Monday, February 27, 2012

Study: Less Than 20 Percent of Businesses Have Achieved a Single View of the Customer

DataFlux, a provider of data management solutions, released results from a new survey highlighting that fewer than 20 percent of businesses have successfully leveraged their data to obtain a single view of their customers. The research is a result of 551 survey respondents (40 percent of whom are C-level executives).

Key Findings

While organizations understand the business value of obtaining a single view of their customers, few companies have actually achieved this feat. According to the survey respondents, only 17 percent have achieved a single view of their customer base. However, almost half (48 percent) are either in the process of – or have plans to – implement a system to deliver a single view of the customer in the next 18 months.

The survey also highlighted a gap in the implementation of data management initiatives. While there has been significant adoption of data quality (59 percent) and data integration (55 percent) projects over the past 18 months, master data management (MDM) initiatives lag behind at 31 percent.

As the value of data becomes more widely understood, an increasing number of businesses are moving toward implementing comprehensive data management strategies. Large businesses (greater than 10,000 employees) are leading the way with more than 65 percent stating they already have a well-defined data management strategy in place. The number falls to 49 percent when taking all respondents’ answers into account. Only nine percent have yet to formalize a strategy.

Despite a majority of respondents indicating that they currently have, or will be implementing, comprehensive data management strategies, executive ownership remains elusive. When asked to identify all the organizations that are accountable for managing and resolving data management problems, respondents stated:

o    IT – 80 percent
o    Operations – 33 percent
o    Finance – 20 percent
o    Executive management – 17 percent

More information on Customer Relationship Management can be found at

Monday, February 20, 2012

Research Finds 64% of IT Pros Juggling 2 to 5 Cloud Providers

2012 State of Cloud Computing encompasses analysis of results from InformationWeek'sannual survey on cloud computing and guides readers in selecting, integrating and monitoring the services their employees depend on. More than 500 business technology professionals, all from companies with 50 or more employees, responded to this poll.

Research Summary:
Just 27% of respondents say they have no interest in cloud services compared with 32% in our 2011 survey. However, fully 47% of adopters are custom coding direct to internal systems using individual cloud vendors' APIs, a recipe for downtime and out-of-control complexity.

-- 71% of survey respondents using cloud computing services review vendors' general SLAs, then negotiate terms.
-- 51% cite security defects in the provider's technology itself as a top concern, when thinking about risks related to using cloud services.
-- 27% rate the general performance of their cloud-based applications better than same apps hosted in-house vs. 19% saying performance was sub-par.
-- 14% have had to replace or fire a cloud provider.
More information on Cloud Computing can be found at

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Worldwide Smartphone Sales Soared in Fourth Quarter of 2011 With 47 Percent Growth

Worldwide smartphone sales to end users soared to 149 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, a 47.3 percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2010, according to Gartner, Inc. Total smartphone sales in 2011 reached 472 million units and accounted for 31 percent of all mobile devices sales, up 58 percent from 2010.

Smartphone volumes during the quarter rose due to record sales of Apple iPhones. As a result, Apple became the third-largest mobile phone vendor in the world, overtaking LG. Apple also became the world's top smartphone vendor, with a market share of 23.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, and the top smartphone vendor for 2011 as a whole, with a 19 percent market share.

The quarter saw Samsung and Apple cement their positions further at the top of the market as their brands and new products clearly stood out. LG, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and Research In Motion (RIM) again recorded disappointing results as they struggled to improve volumes and profits significantly. These vendors were also exposed to a much stronger threat from the midrange and low end of the smartphone market as ZTE and Huawei continued to gain share during the quarter. 

Worldwide mobile device sales to end users totaled 476.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, a 5.4 percent increase from the same period in 2010. In 2011 as a whole, end users bought 1.8 billion units, an 11.1 percent increase from 2010.

More information on CRM and smartphones can be found at

Monday, February 13, 2012

Survey: Marketing Executives Believe Social Media is an Effective Tool; Not Yet Investing Significant Resources

SIIA’s Software Division released “Marketing in Today’s Economy”— the first SIIA publication to gather business-to-business sales and marketing tactics from leading industry executives. The survey focused on their companies’ use of email, mobile marketing and social media to build their brands, gain leads, and improve customer support.

One of the most eye-opening findings from the study is that a gap exists between attitudes towards social media and investment in social media. About 90 percent of marketing executives surveyed use social media marketing, and three quarters believe it has a positive impact on their business. At the same time slightly more than half (54.5 percent) of respondents said their company’s marketing team spends less than 10 hours per week investing in social media. And further, 35 percent said they spend only between one and five hours per week on social media marketing.

Social media has clearly become a widely used tool among B2B marketers and few doubt that it is helping their business. But the survey also shows that marketers may not be dedicating the resources necessary to get the results they want from social media marketing. It is remarkable to see that, despite their strong belief in the power of social media, over one-third of marketers are engaged in it for only five hours or fewer every week.

The survey suggests that marketers do recognize the need to dedicate more resources to their social media efforts going forward. About 65 percent of respondents cited social media as an area in which they would like to invest more spending, and over 70 percent indicated they expect to increase their use of both Twitter and Linkedin in the year ahead. And importantly, marketers are beginning to apply the same ROI metrics to social media that they do for other marketing efforts, both offline and online. For example, 59 percent of businesses are using social media use web traffic as an indicator of social media ROI, while 53 percent are using qualified leads as a key ROI metric.

Social media is still a relatively new method for growing a business, but marketers clearly believe it is has value and will require greater investment. And with more marketers now applying traditional ROI metrics -- such as qualified leads -- to their social media efforts, they are more likely to get a clear sense of what level of investment makes sense. The maturation process of social media is clearly underway, and we can expect to see significant advancements in the coming years.

More information on CRM and Social Media can be found at

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New Study: Nearly 500,000 “App Economy” Jobs in United States

TechNet, the bipartisan policy and political network of technology CEOs, treleased a new study showing that there are now roughly 466,000 jobs in the “App Economy” in the United States, up from zero in 2007.

The study, sponsored by TechNet and conducted by Dr. Michael Mandel of South Mountain Economics LLC, also found that App Economy jobs are spread throughout the nation. The top metro area for App Economy jobs is New York City and its surrounding suburban counties, although together San Francisco and San Jose together substantially exceed New York.  And while California tops the list of App Economy states with nearly one in four jobs, states such as Georgia, Florida, and Illinois get their share as well.  In fact, more than two-thirds of App Economy employment is outside of California and New York.  The results also suggest that the App Economy is growing quickly and that the location and number of app-related jobs are likely to shift greatly in the years ahead.

The research shows that when it comes to employment impacts, each app represents jobs -- for programmers, for user interface designers, for marketers, for managers, for support staff. Conventional employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are not able to track such a new phenomenon because this economic ecosystem is so new.  The research analyzed detailed information from The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine (HWOL) database, a comprehensive and up-to-the-minute compilation of want ads, to estimate the number of jobs in the App Economy.

The total number of Apps Economy jobs includes jobs at ‘pure’ app firms such as Zynga as well as app-related jobs at large companies such as Electronic Arts, Amazon, and AT&T, as well as app ‘infrastructure’ jobs at core firms such as Google, Apple, and Facebook.  In addition, the App Economy total includes employment spillovers to the rest of the economy.

More information can be found at