the marketplace.

As a result, says Johnson, “to succeed in the data driven economy you’ll have to be able to figure out what you didn’t know or didn’t expect as well as optimize what you did know and could anticipate.”

Further, 29 percent of respondents said advances in data and analytics would fundamentally change their business or industry in the next five years.

Forty-two percent of respondents said data and analytics would have an important impact in several areas of their industry or business, though more than one-third (36 percent) of those questioned said it will be at least one to three years before their company can implement a data and analytics strategy that allows predictive insights into the market.

Other findings included:

  • Forty-five percent of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that data analysis was on their board of directors’ agenda.
  • Forty-five percent of those surveyed said their company tends of focus more on data security than on using data to improve core business operations.

“This survey demonstrates that data and analytics has become a central strategic approach as most companies believe the key to predicting the needs of customers is directly correlated with analysis from all data sources,” Johnson said.

Visual content key to engagement in marketing, PR, and social media

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

matter logoWe are an image loving society. A survey of marketing pros by matter communications suggests that visual content is key to engagement across all marketing materials.

A visual snapshot of these key findings from the survey can be found here: infographic

  • 95 percent believe visual content is very important for online marketing
  • 89 percent are already using or plan to use visual content in social media
  • 87 percent believe visual content is critical for traditional marketing
  • 80 percent plan to budget for production of visual content in 2013
  • 96.7 percent believe that visual content engages best on social media

According to Facebook, for example, posts on that social platform including a photo album, picture or video generate about 180 percent, 120 percent and 100 more engagement, respectively.

 

 

Mobile devices playing a crucial role influencing shopping decisions

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Mobile devicesMobile devices are increasingly playing a “crucial role” in influencing consumer shopping decisions across every stage of the purchase funnel to point-of-sale, according to a joint national survey conducted by Sybase 365, the mobile services arm of SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) and the Mobile Marketing Association.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults found mobile’s influence on shopping behavior is far greater than just a year ago. A large majority (87 percent) say they will use their mobile device to change their shopping habits this holiday season.

Half plan to make a mobile purchase via the mobile web, apps, at point-of-sale (POS) or via text or voice on the device.

Consumers also plan to use their mobile devices for comparing prices, researching deals and coupons, locating product reviews, avoiding long shopping lines, and tracking loyalty points.

The study also shows areas in which marketers could improve the mobile shopping experience. Sixty-one percent said they would be more willing to shop with their mobile device if the experience improved.

Areas they want to see improved include: more accurate results relevant to their habits and exact location; more secure connections; and faster connection speeds so they get faster results when they are about to make a purchase.

“The results from this survey clearly indicate that we are starting to see meaningful adoption of mobile commerce solutions,” said John Sims, president of Sybase 365.

“While progress is being made, the industry needs to make a collective effort to better educate and inform consumers about pressing issues surrounding mobile payments, such as available technology, security, and usage benefits. This will ensure that consumers are comfortable enough to embrace this extremely pervasive industry as part of their everyday lives.”

Consumers aren’t just using their mobile devices for holiday shopping.

Forty-two percent of survey respondents reported that information they found using their mobile devices influenced their decision the last time they made a purchase.

Thirty percent of consumers reported that the last time they were at the point of sale, they used their mobile device to compare prices or read product reviews and ended up making a purchase from a different physical or online store or purchased a different brand altogether; and eight percent of individuals reported that their mobile device validated a purchase they were already going to make.

Merchants are also helping to drive awareness of mobile payments. Most significantly, they are leveraging mobile to target customers with loyalty deals and coupons. Nearly half of consumers surveyed (44%) received a deal on their mobile device recently from Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Groupon, Target or Starbucks.

 

 

“Mobile Thursday” shopping will double this year

Monday, November 19th, 2012

mobile devicesBlack Friday, Cyber Monday – and now we have “Mobile Thursday,” says a survey by Harris Interactive conducted for Digitas, a brand agency.

According to the survey, mobile devices will play a pivotal role this Thanksgiving as the holiday transforms into “Mobile Thursday,” the day before Black Friday.

You can view and infographic detailing the survey findings here.

Twenty-eight percent of smartphone- or tablet-owning adult holiday shoppers plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day with their mobile devices. This will nearly double the percentage from 2011, when only 16% said they would use a mobile device to shop on “Mobile Thursday”.

In addition to shopping for the holidays, 29% of smartphone or tablet owners say that they have used or plan to use their mobile devices to assist with upcoming Thanksgiving holiday preparations. That number rises to 40% when focused on adults aged 18–34.

These are the key findings of a new online survey by Harris Interactive, conducted on behalf of Digitas, a top, digitally led, global integrated brand agency, from November 5 to 7, 2012, among 2,059 adults ages 18 and older.

“Our findings reinforce that mobile is not just another channel. It’s a technology-driven cultural phenomenon that is changing how people are connecting to brands and commerce. With more consumers shopping on their devices, brands are being provided with more mobile moments to address and create impact — even during a time of turkey, football, and family,” says Chia Chen, SVP, Mobile Practice Lead, Digitas.

The study suggest that parents should be prepared to allow mobile devices at the Thanksgiving dinner table or risk not seeing their college kids on the holiday.

