The Roundup: Top 5 Issues For IT Execs

Top 5 issues for IT Professionals
Gartner Inc. of Stamford, Conn., recently released a list of the top five technology issues for IT pros. Gartner polled those in charge of corporate technology purchasing decisions and found that they’re most concerned right now (in order of importance) with mobile and wireless technology; security and privacy; CRM; disaster recovery and business continuity; and Web services.

The survey found IT managers “are not simply concerned about a single issue, but about how the issues are interrelated,” according to Gartner. As an example, mobile and wireless technology and CRM were ranked high as key standalone issues, but managers also ranked virtual private networks and security mobile users as key issues within mobile and wireless technology. Similarly, managers ranked mobile commerce business scenarios as a key issue within CRM, and disaster recovery and business continuity as a key issue within Web services.

Past high-ranking issues that fell out of the top five in this survey were enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, and B2B marketplaces.

Worries Grow Over Job Security
As the economy slides and layoffs abound, an increasing percentage of American workers are worried about losing their jobs, according to a new survey by employment Web site, based in Maynard, Mass.

Monster, which regularly polls users about their attitudes toward employment, found in a survey conducted Sept. 17-24 that nearly 75% expressed some level of concern about their job security, including 36% who feel they could lose their job any time. The results show a notable increase in concern compared to a June survey, when 30% felt they could lose their job any time. In both the September and June surveys, only 8% of respondents considered themselves “indispensable” to their employers and felt in no danger of losing their jobs.

In the September survey, Monster asked site users, “On a scale of 1 to 5, how would you rate your job security?” The 14,847 votes broke down this way:

  • 36% (5354 votes) said, “1 – I could be the next to go.”
  • 21% (3171) said, “2- I have a few worries.”
  • 18% (2748) said, “I’m somewhat safe.”
  • 17% (2529) said, “4- I’m confident in my importance.”
  • 7% (1045) said, “5- I am indispensable.”

In June, workers felt more confident, with 30% believing they could be the next to go, 25% having few worries, 20% feeling somewhat safe, 22% feeling confident in their importance, and 7% feeling indispensable.

Terrorism Gives Streaming Media a Boost
The dual effects of the Sept. 11 tragedy and the declining economy are driving the adoption rate of broadband streaming media among corporations, mostly for training and corporate communications, according to Cahners In-Stat Group, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Newton, Mass.

The tech research firm has been predicting that more and more corporations would install the technical infrastructure necessary to support the deployment of conferencing applications. Now, it forecasts increased use in the coming two years as companies look to reduce travel costs, increase worker productivity, and keep sales people in front of customers instead of attending meetings

In-Stat reports that it’s now seeing two major trends:

  • 1 – Business bandwidth is available now
    During the late 1990s, most companies invested heavily in deploying 100-Base-T Fast Ethernet throughout their organizations, using Ethernet switches that guarantee about 80 Mbps of bandwidth to each desktop computer. They’ve also put Gigabit Ethernet into their corporate LAN backbones. For business computer users, bandwidth is available to provide video conferencing and streaming.

  • 2 – Once a business begins using conferencing, it moves into streaming
    The initial application for streaming over corporate networks is usually live conferencing for product launches, quarterly earnings conference calls, and speeches by executives. These live events are archived for later playback by those who missed the event. Within 12-18 months, companies discover that they have a library of archived events available to edit into modules and re-purpose for other uses.

Storage Software Market in Growth Mode
Worldwide storage software market revenues are predicted to increase as a compound annual growth rate of 14.4%, from $5.4 billion in 2000 to $10.7 billion in 2005, a 96% increase, according to IDC.

Bill North, research director of IDC’s Storage Software service, said, “Enterprises will continue to demand more sophisticated software tools to assist in efficient management while corporations will strive for 100% application uptime and data availability. These will both continue to be key factors in market growth.”

According to IDC, these factors will also contribute to the need for overall storage software solutions:

  • Increasing use of digital forms of information caused by e-commerce application deployment
  • Growing awareness of the need to protect corporate information residing on client desktops and mobile laptops
  • A shortage of IT staff trained in SAN management and high availability system, application, and storage management