Gartner, Inc. predicts only 50 percent of Fortune 1000 companies will have received a worthwhile return on investment (ROI) from their social customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives by the end of this year. “For the 50 percent of Fortune 1000 organizations not determining, or even measuring, ROI, ignorance will mean failed projects,” said Adam Sarner, research director at Gartner. “Among the companies who will not see a worthwhile return, only 20 percent will even have the data to evaluate where their social strategy is falling short. These organizations will be unable to justify future funding.” According to Gartner, during the next two years, the success of social CRM will depend on how well companies and social CRM technology providers can make social CRM projects more than just social objectives by tying them to clear and measurable business objectives. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2012 three-quarters of new social CRM initiatives that receive funding will have a business case incorporating measurable ROI. “Social data, such as numbers of fan pages and weekly Tweets, is not enough to correlate with the contribution of top business objectives,” said Sarner. “ROI, measurable business value and budget justification for social projects are becoming unavoidable topics for many organizations.” Gartner analysts said they expect the worldwide market for social CRM software licenses and subscriptions to total $2.1 billion in 2012, up from 850 million in 2011, and that social CRM revenue will represent 10% of the overall CRM market. Gartner analysts will discuss the development of social CRM at the Gartner Customer Strategies & Technologies Summit 2012, to be held from June 11 to 12 in London. Additional information about Gartner predictions and the Summit can be found on the company’s website.
(Gartner, Inc., 408-468-8312, www.gartner.com.)
The worldwide mobile phone market declined 1.5 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2012, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. The report, released May 1, found that vendors shipped only 398.4 million units compared to 404.3 million units in 2011. Samsung ousted longtime leader Nokia to become the market’s top mobile phone vendor. Nokia had been the global market leader in total mobile phone shipments since the inception of IDC’s Mobile Phone Tracker in 2004. Samsung’s ascension to the market’s top spot is largely a reflection of its gains in the smartphone market over the past two years. “The halcyon days of rapid growth in the smartphone market have been good to Samsung,” said Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker program. “Samsung has used its established relationships with carriers in a mix of economically diverse markets to gain share organically and at the expense of former high fliers such as Nokia.” The Tracker also showed that the worldwide smartphone market grew 42.5 percent year over year in the first quarter, as Samsung overtook Apple for the smartphone leadership position. Vendors shipped 144.9 million smartphones in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 101.7 million units 2011. The 42.5 percent year-over-year growth was 1 percent higher than IDC’s forecast of 41.5 percent for the quarter and lower than the 57.4 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2011. Samsung reclaimed the smartphone leadership position and established a new market record for the number of smartphones shipped in a single quarter. Apple slipped to second place in the worldwide smartphone market, but nonetheless posted strong year-over-year growth to reach 35.1 million units shipped. Nokia’s Symbian phone shipments declined precipitously last quarter as demand dropped in key emerging markets, such as China, making a speedy transition to products powered by the Windows Phone operating system, upon which it has bet its smartphone future, critical. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry unit decline continued last quarter, reaching levels not seen since 2009. Additional information on IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker is available from the company’s website. (IDC, 650-350-6423, www.idc.com.)
Annual global spending on smart grid technologies -- including smart meter implementations and upgrades to transmission and distribution infrastructure -- is expected to reach $65 billion by 2017, according to a report released May 4 by ABI Research. ABI Research’s new study, “Smart Grids,” analyzes the market for smart grid equipment and services for the 2011-2017 period, covering Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, North America, and Latin America. It provides the outlook for smart meter deployments and associated revenues, electric vehicle charging station installations, and spending on smart grid-related transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure. The report found that much of the electricity infrastructure in operation today is antiquated, highly inefficient, and cannot reliably manage the loads of today and tomorrow without significant upgrades taking place. To this end, work has begun on ensuring that the smart grid will soon become a reality with large-scale smart metering deployments, which are the most visible example of these efforts. (ABI Research, 516-624-2500, www.abiresearch.com.)
Despite the potential management challenges, 61 percent of businesses in Australia have a favorable view of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy, according Frost & Sullivan. Frost surveyed 206 C-level executives, IT managers, and IT decision makers about enterprise mobility for its report, “Australian Enterprise Mobility Market 2012”, due for release later this month. Of the 61 percent who have a favorable view of BYOD, 34 percent of businesses allow BYOD for all employees and offer full support for devices, and 27 percent allow BYOD for specific departments. Enterprise mobility ranks high in terms of priority compared to other IT investments, with more than 25 percent of businesses rating mobility as their top priority, or a very important priority in 2012. “Allowing employees to use a device of their choice to work through supporting a BYOD strategy is advantageous for organizations with benefits such as increased productivity, greater employee retention (achieved through enhanced job satisfaction) and cost savings through lower capital and operating costs. However, security risks are a concern for many organizations in supporting BYOD,” said Frost & Sullivan analyst Anand Balasubramanian. Fifty-six percent of businesses cited security as their top concern from adopting a BYOD strategy, according to the survey. This concern is driven by challenges in addressing the relatively unknown environment of mobile devices. Businesses that spent significant resources in securing laptops and desktops now have to expend their portfolio of devices supported to include mobile devices. Additional information about the report is available on the Frost & Sullivan website. (Frost & Sullivan, + 612 8247 8927, www.frost.com.)
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