I recently completed a report comparing the movements and trends in IT budgets across different countries across the Asia Pacific region. The general finding of the report was that although IT budgets are down on average, there is a chasm appearing between the "haves and have nots" for IT spend. In summary, while the average decrease in IT budget decrease is around 5%, of those companies getting an increased IT budget, their spend increased by between 15-20% on average, and for those receiving an IT budget cut, the decrease was often around 20%. The decisive factor on the direction of the IT budget was often the level of exposure to the global financial crisis. Those with a high level have seen the highest budget cuts, those with low levels of exposure (or those profiting from the crisis) are seeing increases or flat IT budgets.
But as is often the case with statistics, they do not tell the entire story. What is becoming clear is that even those companies with increased IT budgets are looking to decrease their IT spend in as many areas as possible. Much of the interest in the region in cloud computing has actually come from the public sector - one of the sectors that has been relatively sheltered from the slowdown in IT spend. Virtualisation is on the agenda for nearly all companies, as they look to make better use of the hardware that they already have.
I published my first report on mobile social networks 2 years ago (see here) at a time when Facebook audience was "only" around 50 million unique monthly visitors. At that time MySpace was a paid-for and exclusive experience on Vodafone-Live and Bebo was about to launching a mobile version. Needless to say lots has happened in the last 2 years.
Numerous acquisitions and parternships took place between the likes of Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter, Hyves and with handset manufacturers / mobile operators. Several mobile-only communities (AirG, peperonity, itsmy.com, buzzcity...) have gained traction and there is plenty of innovation in that space. INQ generated lots of media coverage and interest by lauching its so-called "Facebook phone" and plans to launch new devices. I am not sure what the latest Facebook mobile stats are but not that long ago rougly 10% of the worldwide installed base of FB users had registered to the mobile version. Even more significantly, the GSMA announced a few months ago that UK mobile consumers who access Facebook via their mobile phone spend, on average, 24 minutes on the site daily, just shy of the 27.5 minutes that PC-based Internet users spend daily on Facebook; mobile users of Facebook average 3.3 visits per day versus 2.3 visits per day from PC users.
Mike Gualtieri and I had a surprising argument about developer downloads with several vendors as we compiled our Forrester Wave: Complex Event Processing (CEP) Platforms, Q3 2009. Developers consistently tell us they want unrestricted platform downloads -- no time bombs, no forced contacts with the vendor's sales staff, no limited-function versions. The vendors in question disputed our insistence on valuing download policies that had no such limits.
We thought in this era of open source, everyone understood this point about developer downloads. Downloads are a great way to encourage developers to learn your product's ins, outs, values, and issues. But developers learn at their own pace, not on your schedule. Developers need your whole product because they will follow a variety of paths to knowledge, not just the paths that make sense to you. And developers don't want to listen to a sales rep's pitch on the wonders of your software.
The First Case Study in the Series About How to Deploy Customer Service Social Media!
When I published the ROI of customer service social media, everyone had asked me - who is doing social media and what are they doing. To help those who haven't started down the social media path, I put together the 5 Best Practices of customer service social media. That doc is chocked full of ideas you can use today. And to provide more details on how companies have accomplished their goals for social media, I also decided to publish a bunch of case studies! ACT! is the first of many! I hope it helps you to get a better idea of how valuable social media is and its bottom-line affects!
Who is Sage and What Did They Want to Accomplish With Social Media?
The Second Case Study on Customer Service Social Media: How To and The Results...
This is the second case studies in the series on Customer Service Social Media Best Practices! You might be wondering what I meant my ownership. In organizational change management language... there are three stages of project success - awareness, buy-in and ownership. Here ownership doesn't me "owning" like it's mine - not yours. It means taking 100% responsibility for leading and faciliating solid, genuine, collaborative relationships with the whole company to further the whole company's succcess. Here's more details on how Lenovo accomplished their social media goals!
Why Did Lenovo Consider Social Media?
When Lenovo acquired the IBM PC computing division, they realized customers were talking about their products on 3rd party forums like notebookreview.com and thinkpads.com. They felt left out of these important customer conversations. To remedy that, they took ownership and lead the customer social media interactions.
Overview: As more and more customers are using social media to interact — or worse yet to trash a brand because of poor customer service interactions — customer service professionals need to understand how best to lead and deploy social media for their department as well as their firm.
In building the ROI model for customer service social media, I talked with 20 companies that have deployed social media and the result was five best practices. While there are many things to consider, these best practices provide a framework to begin engaging customers in social media, to determine an ROI and transform the customer experience.
Agenda: Forrester's interviews with savvy executives found that smart companies use five emerging best practices:
As consumers are rapidly adopting social media to voice their disdain about companies, many of my clients are wondering how best to harness the power of the "cloud" to transform those customer experiences. In developing the ROI of Customer Service Social Media, I interviewed a lot of end-user companies. I used that information to look for trends for benefits, costs and risks.
Now's the time when many of my clients start fleshing out plans for 2010 and putting together the business cases to pay for it all. And they’re telling me they need help. This year’s funding process will be tougher than ever thanks to the economy, so it’s important to make your business case not just good, but great. I’ve compiled a list of the research we've written over the last 2 years that sums up how to do that: