IT managers have had plenty to complain about ever since the economy took a nosedive and companies starting make cuts, and according to Symantec's "State of the Data Center" report, half of all IT execs surveyed say their data centers are under manned.
"We recently actually lost 25 percent of our departments in cutbacks," one network manager in New York told researchers. "I'm now doing a number of different jobs. I work from home and on the weekends doing things I never had to do before. I am just trying to do more with less. We could use more people, but right now, it doesn't seem to be an option."
Some 16 percent of those surveyed said that their data centers were extremely understaffed, while the other 34 percent said
According to the Harris poll, the average American adult internet user spent 13 hours per week on the internet this year, down slightly from last year's average of 14 hours per week. However, last year's average was relatively high on account of the presidential election and a deepening financial crisis.
There has been a significant increase in the percentage of adults accessing the internet from home during the past few years, with the number shooting up to 76% this year from 66% in 2005. The total number of American adults on the internet, though, has remained static at 184 million since 2007.
According to a recent survey by Accenture on IT investments, information technology will play a key role in the global economic recovery. Accenture noted that about 72 percent of business and IT execs say their "organizations place greater value on the IT function today than they did before the economic crisis," and believe that IT will prove integral to getting the economy back on track.
"The results of the survey show that firms recognize the need to invest in technology to defend and accelerate their competitive position, even in difficult times, which has not always been the case in the past," said Keith Haviland, Accenture's Global Managing Director for Systems Integration Consulting. "The turmoil over the last 18 months has underscored the need for further flexibility and scalability to stay ahead in business and drive agile business change."
Many execs said they expect technology spending to increase in their organization either selectively (47 percent) or across the board (10 percent) in the next year. Perhaps more surprisingly, around 61 percent of the non-IT executives pinged said they expect IT spending to rise.
The annual Consumer Reports survey of wireless customer satisfaction has just come out, and it isn’t looking too good for AT&T. More than 50,000 customers of the big four carriers in 26 cities submitted their ratings to Consumer Reports. AT&T came in last in the overall ratings. In the city by city data AT&T was rated lowest in 19 areas including, unsurprisingly, New York and San Francisco. The same survey placed Verizon at the top of the scale.
AT&T was given low marks for service availability, circuit capacity, voice service, and dropped-call frequency in 73% of markets. Many have posited in the past that it was merely tech savvy consumers in a few markets that had a problem with AT&T’s service. This survey seems to imply that there are many more dissatisfied customers spread over a larger swath of the nation.
Perhaps the most interesting bit of data here is that of the iPhone users surveyed, 98% said they were satisfied enough that they’d buy the phone again. Only 79% of people with other AT&T phones said the same. Apparently, a good phone can help smooth over a lot of rough spots in a carrier’s network.
RapLeaf, a self-proclaimed “leader in automated search for people information on the social web,” has released the second part of its three-part study about the demographic characteristics of webmail users. In this part they consider the social media profiles and friend counts of AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo users. What they find, unfortunately, doesn’t really reveal all that much about who does what, social networking-wise, based on their webmail ident.
It’s possible to conclude from the study that Gmail users have, on average, more online friends than other webmail users. And it’s possible to say that Hotmail users have more social media memberships then their online counterparts. But the differences are relatively slight; probably aren’t statistically significant; and quite likely within the realm of measurement error.
For example, guess how many friends the average Gmail user has.
The study included the United States, Western Europe, and Australia. Forty-eight percent of Americans, classified as regular Internet users, said they were willing to pay for online content. This, along with Great Britain’s Internet users, was the lowest the study recorded. Most other countries reported about 60 percent of users would be willing to pay.
But, on average, Americans said that online news was worth only $3 a month, again a bottom figure (which tied with Australia). Italian Internet users were the most generous, on average saying they’d pay $7 for such a service.
The lack of willingness to pay, and the relative tight-fistedness of Americans is a reflection of content availability, says John Rose, a senor partner in the Boston Consulting Group. According to Rose: “Consumer willingness and intent to pay is related to the availability of a rich amount of free content. There is more, better, richer free in the United States than anywhere else.” According to Rose, a banding together of major news providers in the United States wouldn’t help because of the availability of other free sources on the Internet users can access.
The study concludes that newspapers which charge for online content probably won’t see a big increase in revenues, but, because online content is cheaper to provide, profits should increase. Maybe that will be enough to make Murdoch happy.