— Students Are a Mobile Thursday Force; Will Choose Mobile Devices Over Turkey

  • Two in five students (38%) say they’ll do holiday shopping on their mobile devices on Thanksgiving.
  • Twenty-two percent of students are likely to decline a Thanksgiving meal invitation if they know they would not be able to use their mobile devices while there.

Even though consumers experience mobile-user frustrations, the survey finds that they still have strong intent to purchase via mobile.

— Consumers Want to Shop via Mobile, But Brands Still Have Need to Catch Up

  • The study revealed that three-quarters (76%) of those who shop by mobile device and  computer say that it is easier to shop via computer.
  • Only 8% say their shopping experience is easier via mobile and one in six (16%) say there is no difference between the two.

 

Cloud and mobile transforming the tax & accounting profession

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

calculatorCloud and mobile technologies are transforming the tax and accounting  profession, according to the 2012 CCH Technology Survey, an independent nationwide survey of more than 400 accounting professionals, conducted by ORC International for CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business.

“We’re now at a point where all the benefits that have been talked about from emerging technologies are here – firms using these technologies today are seeing tremendous benefits in productivity and the value they can deliver to clients,” said Kevin Robert, CEO.

According to professionals surveyed, improved client service is the driving force behind their adoption of these emerging technologies, along with improved productivity and profitability.

Firms also report that they still face challenges in leveraging technology effectively, despite its importance to their success.

Specifically, survey findings include:

  • The majority of firms (64 percent) said that when making decisions to invest in new technology, their top consideration is if it will enhance client service;
  • Improved client service is also the top benefit firms say they realize from supporting a mobile workforce, and leveraging social media;
  • In addition to cloud and mobile, social media and Big Data are emerging technologies the majority of firms identified as having a future impact on the profession; and
  • Two-thirds of firms say leveraging technology is important to their success; yet 87 percent report they can do it more effectively; and fewer than 15 percent were very confident in their ability to understand and manage emerging technologies.

Adoption of cloud-based solutions varies by firm size, with 84 percent of large firms (50 or more employees); 67 percent of mid-size firms (10-49 employees); and 46 percent of small firms (1-9 employees) now using or planning to use cloud solutions in the next three years.

The top benefits of working in the cloud:

  • The ability to work anytime, anywhere;
  • The ability to serve clients in any location;
  • Improved security and backup procedures; and
  • Improved collaboration with clients.

Other top benefits include lower costs and greater value to clients.

Mobile

Accounting professionals are increasingly mobile, with 81 percent reporting they spend time working away from the office. The average number of hours a week professionals work remotely ranges from 5.8 hours for those in mid-size firms to 8.6 hours for those at large firms.

Additionally, firms of all sizes expect an increasing number of their staff will spend more time working remotely. Among key benefits firms report from enabling mobile workers are:

  • Improved client service;
  • Improved productivity; and
  • Work/life benefits.

To download the survey white paper, CCH Technology Survey – Technology in Accounting: Then, Now and Next, visit CCHGroup.com/TechnologySurvey.

Entrepreneurs expect profits to grow next year

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Kauffman FoundationMost startup business owners doubt that the national U.S. economy will grow next year, but nevertheless believe their own profits will, according to the fourth-quarter Kauffman/LegalZoom Startup Confidence Index, released  by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and LegalZoom.

The number of entrepreneurs who say they expect their firm’s profits to increase in the next 12 months hit 83 percent, up 4 percent from the previous quarterly survey and the highest confidence level expressed in 2012 surveys.

Forty-one percent of entrepreneurs reported being very confident in future profitability in the fourth-quarter survey, compared to 39 percent in the third quarter. The number of respondents who were somewhat confident in future profitability rose from 40 percent in the third quarter to 42 percent in the fourth-quarter survey.

Youngest entrepreneurs the most optimistic

Sixteen percent of small business owners applied for loans or lines of credit in the last year, a number that remained unchanged from the previous quarter, but of these applicants, 14 percent more had their loans approved than in the previous quarter, a significant jump.

The youngest entrepreneurs – those 18 to 30 years old – exhibit the greatest optimism, as they did in the third-quarter survey.

Among this group, 93 percent were confident or very confident that their businesses would become more profitable in the next 12 months than they are today. This number is considerably lower than in the previous quarter, however.

Young people still show a rise in confidence from the start of the year, but from the third quarter to the fourth, there’s a marked drop-off.

Confidence is a leading indicator

“We believe these findings are important because entrepreneurial confidence could be seen as something of a leading indicator, as new and young businesses prepare to lead the next economic expansion,” said Dane Stangler, director of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation.

Expectations for the U.S. economy rebounded from the July 2012 quarterly survey. Forty-four percent of startup owners now believe the economy will improve over the next 12 months, as compared to just 32 percent in the third-quarter survey, 38 percent in the second-quarter survey and 38 percent in the first-quarter survey.

“Over the last four quarters of tracking entrepreneurial confidence, the one number that has grown steadily is ‘intent to hire.’  It is encouraging to see it at its highest rate yet this year,” said John Suh, CEO of LegalZoom.

Nearly 40 percent of startup owners said they plan to hire additional employees in the next 12 months, which is the highest percentage reported in any of the 2012 quarterly surveys.

