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State of the Network 2015

 State of the Network 2015

Network World’s 5th annual State of the Network study was conducted with the focus on technology implementation objectives and how leading objectives are influencing IT organizations’ plans. The research provides a comprehensive view of technology adoption trends among the Network World audience with the goal being to help marketers inform their product development, marketing and messaging strategies for 2015, specifically relating to emerging technologies that impact the network, as well as to pinpoint where IT executives and professionals are with initiatives within existing and emerging technologies.

Key Findings Include:

  • SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) areas rank highly within the IT organization for initiatives of focus in 2015. (Click to Tweet)
  • Enterprise IT is embracing and adapting to the changes made possible by emerging technologies, which are also providing advantages such as increased utilization rates to their organizations. (Click to Tweet)
  • Internet of Things (IoT) is anticipated to drive additional spending by more than a quarter (26%) of Enterprises, and 75% of Enterprise organizations are either actively researching adoption of IoT related technologies or are in the implementation process. (Click to Tweet)
  • A substantial driver of productivity is WiFi; however, challenges with ensuring bandwidth coverage are leading to adoption of gigabit WiFi with 47% agreeing that it will be critical to keeping up with wireless access demand. (Click to Tweet)
  • Research shows that IT decision-makers are taking note of the business value from Software-Defined Networking (SDN). More than a third (36%) of respondents agreed that SDN will radically change their network for the better, and top benefits Enterprises expect include increased network flexibility (39%), network customization (32%), and speed (31%). (Click to Tweet)

Click here to view more slides

Screen Shot 2015 01 26 at 9.43.07 AM State of the Network 2015

Submit your application for the 28th annual CIO 100 awards!

cio100 logo Submit your application for the 28th annual CIO 100 awards!

These prestigious awards honor the many innovative ways that IT delivers competitive advantage or accelerates business success in the enterprise.

To tell us about the most compelling IT project you’ve led in the past year, follow the steps to purchase an application here: http://bit.ly/1zAuIAX. (Fee is $75.) The deadline has been extended to Monday, February 16 (midnight EST).

Contact cio100@cio.com with any questions.

Technology’s biggest challenge is how to connect with people

South China Morning Post

The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will extend the sphere of IT even further into everyday life

The word “technology” leaves many people cold, but its pervasive presence in daily life is only going to make it even more important.

Individuals, businesses, governments and countries are completely dependent on information technology to drive greater productivity and efficiencies.

The challenge for the information technology industry is how to make this dependence more enjoyable and intuitive for users to access content and applications.

This is imperative because in 2015, the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) will extend the sphere of IT even further into everyday life. The premise for IoT is that devices of any nature can now be interconnected and used to communicate with each other or with humans in real-time, enabling a raft of new possibilities around data, new ways of interacting and new services.

IoT will be big in 2015, with research firm Gartner predicting 4.9 billion “connected things” to be in use, up 30 per cent from 2014.

Every possible device imaginable is being connected in some way, from Bluetooth-enabled toothbrushes to medical devices, cameras, printers and of course the many wearables that are hitting the market. The reality of a hyper-connected world is here today.

In the business world, Gartner predicts IoT will digitize everything and enable any industry to manage, monetize, operate and extend products, services and data.

Researchers at IDC make similar predictions, forecasting rapid expansion of the traditional IT industry into areas not typically viewed as within IT’s universe.

The whole electronics industry, city-wide infrastructure, auto and transport systems as well as the home, are just a few examples of where IoT is disrupting operations today.

IDC predicts that IoT spending will exceed US$1.7 trillion in 2015, up 14 per cent from 2014, and will hit US$3 trillion by 2020. One-third of spending for intelligent embedded devices will come from outside of the IT and telecom industries.

“This amounts to a dramatic expansion of what we would consider IT,” said Frank Gens, chief analyst at IDC.

This implies a fundamental commitment to innovate and explore new applications of technology with the potential to transform how we live and work – whether through the rapid rise of mobile applications, or the increasingly myriad interactions between machines and human users.

 

Continue Reading…

Storytelling in the Age of Social News Consumption

Edelman 2015 Forecast

Social media is having a dramatic, perhaps outsized impact on how digital news is produced, distributed, consumed and ultimately monetized. As mobile and social technologies reach critical mass, it is fueling a footrace to create highly shareable, yet informative news stories that generate traffic. More critically this is changing how journalists approach their craft.

To address this dynamic further, Katie Scrivano and the Edelman Media Network (a team of earned media specialists) teamed with two start-ups, NewsWhip and Muck Rack to study U.S. social news consumption.