It might sound hard to believe for those of us who attended grade school back before broadband, cell phones, and the social networking phenomenon, but according to a new report, as many as 340,000 kids and teens are regular victims of cyberbullying, a term that didn't even exist not that long ago.
"We know the consequences of online bullying are just as traumatic as those of face-to-face bullying," said Emma-Jane Cross, chief executive of the charity Beatbullying. "We want all social networking sites, Internet service providers, and mobile phone companies to take measures to identify and remove offensive material."
Beatbully's survey pinged 2,094 respondents between the ages of 11 and 18, nearly two-thirds of which said they had been witness to some form of online bullying. About half of them said they know of people setting up fake profiles, and 20 percent said they had seen hate groups set up with the sole intention of bullying someone.
This raises the question of whether social networking sites are doing enough. Over half of the those who claim to have been bullied said the incident took place on MSN, now renamed Windows Live Messenger. But Microsoft contends that "as with any communication service, these online communication tools are misused by a tiny minority."
A recent ComScore survey on Internet usage is reporting that Microsoft might not be leading the way in search, but in terms of total hours spend online, it has a commanding lead over its competition. The survey, which measured a whopping 27 billion hours of Internet usage by Web users aged 15 or older is an increase of nearly 24% over the year prior, and of those studied, over 3.9 billion hours were spent using Microsoft services. Google came in a not so close second place with around 2.5 billion hours.
The big winner in the Microsoft portfolio might surprise you however, with about 70 percent of the usage being attributed to Windows Live Messenger. Of course, this number measures time spent “online” and not just those “actively engaged” with the service, but it certainly shows the popularity of Microsoft’s instant messenger. Google’s numbers are pretty typical explain analysts, since they make it their business using search to try and get you “in and out” as quickly as possible. The most successful Google property continues to be YouTube with nearly 1.2 billion hours logged watching video.
Yahoo placed third with 1.7 billion hours, and Facebook commanded a respectable fourth place with 1.4 billion hours. The individual rankings may have been a bit of a shock, but the trend showing “Internet usage on the rise” certainly isn’t. Did any of these results surprise you? Let us know what you think.
At nearly 10 percent, the unemployment rate is the highest it's been in 26 years, or a little over a quarter of a century. Nevertheless, SMBs are looking to the coming year with optimism and planning to hire rather than lay off more workers, suggests a new study.
Intuit Payroll pinged over 1,000 SMB owners and found that 44 percent have plans to hire in the next year, and 60 percent are expecting their businesses to grow. But there's also a bit of a quandary SMBs find themselves in.
Nearly 90 percent of the survey participants indicated health insurance benefits as key to attracting and retaining good employees, but 58 percent don't offer healthcare benefits, with nearly half saying they simply can't afford it.
"There's a wideing gap of expectations," said Nora Denzel, senior vice president of Intuit's Employee Management Solutions Division. "On one hand, we as a society assume that health and retirement benefits are part of every employee's compensation package. And yet even as these small businesses gear up to hire, according to our results, small businesses are leery about what those benefits will cost."
Intuit also found that only 1 percent of respondents reported receiving federal stimulus money, even though 74 percent admit that they are probably not taking advantage of all the benefits made available to them under the federal economic stimulus plan.
Avid bookworms will swear by their Kindles, but according to a new study released on Wednesday, e-readers will likely never go main stream as long as the price hovers around the current $199-$489 range. "The price points for how most consumers value e-readers is shockingly low -- for most segments, between $50 and $99," Rotman Epps said. "To reach the largest market possible, the prices will need to come way down." Currently the biggest obstacle to hitting the $50 price is the e-ink display itself which costs roughly $60 all on its own. Device makers can be expected to "look for alternative providers of displays if E Ink can't bring its prices down fast enough," Rotman Epps said.
Everything comes down in price over time, but to see the kind of growth that most companies expect, analysts expect e-reader manufactures to explore subsidy based business models, partnering with either network providers, or newspapers to help offset the cost of the device. Rotman Epps said its "a reasonable assumption" that network operators and newspapers will only subsidize e-readers if they can recover their costs by enticing consumers to sign up for long-term data plans that command monthly fees. "
The survey estimated that approximately two million e-readers will be sold in 2009 at current prices, bringing the total install base up to about three million by the end of the year. Forrester also estimates that this only represents about 12 percent of the maximum addressable market at the $199 price point.