Entrepreneurs’ outlook for consumer demand also is becoming more optimistic. In the most recent fourth-quarter survey, 45 percent said they expect a moderate to significant increase in consumer demand in the next 12 months – 10 percent more than in the third-quarter survey.

 

Organizations adopting cloud-based email, but slowly

Monday, October 15th, 2012

email graphicMany organizations are holding off on migrating email to the cloud in order to first assess the security, compliance and other risks against uncertain cost benefits, according to a new survey conducted by Osterman Research for Sendmail.

While Sendmail’s survey shows only 26% of organizations intend to move at least some part of their messaging infrastructure to the cloud within the next year, inevitability reigns with more than 83% of all organizations expected to have email in the cloud by the end of 2014.

Underscoring the complexity of email infrastructure within large organizations, companies with 5,000 or more employees are slower in embracing the trend with only 59% expected to have cloud-based email within two years compared to 93% of smaller organizations.

Regulated industries slower to adopt

Regulated industry is also taking its time with 60% of all compliance-minded organizations expected to have email in the cloud within two years versus 99% of companies operating in non-regulated industries.

“The results of our email-to-cloud migration survey show just how complex the email infrastructures at large and regulated organizations have become,” said Glen Vondrick, president and CEO of Sendmail.

“It’s good to see organizations are realizing cloud-based email isn’t one-size-fits-all, and that they’re taking their time to evaluate their messaging architectures and migration plans to properly assess the risks, complications, deployment options and even benefits before moving messaging to the cloud.”

Further complicating matters

Much of the complexity in email-to-cloud migrations comes from the multitude of on-site point-products for email filtering, security, routing, and policy enforcement that 94% of large enterprises report having in place.

Further complicating matters are systems and applications that are commonly attached to email infrastructure, which can cause total shutdown of corporate communications during a poorly planned email-to-cloud migration.

Most large organizations (40%) have more than 100 of such applications and systems. 29% of large organizations believe they have more than 500, and as many as 19% believe they have more than 1,000. 10% simply aren’t sure.

“Cloud-based email for large and regulated enterprises is clearly in a slow adoption phase, but this is a good sign,” said Michael Osterman , president of Osterman Research.

“Many organizations are merely exercising due diligence in identifying all the hurdles, including Big Data which may be a bigger security threat to businesses than many currently realize. Once this discovery and planning phase is completed over the next year, I think cloud-based email will hit its stride as the data strongly suggests.”

Big data looms large

Of the risks many organizations are addressing, Big Data looms large with only 37% saying they’re not worried about the security and compliance implications of large, unchecked data flowing in and out of the enterprise, thanks in large part to the explosion of smartphones being used to send and receive a growing barrage of corporate messages and attachments.

Despite the growing complexity of email infrastructure, and the recommendation by many experts that large organizations embrace a hybrid approach to cloud-based email, only 22% have expressed clear plans for this approach.

Although 17% of organizations have already moved email to the cloud in some way, Sendmail’s research suggests a lack of confidence in the benefits, with 73% of large businesses either doubting or simply not sure about the cost savings many predict. Even among the smaller, more enthusiastic organizations, only 37% express complete confidence in the cost benefits.

 

Small business lending to accelerate over the next six months

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

FICOIn FICO’s quarterly survey of bank risk professionals, bankers expressed optimism that lending for small businesses would accelerate over the next six months.

This has to be good news for the economy overall, not just small businesses. If small businesses can get the money they need to expand, they will create more jobs.

By more than a two-to-one margin, respondents said that both the approval rate for small business loans and the total amount of credit extended to small businesses would increase rather than decrease, and more than half of all respondents predicted the overall supply of small business credit would meet demand.

The survey, conducted for FICO by the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA), found continued concern among bank risk professionals about the student debt crisis, and respondents said the supply of new home loans will barely keep pace with demand amidst signs that the housing marketing is beginning to rebound.

Consumer credit: Returning to normalcy
After several years of uncertainty in the consumer credit market, this was the second consecutive quarter in which the FICO survey found that bankers expected delinquency rates on every type of consumer loan except student loans to remain flat or decrease.

Again, this is good news for the economy overall.

The percentages of survey respondents who expected delinquency rates to stay at their current levels or go down during the next six months were as follows:

  • Credit cards
67 percent
  • Car loans
76 percent
  • Residential mortgages
76 percent 
  • Home equity lines of credit
74 percent
  • Small business loans
73 percent

PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1pzKo)

Many execs intend to hire but hold off fearing U.S. & European fiscal cliffs

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Korn FerryPrior to the 114,000 September job increase reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, executives surveyed showed 58 percent intend to increase hiring at all levels across their organizations within the next 12 months — yet 69 percent are waiting for resolution on the fiscal cliff or the European financial crisis.

One of our most trusted economic advisers at the TechJournal told us in a casual conversation that the real danger to a continuing economic stability is the lack of stable government in the U.S. and aborad and this report tends to bear him out.

Despite future hiring intentions, results revealed broad-based hiring is stagnant.

While 26 percent responded that they are currently hiring people, 25 percent said they are either thinking about laying people off or in the process of laying people off.  Forty-nine percent said they were holding the line – remaining status quo and delaying a decision either way.

Two top outside factors

The two top outside factors creating a pause in hiring: the United States fiscal cliff cited by 39 percent of respondents; and EU economic instability, with a 30 percent response.  Nineteen percent of executives said that the U.S. lowering its corporate tax rate would make them prone to increase hiring.