Working with NewsWhip, we identified the 50 overall most-shared, English-language articles, and in six key topics – general news, food and beverage, energy, health, technology and finance. Edelman Berland then analyzed each story to identify significant commonalities. This helped shaped a survey of more than 250 working journalists that Edelman conducted in collaboration with Muck Rack.

This research revealed that:

  • More than 75 percent of journalists say they feel more pressure now to think about their story’s potential to get shared on social platforms.
  • To make their stories more shareable, journalists are infusing their stories with five key ingredients: video/images, brevity, localization, more use of human voice and a proximity to trending topics.
  • Nearly 3/4 of journalists are now creating original video content to accompany their stories. However, very few journalists (13 percent) are relying on sourcing consumer-generated video and only 3 percent are using corporate video.
  • Journalists see five key trends impacting their profession this year: more mobile friendly content, faster turnaround times, more original video, smaller newsroom staff and social media growing in influence.

Continue reading… 

 

Your Digital Strategy Shouldn’t Be About Attention

Harvard Business Review

re they talking about your brand? Around the clock? From Facefriend to Tweeter to Instapal?

Pssst.  

That’s probably not the right question.

Today, too many strategists believe that a clever plan to win the internet’s attention is a good digital strategy.

It’s not. Why? The painful truth is: attention itself isn’t worth as much as today’s marketers, boardrooms, and beancounters think. It’s not just that there’s good and bad attention — awe versus scorn, for example. Attention is a fickle, fleeting thing on which to build a business model, let alone a business, let alone an institution. Hence, attention without relation is like revenue without profit: malinvestment.

Institutions and leaders, obedient students of modern marketing, obsessively ask, “How do we get people to be loyal to us?” Meanwhile, they’re often (let’s be honest with each other for a painful moment) busy gleefully plotting to betray them at every turn. Hide the fees! Shrink the fine print! Why give customers cheese when you can sell them “cheese-like product”? Most “digital business models” are similarly sneaky — track their data! Make the terms and conditions impossible to understand! Why take the time to get to know your customers … as long as you can get them to use the corporate hashtag.

The real question — the one that counts for leaders and institutions today — isn’t “How loyal can we compel, seduce, or trick our customers into being?” It’s: “How loyal are we to our customers? Do we truly care about them?” Not just as targets consumers, or fans. But as people. Human beings. What every institution needs  —  and what every leader needs to develop  —  before a “digital strategy” is a human strategy. If you want to matter to people, you must do more than merely win their fickle, fleeting, frenzied attention. You must help them develop into the people they were meant to be. When you do, maybe, just maybe, they’ll reward you. With something greater than their grudging, wearied attention. Their lasting respect, enduring trust, and undying gratitude.

So here are my top four mistakes of digital strategy — and how not to make them.

Titillating, not educating. It’s easy to win “clicks” by titillating people with Kim Kardashian’s naked behind or a list of the world’s cutest human-cat baby unicorn fairies. And it might lend a dreary day a moment of relieved escapism. But it won’thelp anyone. To do that, you must educate. Not in the awful, misused corporate sense of the term: dully lecturing them about “product benefits.” But helping them develop the capabilities and skills they’re going to need to live better lives. What will your “digital strategy” help them become better at? Does it have apoint? Skiing, dating, cooking, coding, creating, building? If the answer is no, you don’t have a strategy. You have a vaudeville show.

Continue reading… 

IDG invests in mobile gaming company Playsimple through seed program

Your Story

IDG Ventures India has invested in PlaySimple, a mobile social gaming company through its seed fund programs. The company is focused on mobile games in the trivia, word and puzzle categories, co-funder Siddharth Jain said.

playsimple IDG invests in mobile gaming company Playsimple through seed program

Siddharth and his co-founders were earlier working for Zynga and were closely involved in games such as Mafia Wars and Bubble Safari and have worked on innovations around gameplay, engagement and analytics.

Yezdi Lashkari, a former executive, at Zynga, also participated as an angel investor as part of the round. Neither company disclosed the amount invested.

The money will be used to build a portfolio of mobile casual games targeting the global markets. Playsimple also plans to increase its team from six to 20 and is looking to hire game designers and UI experts, said Siddharth.

“We are targeting global markets, primarily the English speaking countries,” he added.

Besides Siddharth, the founding team comprises of Preeti Reddy, Suraj Nalin and Siddhanth Jain, who worked together at Zynga. The team has also previously worked at companies such as Bain, Walmart Labs & Yahoo.

“Globally, mobile gaming is a very large, growing market. Gaming is a hits business, but the ones that succeed do take off rapidly towards profitable growth in a short period of time,” Karthik Prabhakar of IDG Ventures India said.

