Thursday, June 23, 2011

IDC's Forecasts Global CRM Market to Grow by More Than $1.3 Billion in 2011

The global CRM applications market enjoyed a solid recovery in 2010 with year-over-year growth of 6.2% and revenues of $16.5 billion, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Customer Relationship Management Applications Tracker. IDC expects the CRM applications market to continue on this trajectory in 2011 with revenues approaching $18 billion on 7.6% year-over-year growth.

Within the CRM applications market, three of the four functional markets are forecast to grow at above average rates for 2011. The customer service and marketing applications markets are forecast to grow at 8.2% and 8.8% respectively, while the sales applications market will grow 8.6% year over year in 2011. Meanwhile, the contact center market, which experienced a modest decline in 2010, will rebound to 5.4% year-over-year growth in 2011.

Within the customer service market, three of the top 5 large countries (UK, Germany and France) are forecast to grow at an 8.2% annual rate in 2011, while Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, and Russia are expected to drive strong growth in the marketing applications market. With the exception of Brazil, these same countries are forecast to experience even stronger growth in the Sales applications market.

Despite consisting of just four functional markets, the overall CRM applications market remains fragmented with many vendors vying to gain share. Outside the top 3 vendors, a total of 19 vendors achieved more than $100 million in CRM software revenue during 2010, representing more than 35% of total market share. Oracle, SAP, and were the only vendors to amass more than $1 billion in CRM software revenue worldwide in 2010. 

More information on CRM can be found at

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

CRM Adoption Strong Among SMBs

Small to mid-sized businesses are embracing CRM solutions and the percentage of CRM functionality they use is higher than one might have anticipated, according to the results of a May survey conducted by research firm ITIC who polled over 200 SMBs. A full 74% of survey respondents indicated they have a CRM platform, and 52% of participants said their companies use at least 50% of the CRM's functionality.

Meanwhile half of the survey respondents said they are analyzing requirements or evaluating (new or upgraded) CRM solutions with an eye towards adoption; another 20% plan to install a CRM solution within the next six to 12 months. Ironically, 26% of the survey participants said they've used a CRM solution for over 10 years while an equal 26% of respondents revealed they do not currently use CRM.

An 86% majority of respondents cited features and performance as the factors that most influenced their CRM purchasing decision. Among the larger CRM vendors, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage and Sugar CRM are the most popular with survey participants. However the combination of lesser known CRM brands plus homegrown CRMs outscored the larger CRM firms.

The web-based survey recorded 200 responses to multiple choice and essay questions. Over 95% of respondents were from North America and represented more than 30 different vertical markets. ITIC supplemented the survey by conducting nearly two dozen first person interviews with C-level executives, systems administrators, third party consultants and service providers. 

More information on CRM can be found at

Monday, June 20, 2011

Growth in the number of CIOs deploying green IT

Almost three-quarters of CIOs have deployed green IT within their organization, with an additional 8% planning to do so by the end of 2012, finds new research from Ovum.

According to a survey by the independent technology analyst, the number of organizations using green IT grew to 73% in the second half of 2010, up from approximately 68% in the first half, as tightened IT budgets and a sluggish economy forced IT decision-makers to scrutinize spending and wake up to the potential cost savings green IT can deliver.

Looking ahead to the end of 2012, Ovum’s survey revealed that a further eight% plan to deploy green IT.

Ovum surveyed CIOs about five major categories of green IT: data center virtualization, data centre power and cooling technologies, desktop virtualization, printing and paper usage management, and power management tools for PCs and monitors. All will experience growth in penetration over the next couple of years.

Of these different areas of green IT, data center virtualization has the greatest penetration, with 52% of the CIOs Ovum spoke to saying they use it. According to Ovum’s survey, this figure will grow to 65% over the next couple of years.

More information can be found at

Friday, June 17, 2011

Social media represents 45% of total media consumption among IT professionals

The 2011 Social Media Index: Wave VII was conducted between April 19 - 29, 2011. A total of 1,562 IT professionals from 109 countries participated. Participants were drawn directly from the IT community at

The goal of this survey was to gain insights from executives and professionals on topical issues that affect decision making. Participants shared input on their use of social media for workplace decision making, mobile technology usage and planned purchases, and the viability of online games for job training.

The results of the survey revealed:

-- Among IT professionals, social media consumption outpaced editorial and vendor content consumption. Respondents consumed social media at a rate of 6.77 hours per week, versus 4.29 for editorial content, and 4.16 for vendor content.

-- Social media represents 45% of total media consumption among IT professionals (compared to 28% for editorial and 27% for vendor content).

-- More than 64% currently own a smartphone and over 37% plan to purchase a tablet computer in the next 6 months.

-- Over 81% are motivated to participate in online communities by the desire to help peers solve problems.

Other results include:

-- Over 67% use social media to stay current and learn what their peers know.

-- eBooks with interactive features are the most preferred source for information about new products, followed by videos and self-assessment/ROI calculators.

-- IT professionals spend 3.69 hours per week accessing social media on their mobile devices, a 54% increase over 2010 consumption rates.

More information on Social Media and IT can be found at

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Study Reveals Midmarket CIOs Look to Business Analytics to Drive Innovation and Growth

A new global study of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) by IBM reveals that the top strategic technology investment over the next five years at outperforming midsize organizations is business analytics, with cloud computing emerging as the fastest growing technology area for CIOs.

Today, 83 percent of midmarket CIOs surveyed identified analytics, the ability to extract actionable insights from "Big Data" as their top-priority investment area, while there was a 50 percent increase in the number of midsize organizations that plan to invest in cloud computing, compared to IBM's 2009 midmarket CIO study.