Detailed results follow:

1.  Are you planning on increasing hiring in the next 12 months?
No – will not increase hiring anytime in the next 6 months 32%
No – laying off in the next 12 months 11%  (43%)
Yes – within 6 months 42%
Yes – within the 12 months 16%  (58%)
2. What “outside factor” would make you most prone to increase U.S. hiring?
End of fiscal cliff 39%
EU economic stability 30%
U.S. lowering its corporate tax rate 19%
QE3 9%
Ending possible trade war with China 4%
3.  Right now, what is your company doing about hiring?
Aggressively hiring more people 7%
Hiring more people 19%  (26%)
Delaying — wanting to hire more people now but delaying it 23%
Not hiring and remaining status quo 26%  (49%)
Thinking about laying people off, but holding off 7%
Laying people off 18%  (25%)
4.  Compared to last year, are you hiring more/less/the same?
Hiring more than a year ago 19%
Hiring at the same level as a year ago 14%  (31%)
Keeping staffing levels the same as a year ago 38%  (38%)
Laying people off at the same pace as we did a year ago 10%
Laying many more people off than we did a year ago 19%  (29%)

The survey was fielded from Sept. 28 to Oct. 3 by Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), a premier global provider of talent management solutions.

Police could improve communications using social channels

Monday, October 1st, 2012

policeman with phoneShould police be putting more effort into communicating with citizens via social media channels? Three-quarters of 1300 people surveyed in six countries by Accenture  believe digital communication channels, including social media, can play a significant role in bridging the communication gap.

Almost three-fourths (71 percent) of those surveyed say police use of digital channels can help overcome the communication gap , but only 20 percent believe their local police use digital channels.

Most, though (84 percent) say they’re only minimally informed of police activities now.

Citizens – from Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, the United States and the United Kingdom were surveyed.

Almost one-fourth (23 percent) of respondents believe police should use smartphone and mobile applications to communicate with citizens and 50 percent said they would like to see an increase in the use of police websites and portals. Only 22 percent of those surveyed, however, said their police force is currently using dedicated websites and portals.

The research found that police across all six countries continue to rely heavily on traditional media channels, including newspapers (69 percent) and radio or television news reports (45 percent), as their primary tools for one-way communication with citizens.

Despite citizens’ interest in the use of more digital channels, traditional community policing methods remain important. The majority (63 percent) of respondents still prefer to report a crime over the phone or in person to a police officer.

Tim Godwin, Accenture senior executive and retired U.K. Metropolitan Police Service deputy commissioner said, “The strong belief among citizens that digital technologies and social media channels can improve police services and prevent crime demonstrates the importance of police forces continuing to adopt new tools to foster two-way communication with citizens. By increasing the number of channels by which police communicate, they will gain valuable intelligence that can help prevent crime and secure prosecutions.”

U.S. Findings:

The U.S. had the highest rate of respondents who felt “well informed” of local police activities (21 percent).

  • More than three-fourths of U.S. respondents (78 percent) said they would like to see police use more digital channels to communicate with citizens.
  • Seventy-seven percent believe that social media can aid investigations and help catch criminals and 56 percent of U.S. citizens believe social media can improve police services.
  • Almost half of U.S. survey participants (47 percent) believe that social media use by police can prevent crime.
  • More than half (52 percent) of U.S. respondents said they would like to have a community police force contact.
  • Thirty-four percent of U.S. respondents believe police should make greater use of smartphone and mobile applications to communicate with citizens.

 

Consumer confidence in tech hits record 2012 level

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

mobile devicesCould it be all those tasty new tech devices flooding the markeplace? New tablets, smartphones, ultrabooks, connected TVs and DVD players? Or is it just a slow uptick in the economy? Whatever the cause, consumers are poised to spend more on technology.

Consumer confidence in technology reached its highest level of the year in September, according to the latest CEA Index released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

The CEA Index also showed that consumer confidence in the overall economy improved this month.

Consumers’ confidence to spend on technology reached its highest September level in the history of the CEA Index and its fifth highest level for any single-month period.

The CEA Index of Consumer Technology Expectations (ICTE) rose 4.9 points this month, reaching 92.4. The ICTE, which measures consumer expectations about technology spending, is 10.5 points higher year-over-year and is at its highest level since December 2011.

“There were several key high-tech product announcements this month which served as an important catalyst for tech buying heading into the fourth quarter and the holiday shopping season,” said Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and senior director of research.

“This month’s measure of sentiment is at levels typically only seen during the height of the holiday buying season, an indication that consumers are likely to buy and spend more on tech in the weeks ahead.”

Consumers more optimistic about overall economy

Consumer sentiment toward the overall economy also rose in September. The CEA Index of Consumer Expectations (ICE) increased 3.5 points from August, reaching 172.2. The ICE, which measures consumer expectations about the broader economy, is nearly 15.4 points higher than this time last year.

“Despite rising gas prices, uncertainties overseas, domestic elections and the slow recovery of the U.S. economy, an improved stock market and an increase in housing prices has consumers feeling more confident about their financial future,” said DuBravac.

“The wealth effects are real and will help consumers feel as if they are on firmer ground financially.”