 “The team at PlaySimple is young and highly experienced in building/scaling mobile games for the global markets,” he added

PlaySimple has already released a game title, GuessUp. With this funding, the company is targeting to release multiple games over the next few months in early 2015 before they look to raise their next round of capital.

IDG launched its seed program earlier this year to discover interesting investment opportunities at a very early stage. It has already invested in recruitment startup Mynoticeperiod.com and mobile ad retargeting firm SilverEdge through the program.

IDG’s USA fund has invested in 8-9 gaming firms, the most prominent of which was Funzio, which was acquired by Japanese gaming giant GREE in 2012.

Its China fund also has about six gaming and animation investments listed on the website. PlaySimple is IDG’s first mobile investment in India.

Several gaming companies have also raised money in recent months. In November, MadRat Games, a Bangalore based offline gaming company, raised $1 million from Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal.

Continue reading… 

2015 begins with publishers hoping for big improvements in digital subscription sales

Talking New Media

New Year starts, as always, with CES – but Macworld has been put on ‘hiatus’ and the value of big trade shows is being questioned by tech firms

Welcome to 2015! Here in Chicago it is -6F (-21C), here is hoping it is much more pleasant where you are!

CES2015 icon 2015 begins with publishers hoping for big improvements in digital subscription salesThe New Year means iTunes Connect is open and new and updated apps are being released into the App Store. It also means that CES is about to begin in Las Vegas. CES used to be an important event (it is still a big one) but many tech companies have long since learned that these early year trade shows may not be the best time to launch new products. Apple, for instance, pulled out of Macworld long ago and realized that if they are going to have a blow out fourth quarter of the year (their first quarter) they need to introduce new products in September.

CES isn’t the only big early year trade show, of course. Mobile World Congress is in early March (in Barcelona, of course).

But 2015 will be a year without Macworld as IDG announced last year that the show would go on ‘hiatus’.

“The show saw a remarkable 30 year run that changed the technology industry, provided an important forum for Apple developers to bring new companies and products to market, delivered world class professional development to Apple product enthusiasts, and fostered the development of one of the most dynamic professional communities in the tech marketplace,” the IDG World Expo wrote.

Macworld was hurt not only be Apple’s decision to pull out, but also by the decline overall of the personal computing business. IDG tried to adapt, of course, but the excitement of the PC business has gone, not to return.

The problem for these shows remains that trade shows often are scheduled for the early part of the year, no matter what industry you are talking about. As the publisher of a transportation construction magazine, January through March was the busy time for trade shows, generally held in Las Vegas, New Orleans or Orlando. There were (and are) trade shows later in the year, but they often feel more like conferences (such as Adobe MAX).

For those who write about digital publishing, there is really no trade show or event that can’t be missed. The year remains filled with breakfasts, lunches, and award events created by the trade publications in lieu of making a profit on their trade magazines. Publishing pros like to network, eat and drink, and so there is no stopping these things, I guess.

 Continue reading… 

11 – 94% of Business Emails go Missing – A Global Breakdown

IDG Connect

Email marketers have spent years building best-practice expertise to deliver the most effective email campaigns possible. However the age old challenge of not being able to reach subscribers’ inboxes continues to be a problem for marketers worldwide.

In 2013, 100.5 billion business emails were sent and received every day. The sheer volume of email traffic and the growing sophistication of spam tactics have contributed to the issue marketers now face to stay at the top of consumers’ inboxes.  We have already seen the impact of spam emails on high profile brands such as Apple and Dropbox, as well as authentic looking emails pandering to the concerns of the public off the back of topical news stories, in order to build trust and falsely obtain users personal credentials. Mailbox providers are therefore constantly redefining their filters to help prevent these kinds of messages getting through which in turn, forces legitimate email senders to become equally as sophisticated to improve their own inbox placement.

Recent research conducted by Return Path (Inbox Placement Report 2014) of more than 492 million commercial email messages sent across North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions, shows that one in six commercial messages do not reach the subscriber’s inbox. This is consistent with last year’s findings, which indicates that while marketers have a basic understanding of how to keep out of the junk folder, there is still more to learn on further maximising inbox placement.

According to the results, 11% of commercial messages simply go missing while 6% are marked as spam. This presents a significant problem for marketers who value and rely on the long-term customer relationship that email marketing can build. If messages go missing completely, businesses risk losing customers; failing to reach the inbox simply means failing to reach the customer. The financial impact here is great, for example, if 50% of messages are unsuccessfully delivered, that equates to 50% of the email marketing campaign budget being lost as well.

