We have covered the evolution of Big Data several times over the years and have more recently discussed new areas of interest such as big data in films, advertising and even sports. With the growing interest in this area there is certain to be considerable interest and investments being made. Included as an excellent infographic provided by the team at BigData-Startups which jumps right into the topic of investments.
Organizations struggle to quantify the impact engaged employees have on business results. Intuitively, it’s a no-brainer—engaged employees cost less and produce more. It’s that simple.
Many studies and reports support this hunch: Engaged companies have stronger levels of profitability and retain their employees.
So, why do most organizations have difficulty quantifying this? It’s primarily because of the process. Here is how we (unfortunately) see an employee engagement survey process play out in many organizations:
An organization conducts an employee engagement survey. The corporate communications or HR team presents the results to the executive team. The executive team asks, “How does this tie to our business results?” (Say this in your best CFO voice.) The communications/HR team scrambles to find data and metrics to make comparisons. The team realizes the process was not designed to make effective comparisons. The team can’t share any comparisons.
This is certainly not the best return on your survey investment.
There are many reasons why comparing employee engagement survey data to business metrics is difficult. Here are four ways to overcome these difficulties to show valid comparisons:
Worldwide PC shipments totaled 73.4 million units in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14), a decline of -4.4% year on year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Although still in decline and with continuing weakness in consumer and emerging market segments, the preliminary results are slightly better than a projected decline of -5.3%.
Similar to the latter part of 2013, the upside in the first quarter arose primarily from demand in mature commercial markets. Commercial refresh projects, which had already been protracted, received a last push from the impending end of Windows XP support, particularly in Japan. In addition, slowing demand for tablets seems to have helped constrain previously drastic cutbacks in notebooks. Nevertheless, emerging regions continued to post weak results, with growth in Latin America and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ) falling even faster than recent declines as both economic conditions and continued tablet penetration stifled PC shipments.
“Worldwide PC shipments have now declined for eight consecutive quarters as a result of shifting technology usage and competition (notably with tablets & smartphones) as well as economic pressures (including high unemployment, slow growth & investment, tight credit, and currency fluctuations) related to the Great Recession, sovereign debt crises, and their related impact on international trade,” said Loren Loverde, Vice President, Worldwide PC Trackers. “The economic front seems to be gradually stabilizing and/or improving. However, this has been a slow process, and it is unlikely that sovereign debt issues will be resolved soon or that growth in emerging markets like China will return to prior levels. On the technology front, the transition to more mobile devices and usage modes is unlikely to stop, although the short term impact on PC shipments may slow as tablet penetration rises – as we’ve begun to see in some mature regions. The net result remains consistent with our past forecasts – in particular, that there is potential for PC shipments to stabilize, but not much opportunity for growth.”
“PC shipment growth in the United States remained slightly faster than most other regions in the first quarter. However, the passing boost from XP replacements, constrained consumer demand, and no clear driver of a market rebound are expected to keep growth below zero going forward,” said Rajani Singh, Senior Research Analyst, Personal Computing. “A rebound in consumer or a continuation of accelerated commercial upgrades could boost growth slightly, but low demand for upgrades in general combined with competition from tablets and 2-in-1 systems limit the growth potential.”
We’re under attack! Social, mobile, real-time, cloud, big data…it’s coming at us all at once! Rather than miss out, many brands are jumping from trend to trend as a way of staying relevant in an increasingly digital market.
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Foursquare, Instagram, Pinterest…we’re covered. We have and had a strategy for a while now.
Mobile. Yep, we’ve got an app for that…plus we’ve got adaptive and responsive web design that makes old sites new again!
Snapchat…our brilliant strategy vanishes in 5,4,3,2,1.
Jelly? We’ve got the answer.
Whisper, Secret…shhh, don’t tell anyone, but we’re already marketing there.
There’s a difference though between marketing AT people in new channels and learning about their behavior, values, and expectations to optimize their digital experiences and introduce mutually-beneficial outcomes.
Social, mobile, and real-time strategies are not enough. These disruptive technologies are merely just the beginning of a still shaping era of connected consumerism.
Each in its own right is significant affecting how business is done. But customer behavior and expectations, and that of employees for that matter, continue to evolve. And, the list of disruptive technologies that’s pushing business leaders and processes out of their respective comfort zones is far more exhaustive and constant.
An IDC study present’s the first forecast and analysis of the cellular machine-to-machine (M2M) market in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan), or APEJ. The total number of cellular M2M connections in APEJ will grow from 26.8 million connections in 2012 to 72.4 million in 2017, a 22% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). M2M spending will grow from US$3 billion in 2012 to US$6.7 billion in 2017, a CAGR of 17.3%.
Another IDC study analyzes the worldwide opportunity for the burgeoning “Internet of Things” (IoT) market. It provides a market outlook for 2013–2020 and sets the forecast within the context of the IoT ecosystem including intelligent systems, connectivity services, platforms, analytics, and vertical applications in addition to the security and professional services required to build out a complete picture. The study discusses the key market trends contributing to the growth of the IoT on a worldwide basis. A forecast of installed “things” and revenue is included.
IDC has published an infographic titled Welcome to the Connected Age which can be viewed here.
At last week’s BUILD developer conference in San Francisco, Microsoft announced major changes to their cloud computing platform, Windows Azure. These changes included added support for foreign languages and third-party tools, and the introduction of the Azure Preview Portal, which allows developers to build and manage instances while they are running. These improvements will go a long way to helping Microsoft compete with other cloud computing giants like Google and Amazon.