Kindle Fire HD impresses some, others waiting for iPad Mini

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
Bezos with Kindle Fire HD

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos introduces the Kindle Fire HD.

Have you looked at the features in the new Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7″ tablet? Amazon is doing some aggressive advertising of the device on TV, but in a survey of more than 2,000 consumers, 45 percent said they were “unimpressed” with the new device.

More than half of those surveyed by couponcodes4u.com already own a tablet: 45% said they owned an Apple iPad device, while 19% said they owned a Google tablet. 16% of respondents who owned a tablet said they’d opted for a Samsung branded device, while 13% said they already owned a Kindle/Amazon branded tablet and 7% said they owned another type of tablet, such as the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Personally, we’re happy with our original Kindle Fire tablet model and Wifi Kindle e-reader, so we’re waiting for the tablet wars to thin the offerings or considerably improve them before buying another.  The original Kindle Fire does have drawbacks – no microphone, no memory card slot (it’s not alone there), and poorer screen resolution than more current models of several other brands.

We’re mostly interested in improved dictation features, however – using a virtual keyboard is torturous and even using an external one doesn’t make doing much writing easy on a 7″ screen.

We’re convinced that a tablet (or smartphone) device with very accurate voice recognition is eventually going to change the tablet/phone environment.

In the survey, when shown the features and specs on the new Kindle Fire HD, 55 percent liked the look of it – with the majority approving of the price, 27 percent liking the connection to Amazon’s content library, and less than a tenth (9 percent) citing overall specifications. (See a review of the new Kindle Fire HD.)

Respondents who said they were unimpressed by the new Kindle Fire HD were asked to explain why, to which 45% admitted that they preferred a “larger screened tablet”, while 39% said that the Kindle tablet didn’t blow them away due to ‘not matching up to competitors’. In addition, 11% of consumers said the tablet “didn’t offer enough apps” to keep them interested.

When all respondent were asked whether or not the new Kindle had enough to hold their interest if and when the iPad Mini was released this year, 39% of respondents said it would. However, 54% of respondents said they would be more likely to opt for the iPad Mini when it is released, while 7% of respondents admitted that they would “consider” both tablets.

Mark Pearson, Chairman of CouponCodes4u.com, said, “Another day, another tablet release! With the popularity of Amazon and the Kindle tablet driving the small tablet revolution, it is no wonder that consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to personal gadgets. As the Kindle is very different from other tablets, we wanted to see how consumers have reacted to the latest release of the Fire HD and if they had the chance, and obviously the funds, whether or not they would trade it in for the iPad Mini.”

He added that it’s surprising that even many who like the look of the Kindle Fire HD would consider an Apple iPad mini.  “While many people have voiced a negative opinion about Apple and the products of late, you cannot deny the power of their marketing campaigns and products.,” he said.

 

Apple fans value their iPhone 5 more than their wallet

Monday, September 24th, 2012

iPhone 5sA first-ever study of iPhone 5 purchasers reveals that 51.7 percent of Apple fans value their iPhone over their wallet, according to a poll by ProtechYourBubble.com, a gadget insurance comapny.

Who would most iPhone buyers most want to have lunch with? That’s an easy one: Steve Jobs – although dining with a ghost might be disconcerting. But a significant number would choose Einstein. They’re a brainy bunch, those iPhone 5 buyers, except maybe for the 17 percent or so who would lunch with Lady Gaga.

The most also think that if Siri were a real person, she would look like Angela Joli, so the Apple fan’s mind isn’t entirely on Steve Jobs and the theory of relativity.

Other results indicate:

  • Of the Apple fans waiting in NYC lines, 74 percent were male and 26 percent were female and their average age is 25.
  • 40.6 percent of Apple customers have previously purchased three or more earlier model iPhones.
  • Apple fans waited an average of 2-4 hours in line to get their hands on the new release.
  • 33.6 percent of Apple fans would prefer to have lunch with Steve Jobs. Others include 27.3 percent want to break bread with Albert Einstein; 23.1 percent want to spend time with JFK; whereas only 17.5 want to hang out with Lady Gaga.
  • If Siri were a real person, most Apple fans in line (27.8 percent) imagine she would look like Angelina Jolie. Tied in a close second with 25 percent of the vote are Betty White and Cameron Diaz.
  • The new features Apple fans are most looking forward to using include the bigger screen with 41.7 percent of the vote; a stronger battery came in second at 29.2 percent. The sleek design received 25.7 percent; and a more powerful camera received 22.9 percent.
  • 32.2 percent of Apple fans are planning to buy iPhone 5 insurance.
  • 43.4 percent of the people polled did not know that replacing their iPhone 5 without a contact can cost as much as $749 versus the subsidized rate of $299 for the iPhone 5 32 GB underscoring the importance or researching and purchasing gadget insurance.
  • The second most popular brand for Apple fans is Samsung. Other popular brands include Sony, Starbucks, Gucci and Nike.

“People increasingly regard their iPhones as their most valued possession and as a result, we have seen a 50% increase in smartphone insurance since the announcement of the iPhone 5,” said Stephen Ebbett, President  of ProtectYourBubble.com.

“With a$749 price tag for the iPhone 5 32 gb and the technology’s boundless capabilities to store and make use of personal data and content, it’s easy to see why.”

ProtechYourBubble.com sells iPhone insurance plans to US customers for $7.99 a month.