Return Path has discovered that being ranked as a ‘good sender’ by ISPs is no longer enough to guarantee inbox placement. We have seen that most countries across the globe are struggling to achieve at least 90% inbox placement rates, including developed markets such as the UK and US.

emailmarketing markeitng b2b email 11   94% of Business Emails go Missing – A Global Breakdown

Our research shows that Eastern European countries particularly struggle with messages going missing. Senders in Romania and Luxembourg are seeing 50% of their emails failing to reach the inbox, while in Poland this figure reaches a staggering 90%. This means that a significant portion of their audience doesn’t receive any intended commercial email. Email messages that go missing are harder to identify and diagnose, however, the first step in being able to correct the problem and boost inbox performance is knowing where the problem lies.

 

Continue reading… 

Top Tips for Improving Your Business Through Social Selling

IDG Connect

 Top Tips for Improving Your Business Through Social Selling

Dale Roberts is VP of Professional Services at Artesian, the innovative developer of social intelligence software. He is also a keynote speaker, blogger and author of Decisions Sourcing: Organisational Decision Making for the Agile and Social Enterprise. Prior to joining Artesian, Dale worked with some of the largest European and US businesses to build analytic and performance management solutions in his role as European Services Director for market leader Cognos, now part of IBM.

Dale discusses his top tips for embracing social selling and explains why smart businesses are putting social insight at the heart of their sales strategies.

We are in the middle of an online and social revolution that has not only changed the way we buy a holiday or book air travel but how we buy for businesses too. Figures show that three quarters of business buyers use social media to make purchasing decisions. The wave of cultural change is being felt beyond consumers as business buyers connect on professional social platforms and check rating sites when considering a wide range of purchases from electronic goods or employer liability insurance to exhibition space.

The pace of change is dramatic, with typical business buyers opting to delay their first engagement with a seller until they are 57%[1] through their purchasing decision. What this means is that more than half of the sales process has now disappeared, taking with it the influence and control that professional sellers previously had.

Businesses must recognise this change and implement social strategies within their sales and marketing departments to transform the way they engage with customers.  To make this effective, sellers have to adopt new habits and the following tips will help them to stand out with the new connected buyer:

# 1 Spend your day more effectively

According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, sellers spend only 39% of their time carrying out role specific tasks, eg. selling. Other activities, such as reading and answering emails, searching for information and internal collaboration are pulling them away and whilst email is a valuable communications tool it can also slow progress towards closing a sale.  Sales people and managers can start by assessing how much time they are giving to direct communication and research and restructure their day to focus at least 60% of their day on selling.

#2 Use social tools to support sales effectiveness

Gathering information is a necessary activity, but it’s possible that too much time is being spent on this and not very effectively. Traditional sales intelligence focused on data about people and businesses is limited. Sellers must have access to topical, timely and, if possible, behavioural information, most usefully derived from user-generated content, social media and/or news. If customers are using social networks, sellers should be connected too, so they can communicate with them in the space they occupy and build credibility. Buyers are also more likely to engage with someone they recognise through social networks.

#3 Refine your social listening

The Internet is immeasurable and Google searching or casual browsing for relevant information is not only time-consuming, it is also like looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack. Social intelligence tools are designed to sharpen this process so sellers receive insight that they can use effectively, whether that’s product announcements or managerial shifts, legislation or the impact of political change. The tools tap into social and user-generated content in real-time, and deliver it instantly so that sales people can leverage it to engage with buyers intelligently and at the right moment.

Read all 5 tips… 

Best Business Gadgets of CES 2015

CITEworld

CES is mostly focused on consumer-oriented products, but with the lines between consumer and business devices blurring nowadays, many of the coolest products at CES could be of great interest to enterprise IT folks. Here are some of the hottest new CES products that business professionals could get a kick out of.

Screen Shot 2015 01 15 at 12.06.45 PM Best Business Gadgets of CES 2015

SMART kapp

Key features:  Make your conference room “SMART” with the kabb collaboration tool, which digitizes information written on it, capturing it and allowing it to be shared with meeting participants in any location. More info.

Screen Shot 2015 01 15 at 12.08.23 PM Best Business Gadgets of CES 2015

Boingo Wi-Fi subscription

Key features: PassPoint is an industry standard technology sometimes called “Hotspot 2.0” and/or “Next Generation Hotspot” backed by the Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Broadband Alliance. It aims to make it easier to automatically connect to secure WiFi networks. Traditionally connecting to secure networks has required user authentication, but with PassPoint users can be automatically connected to these secure WiFi hotspots. More info.

Screen Shot 2015 01 15 at 12.09.37 PM Best Business Gadgets of CES 2015

Sulon Cortex

Key features:  The Cortex is a wearable, head mounted computing platform that provides developers with a spatial scanner and digital visor in a standalone headset package. Cortex sees businesses using this to help employees or developers virtualize a problem from a realistic perspective, or for precise simulation. More info.

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