Midsize businesses together with small enterprises are responsible for nearly 65 percent of the global GDP, representing more than 90 percent of all businesses and employing over 90 percent of the world's workforce. The IBM study looked at what constitutes the fundamental tasks of the CIO and what traits define the outperforming CIOs as they infuse technology into products, services and processes to transform their business, drive profitability and expand into new areas.

Both CEOs and CIOs in the midmarket are braced for continued volatility. This year, technological factors emerged among the top three concerns for CIOs, in addition to the market factors and macroeconomic factors that they cited in the 2009 survey. These three concerns are equally shared among CEOs at midsize companies surveyed earlier this year.

CIOs are looking to invest in technologies such as analytics and data mining that not only help them better utilize structured data, but also unstructured data in the form of videos, blogs and tweets that can be obtained through the social web.

The Shift to Cloud and Mobile Computing

The technology area that has grown most as a top priority area for CIOs in the midmarket in the past two years is cloud computing. In fact, CIOs are now 50 percent more likely to pursue investments in cloud over the next three to five years to take advantage of the flexibility and cost effectiveness of using hardware and software resources offered through the cloud.

Trends such as the explosive growth of internet-connected devices and smart phones are driving CIOs to consider more powerful ways to harness mobile applications that drive commerce, better collaboration and enhanced workforce mobility. According to the study, the percentage of CIOs who now plan to invest in mobility solutions, including smart phones and mobile applications, jumped by 11 percent over 2009, to 72 percent.

Top trends from the CIO Study:

-- Midmarket CIOs are focused on gaining deeper insight and intelligence (77 percent), people skills (68 percent) and client intimacy (67 percent) over the next five years.

-- 72 percent of CIOs at midsize organizations are focused on integrating business and technology to drive innovation.

-- CIOs of midsize companies are harnessing the following tools and methods to turn data into actionable information: data warehousing (64 percent), visual dashboards (64 percent), master data management (63 percent), client analytics (63 percent).

More information on CIOs and analytics can be found at

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cloud Insecurities: 43% of Enterprises Surveyed Have had Security Issues With Their Cloud Service Providers

Most enterprises face apprehension over adopting cloud computing, and with good reason: Nearly half (43 percent) of enterprise IT decision makers reported a security lapse or issue with their cloud provider within the last 12 months, according to a recent global cloud security survey conducted by Trend Micro.

The global survey of 1200 U.S., UK, Germany, India, Canada and Japan IT decision makers uncovers the insecurities and concerns surrounding their journey to the cloud. It confirmed that, on the whole, enterprises are moving toward the cloud at a brisk pace and are initiating a giant multiplicative wave of new deployments. Although slightly over 10 percent of the respondents currently have cloud computing projects in production, close to half are either implementing or piloting new cloud applications.

Despite cloud computing's growing popularity in most countries, confusion is still at play among enterprises, some of whom don't recognize what cloud computing services are. When presented with a list of cloud computing services, 93 percent of the respondents said they are currently working with at least one of them. And yet, 7 percent of the same respondents said that their company has no plans to deploy any cloud computing service – a contradiction.
Performance and availability puts the focus on security

While security is still the major hindrance toward cloud adoption, more enterprises are now perceiving performance and availability of cloud services to be of near-equal consideration. According to the survey, the top barriers respondents see in adopting cloud computing services are: Concerns over security of data or cloud infrastructure (50 percent) and performance and availability of cloud service (48 percent).
Data in the cloud is vulnerable without encryption

When it comes to safeguarding sensitive data stored in the cloud, enterprises turn to encryption. 85 percent of respondents(2) said they encrypt data stored in the cloud. And before taking the plunge into cloud adoption, more than half of survey respondents said they would be more likely to consider a cloud provider if encrypted data storage were included in the offering. Nevertheless, most commonly used encryption key management techniques used in the cloud today are vulnerable.

More information on Cloud Computing can be found at

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gartner Identifies Five Collaboration Myths

Collaboration initiatives fail because IT leaders hold mistaken assumptions about basic issues, according to Gartner, Inc. IT leaders should determine which of five factors – technology, roles, process, metrics and workplace climate – to change to achieve successful collaboration projects. The five collaboration myths Gartner has identified are:

1. The right tools will make us collaborative
Technology can make it easier to collaborate when applications mirror a more intuitive, fluid work style, but selecting a tool without addressing roles, processes, metrics and the organization’s workplace climate is putting the cart before the horse.

2. Collaboration is inherently a good thing
Many organizations can’t articulate what benefit they hope to achieve by employing social media to become more collaborative. This decreases the likelihood of achieving a successful implementation. The most successful social media initiatives solve real business problems. The KPI impacted must be real and relevant to the business.

3. Collaborating takes extra time
When IT leaders perform a thorough analysis of the target audience's workflow to make sure key integration points among applications are identified, they will avoid the common mistake of simply layering collaboration tools on top of existing applications that workers are expected to use. If collaboration and social software tools are not integrated with other critical applications, workers must shift context -- which slows them down -- or duplicate effort (e.g., cut/paste from one application to another).

4. People naturally will/will not collaborate
Depending on their level of cynicism, people believe that humans naturally collaborate, or naturally don't. While there are individuals at each end of the spectrum, most are somewhere in the middle and can be encouraged to collaborate under the right conditions. IT leaders should ignore the reluctant minority and work on motivating the majority of workers who can be persuaded to collaborate when expectations are clear and collaborative behaviors are rewarded.

5. People instinctively know how to collaborate
Without a set of expectations about what it means to work collaboratively with others, individuals will be forced into using their own interpretation of collaboration. Few organizations have a clear set of guidelines that describe how people should interact with each other to produce optimum results. A better approach is to clarify what attitude a collaborative individual needs to bring to their work, what abilities and skills they need to master and what personal style works well in a team setting. It is also critical that managers demonstrate the behaviors they want their employees to mirror.