Past security models no longer effective, new strategies needed

Friday, September 21st, 2012

PwcThe rise in global security incidents, diminished budgets and degrading security programs have left organizations to deal with security risks that are neither well-understood nor consistently addressed, according to The Global State of Information Security Survey 2013 released today by PwC US in conjunction with CIO and CSO magazines.

Executives around the world feel confident that they’re winning the high-stakes game of information security despite the growing number of obstacles – but their confidence may be misplaced.

“Security models of the past decade are no longer effective. Today’s rapidly evolving threat landscape represents a danger that shows no signs of diminishing, and businesses can no longer afford to play a game of chance,” said Mark Lobel, a principal in PwC’s Advisory practice.

New strategy and advanced skills needed

“Companies that want to be information security leaders should prepare to play a new game – one that requires advanced skills and strategy to win against emerging threats.”

According to the tenth annual survey, the general mood among global executives is largely optimistic. The majority of respondents said they are very or somewhat confident their organizations have instilled effective information security behaviors into their culture (68 percent), and are very or somewhat confident their information security activities are effective (more than 70 percent).

Yet, while nearly half of respondents (42 percent) view their organization as a “front-runner” in information security strategy and execution, the survey finds that only 8 percent actually qualify as true information security leaders.

According to PwC, “leaders” are defined as companies that have a chief information security officer (or CISO equivalent) who reports to the organization’s top executives, have an overall information security strategy in place, have measured and reviewed the effectiveness of their security in the last year, and understand exactly what types of security events have occurred.

Confidence is security largely unfounded

“Clearly, many executives have unfounded confidence in their security capabilities,” said Bob Bragdon, publisher of CSO.

“In order to strengthen security practices, organizations must embrace a new way of thinking in which information security is both a means to protect data as well as an opportunity to create value to the organization. Security strategies and security spending must be well-aligned with business goals.”

Increase in incidents not met by increase in budgets

Despite an increase in the number of respondents reporting 50 or more incidents (13 percent), fewer than half (45 percent) expect an increase in their budgets in the next 12 months – down from 51 percent and 52 percent in 2011 and 2010, respectively. While multiple factors shape security budgets, the primary determinant is the economic environment, with information security concerns far down the list.

Also, senior executives are frequently seen as understanding the problem, with half of respondents – including 86% of the security “leaders” – pointing to top-level leadership as the greatest obstacle to improving information security effectiveness.

The survey shows that a winning security practice is often hindered by decreased deployment of basic information security and privacy tools. Among the categories taking a hit are malicious code detection tools for spyware and adware, down to 71 percent after topping out at 84 percent in 2008, and intrusion detection tools, once in use by nearly two-thirds of respondents and now used by just over half.

Looser tabs on data

In today’s world of “big data,” the survey also finds that most organizations are keeping looser tabs on their data today than in years past.

While more than 80 percent say protecting customer and employee data is important, far fewer understand what that data entails and where it is stored. Fewer than 35 percent of respondents said they have an accurate inventory of employee and customer personal data, and only 31 percent reported they had an accurate accounting of locations and jurisdictions of stored data.

The decreased deployment of security and privacy tools is like playing a championship game with amateur sports equipment,” continued PwC’s Lobel.  “Intruders are exploiting business ecosystems, leaving reputational, financial and competitive damage in their wake.

Today’s information security leaders must acknowledge that playing the game at a higher level is required to achieve effective security. The very survival of the business demands that they understand, prepare for, and quickly respond to security threats.”

Addressing Security Threats in Social, Mobile and the Cloud
As mobile devices, social media, and the cloud become commonplace inside the enterprise and out, technology adoption is moving faster than security.

PwC has found that 88 percent of consumers use a personal mobile device for both personal and work purposes, yet only 45 percent of companies have a security strategy to address personal devices in the workplace and 37 percent have malware protection for mobile devices.

Despite an increase in the number of respondents reporting safeguards in place for mobile, social media, cloud computing, and policies covering the use of employee-owned devices, only 44 percent report having a mobile security strategy and less than 40 percent have strategies for the cloud and social media. These numbers lag the adoption rates of the technologies themselves.

To learn more about the survey, including industry specific highlights and further regional information, please visit:  www.pwc.com/giss2013.

US consumers growing more guarded about sharing information

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Privacy word cloudWhen it comes to privacy, U.S. consumers are still protecting some of their personal information as much as they do their social security number and trust may actually be eroding, according to a Loyalty One survey. More than three-quarters of those surveyed said they don’t see any benefit at all from sharing information with marketers.

Of the 1,000 U.S. consumers responding to an online survey, 50% said they’d be willing to give a trusted company their religious affiliation, 49% their political affiliation, 49% their sexual orientation, 36% health information, 26% mental health information, 24% browsing history and 15% for both smart phone location and number of sexual partners. Last on the list is their social security number at 11%.

Toronto-based LoyaltyOne, a global provider of coalition loyalty, customer analytics and loyalty services, completed online surveys in July 2012 with 1,000 American respondents. The research is designed to test consumer attitudes about personal data collection and use by marketers.

Several of the 2012 questions followed up on a 2011 survey and were structured to measure changes in U.S. consumer sentiments over the past year.