When Satya Nadella was appointed CEO of Microsoft in February 2014, the company was stagnant in terms of product innovation. The man Nadella replaced, Steve Ballmer, does deserve credit for raking in enormous profits for the company. But under Ballmer’s tenure Microsoft lagged behind the technology developments of its competitors, especially in the realm of cloud computing.
Nadella is steering the company into a new direction. In an interview released just hours after he was named CEO, Nadella stated that his primary objective was to make Microsoft a “mobile first, cloud first” company. Then is not surprising when you look at Nadella’s experience and see he was previously the Head of the Cloud and Enterprise department at Microsoft.
In his few weeks as acting CEO, Nadella has taken many big steps towards his “cloud first” objective. He resurrected Microsoft Office for iPad, a program that was killed two years ago by Ballmer. Microsoft has also released OneNote on the Mac. His willingness to work with the competition for mutual benefit reflects Nadella’s pragmatic side, while the products being offered here over Apple systems highlight his devotion to the proliferation of cloud-based apps.
Before we get too carried away, it is important to remember that Nadella hasn’t even been CEO for 100 days yet. There is still plenty of time for him to make mistakes. But if the past few weeks are a true indicator of the decisions Nadella will make in the future, Microsoft is well on its way to being a top innovator and competitor in the cloud computing market.
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) enterprise hardware market, comprising servers and external storage, remains in a passive state according to the latest figures released today by International Data Corporation (IDC). Referencing its EMEA Quarterly Server and Disk Storage Systems Trackers, the research firm today announced that the market expanded a sluggish 5.1% year on year in 2013 to total $2.58 billion, with much of the growth spurred by infrastructure deals within the oil and gas (O&G), telecommunications, and BFSI verticals.
The MEA region’s x86 server market witnessed a 5.0% year-on-year increase in value, but a 3.7% decline in unit terms during 2013. “There are a lot of changes occurring in the MEA enterprise domain, with a gradual shift towards fully virtualized datacenters and cloud-based infrastructures,” says Zeeshan Gaya, research manager for systems and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “As such, the growth seen in the x86 server market’s value, and the corresponding decline in volume, can be attributed to the increased adoption of virtualization technologies that utilize fewer server units than is the case in traditional datacenters.”
The region’s external storage market expanded 5.1% year on year in 2013. ”The overall sentiment in the MEA storage market ended on a positive note in 2013, with most countries witnessing healthy growth barring a few in Africa,” says Swapna Subramani, senior research analyst for storage systems at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “The storage market is witnessing increased uptake of entry-level and midrange storage devices driven by demand for the NAS protocol. Mobility and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives, video surveillance, and Big Data are the key driving factors for this ongoing shift within the MEA storage market.”
UAE’s enterprise hardware market witnessed a strong growth of 11.5% with 2013 revenue representing a healthy mix of spending by the country’s key verticals namely, Financial, Telco, Hospitality and Government sectors. Saudi Arabia’s growth was more subdued at 3.2% annually hampered by the small decline in the server market this year compared to the massive server revenue registered in the Kingdom last year.
In our 2014 Digital IQ survey of almost 1,500 business and technology executives, only 20% of respondents are highly confident in their organization’s Digital IQ—a company’s acumen in understanding, valuing and weaving technology throughout the enterprise.
How can a company raise its Digital IQ and harness the full power of technology to advance their business performance? Top performers—companies that reside in the top quartile for revenue growth, profitability, and innovation—point the way.
We analyzed the responses of top performers to understand what they do differently to fuse business and technology. For top performers, digital isn’t window dressing or corporate speak. Digital is a way of life. Following are five key best practices that top performers employ to outdo the competition:
1. CEO is the Digital Leader
81% of top performers say their CEO is an active champion of using information technology to achieve business goals, compared with 68% of other companies. Executives tell us that CEO involvement in shaping strategy provides them with a competitive advantage. Once the company determines its digital strategy, the CEO must define clear roles, accountability, and governance for how the strategy is executed. The scope should address who is responsible, and how the functional or business unit leaders will work together—for example, what the CMO is responsible for in a customer initiative, what the CIO does, and together what they will deliver and when.
2. CMO and CIO are Collaborative Partners
The CIO and CMO relationship is critical to success because many digital technology initiatives are driven by marketing needs. 70% of top performers say their CIO and CMO have a strong relationship, compared with just 45% of the pack. The growth in digital marketing spending, often independent of IT, has led to debate among industry analysts about whether the marketing organization will soon yield more spending power than the IT department.
“In the last year we’ve seen our Explorers use Glass in really inspiring and practical day-to-day ways,” the Google Glass team wrote on its Google+ page. “Something we’ve also noticed and are very excited about is how Explorers are using Glass to drive their businesses forward.”
The Washington Capitals, Washington D.C.’s hockey team, has already been working with fans who use Glass, Google noted. The Capitals partnered up with APX Labs to create a Glass app that allows the team’s fans to see real-time stats, instant replays and different camera angles.
The hockey team may be a good example of how businesses can take advantage of Glass, or any upcoming wearable, according to Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy.
“My contention has always been that wearables are a best fit for vertical applications,” he said. “I think this is good news and I think companies will use this program. It is Glass’ best shot so far at an ecosystem. In these vertical usage models, it’s more about getting the job done versus looking cool to your friends.”
Moorhead also noted that with Google trying to push Glass into the enterprise, it might signal the company’s realization that building out a horizontal platform will be more difficult than once thought.