For brands intent on deepening their customer relationships, the results signal a concerning trend — trust may be eroding.

Some key year-to-year results:

  • 78% of U.S. respondents said they do not feel they receive any benefit at all from sharing information, up from 74% in 2011
  • Less than half feel that companies use their personal data to better serve the consumer, an 11% slip from 2011
  • 62% said they would share more personal data if it meant receiving relevant product and service offers, down from 66% in 2011.

“These responses point to an unmistakable trend. Marketers’ efforts to create relevant customer experiences through data need to be re-addressed or they run the risk of their efforts not resonating with customers,” said Bryan Pearson, president of LoyaltyOne and author of the book, The Loyalty Leap: Turning Customer Information Into Customer Intimacy.

“Consumers are disappointed. For years they’ve provided their valuable information and they’re not realizing something of suitable worth in return,” Pearson said. “If businesses don’t act quickly to demonstrate they have the consumer’s best interest at heart, they risk an erosion of the business-to-consumer relationship.”

Pearson is the author of a report presenting results and insights from LoyaltyOne’s 2012 personal data collection research. The report, titled Customer Data — Privacy, Profit and the New Paradigm, is available free of charge at http://loyalty.com/knowledge/articles/2012-privacy-research. Pearson will lead a free webinar based on the report on October 10 at 1 p.m. Eastern. To register https://loyaltyevents.webex.com/loyaltyevents/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=667384142.

Some other highlights from the report include:

  • 27% of survey takers would give up their location via cell phone for a chance to win an iPad or weekend getaway; cash would entice more than half
  • 71% said it’s not acceptable to send baby food offers to someone who had merely purchased a pregnancy test.

The LoyaltyOne survey is a representative true random sampling of U.S. consumers. Statistical significance is calculated at the 95% confidence level.

A third of iPad owners would rather have a root canal than break the device

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012
Apple iPad3s

Apple iPads

What’s more painful than getting a root canal, breaking a bone or getting in a minor car accident? The answer, according to a survey of more than 1,300 iPad owners, is breaking their iPad.

Here at the TechJournal, we’re amazed at how attached to their devices iPad owners are. We know many people with smartphone apparently permanently connected to their hands, but this emotional attachment people seem to have for their iPads is surprising. And we’re not sure they would actually find the pain of breaking an iPad greater than some of the things they claim it would be.

The survey, conducted by online and mobile presentation company, Brainshark Inc., says that iPad users would find accidentally destroying their iPad more painful than:

  • Getting in a minor car accident – 40%
  • Having a root canal – 1 in 3 (32%)
  • Breaking their nose – 16%
  • Getting fired from their job – 10%

Introduced to the market just two-and-a-half years ago, the iPad has already amassed tens of millions of users, including more than 90% of the Fortune 500, and legions of ardent fans.

Brainshark’s survey, conducted in August, shows just how quickly and deeply entrenched the device has become in its users’ personal and professional lives – able to elicit enthusiastic and intense reactions, and certainly here to stay.

For example, 92% of iPad owners say the device currently supplements their laptop, but more than half (51%) think it will be their primary computing device within the next two years.

iPads, iPads Everywhere

Apple certainly has managed to stay well on top of the tablet market, despite serious competition from Google, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft.

With 17 million iPads – more than double the population of New York City – sold last quarter alone, the device isn’t just part of the technology landscape, but part of the everyday landscape and culture as well.

ipad4

iPad owners love their device.

iPad owners report taking and using their devices just about everywhere, including (you may want to cover your eyes for this!):

  • Naked – More than 1 in 3 (34%)
  • On the toilet – 60%
  • In the tub – 21%
  • While walking… and bumped into someone! – 1 in 4 (24%)
  • On vacation – 92%
  • In a plane – 73%
  • At a client meeting – 47%

iPad owners say they appreciate the device’s portability (88%), ability to turn on instantly (77%), apps (72%) and ability to keep owners accessible (58%).

Forty-three percent even say they benefit from using their iPad as a “pacifier” with their kids. In addition, more than 1 in 4 (27%) described the iPad as, quite simply, a piece of art.

Not Just a Tablet

In addition to accomplishing users’ computing needs, the iPad is – more and more – being viewed as a replacement device. More than two-thirds (67%) of iPad owners say the device has replaced books for them; others cite how it has replaced their TV (31%), camera (31%), video camera (24%), GPS (32%) and MP3 player (51%).

Personally, we hate taking photos with tablet computers, although they’re handy in a pinch. A dedicated MP3 player still works best for us for music, although we do use our tablet for that occasionally. We read books primarily on our Amazon WiFi eInk device, which is far easier on they eyes.

But iPad owners are adamant about its value. More than one-third (34%) would rather shut off their air conditioning – and 42% would brave a winter day without heat – rather than shut off their iPad.

We wouldn’t take any bets on users actually going without air conditioning on a very hot day or without heat on a very cold one just to keep their iPad turned on. Would you?

In addition, iPad owners say they’d rather lose the following items than lose their iPad:

  • License – 42%
  • Wedding ring – 1 in 5 (20%)
  • Credit card or ATM card – 46% and 45% respectively
  • Wallet – More than 1 in 4 (27%)

“Ever since the iPad burst onto the technology scene, it’s indelibly changed the way and speed at which individuals and businesses communicate,” said Andy Zimmerman, chief marketing officer for Brainshark, the creators of SlideShark.

“No one doubts the device’s popularity, but what’s really eye-opening about these statistics is just how inextricable the iPad has become from users’ everyday lives. From a business perspective, it’s now incredibly important for companies to find ways to conveniently reach their audiences on this device of choice – making it easy for them to view presentations and other important materials.”

Getting Down to Business

iPad 2

Apple’s iPad2

Not just a consumer device, the iPad has established a strong presence in the enterprise.

When using their device for business, owners say they check work emails (82%), do Web research (72%), use business apps (46%), and view or deliver presentations (74%).

In fact, the iPad is helping users with their jobs so much, they say they’d rather have an iPad for work than a bigger/better office (almost half – 47%), more senior title (1 in 3 – 34%), their own parking space (68%), an extra week of vacation each year (almost 1 in 4 – 23%) or even a laptop (65%).

We still find tablets lacking in what we need most for work – an easy way to enter text without expensive and bulky add-on tech like external keyboards. Voice operation still seems somewhat clunky, although we suspect it’s the future when it comes to interacting with tablets.

These users say the iPad has been a boon for work, making them:

  • More productive – 64%
  • More successful at their jobs – 1 in 3 (32%)
  • Able to close a deal – 1 in 5 (21%)
  • Able to impress clients – 30%
  • More connected while traveling – 79%

iPad-Clad Travelers: Can’t Leave Home Without It

When traveling for business, 89% of iPad owners report using their iPad. Currently, 60% of users say they bring their iPad and laptop with them; more than 1 in 3 (35%) bring just their iPad and leave the laptop at home.

These business travelers would risk hunger, dehydration or a bladder infection rather than go without their iPad, when on-the-go for business for a day. That is, nearly half (48%) say they would go without meals, 41% would skip drinking water, and more than 1 in 3 (35%) would forgo bathroom breaks, before they would travel without their iPad.

Business travelers also say they’d rather forget the following items than forget their iPad:

  • A change of clothes – More than 1 in 3 (35%)
  • Birth control – 50% (47% among females)
  • Deodorant – 55%
  • To lock the front door – 22%
  • To turn off the oven – 17%

We think these findings are rather amazing and more than a bit exaggerated. We get it, iPad owners love their devices, but when it comes to Apple fans, it’s tough to separate the hype from the reality.

 

Five tips for acing that job interview

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

AccountempsDo you know how much time you have to win over a hiring manager when you interview for a job? It isn’t much, according to an Accountempts survey in which 60 percent of human resources managers polled said they form a positive or negative opinion of a job candidate in the first ten minutes or less of an interview.

Some form those impressions even more quickly, with about one in five (18 percent) saying they draw conclusions in five minutes or less during an interview.

The survey findings are based on telephone interviews with more than 500 HR managers at US companies with 20 or more employees.

“Candidates are under scrutiny from the moment they arrive for an interview,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Job Hunting Kit For Dummies, 2nd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).

“Job seekers should convey their professionalism, including through their body language, and be able to quickly highlight the value they bring to the organization using a well-honed elevator pitch.”

Accountemps offers five tips for getting the job interview off to a good start:

  1. Pay attention to the details. Extend a firm handshake, maintain eye contact and present a professional image. This includes ensuring your shoes are shined, clothing is pressed, and nails are clean and trimmed.
  2. Ace the likely questions. Make sure you know how you will respond to predictable questions, such as, “Can you tell me a little about yourself?” Research the firm before your interview and tap your network for their insights to enable you to couch your answers in the context of how you can help the company.
  3. Don’t be cocky. Strike the right balance between presenting your accomplishments in a positive light and coming across as overly confident. Being arrogant is one of the worst mistakes a candidate can make.
  4. Tell memorable stories. Give specific examples of how and why you’ve been successful. You’ll make a positive impression on hiring managers by sharing interesting anecdotes about how you solved a tough business problem or saved an employer money.
  5. Be yourself. Avoid coming across as overly rehearsed. Interviewers want to get a sense of your personality and how you would fit into the office culture.

Vast majority of SMB websites lack mobile optimization & privacy policies

Monday, September 17th, 2012

SMB Digital ScapeSmall and medium-sized businesses are not equipped to capitalize on the growing mobile commerce opportunity being driven by consumer mobile usage and smartphone proliferation and it could prove costly to them.

According to the Q2 update of vSplash’s ongoing SMB DigitalScape study, 98 percent of SMB websites are not mobile optimized.

“Some experts are predicting smartphones and tablets will account for around one-third of all website visits this coming holiday shopping season,” said Umesh Tibrewal, CEO, vSplash.

“According to our current data, nearly all SMBs will be challenged to capitalize on this mobile commerce opportunity due to their incompatible websites.”

SMB DigitalScape is a powerful data collection and analysis engine that gauges the state of SMB digital media and commerce.

Other findings from the SMB DigitalScape Q2 update include: 

  •     Three quarters (76%) of SMB websites have no privacy policy, putting them at risk of not being indexed by search engines for missing this best practice element.
  •     Nearly half (44%) of SMB homepages have no phone number, making it difficult for consumers to easily contact them.
  •     Three quarters (78%) of SMB homepages do not have a Facebook link, creating a disconnect between web presence and social presence.