A post at Information-Age.com
shares the details of Gartnerís take on the hype, myths, and the real essence of cloud technology.
As cloud computing continues to rise simultaneously with the globalization of various industries and economies, many are still confused as to what it actually is and what it can do. This confusion leads to stunted organizational growth, and business owners completely discounting cloud technology as a business tool.
Here are the top 10 myths about the cloud:Cloud technology is always economical.
Not all cloud services are priced the same. Rates of IaaS (infrastructure as a service) have recently dropped, but not for SaaS (software-as-a-service). Money should not be the focus of the business because it could sometimes lead to career limitations. Cloud is the only way to go.
Some cloud providers take advantage of confused buyers thinking that their system is not good unless it has cloud. IT organizations, on the other hand, are identifying things as part of their cloud efforts to get more investors and people start believing that only cloud technology has the IT requirement they need. Cloud is applicable for everything.
Not all applications and processes are compatible with the cloud. Yes, there may be instances that adopting the cloud is a great strategy, but it is not always the case. Name dropping a client or CEO.
This is a popular strategy of account executives and operations managers, saying they need or want the cloud. It is not a strategy per se, but they just give what the client or CEO wants so they do not have to deal with it. If it is a legitimate cloud strategy, they first have to identify business goals and list down the potential advantages of the cloud without adding risks. Clients only need one cloud provider.
Cloud is a very broad subject that has different levels, scope, models, and applications. A cloud strategy should be based on what the company is aiming for. Business owners and CIOs should perform due diligence to find the best fit for their needs. Cloud is a risk to data security.
Since itís not tangible, it is perceived as less secure. It is more of a trust issue which is why clients are more hesitant to use something that they cannot physically guard. However, there have only been several cases when security breaches occurred. In fact, most breaches occurred in internally managed data centers. You have to experiment with it first.
Early adopters of the cloud may have been used to it by now. But, as organizations get to know the cloud, the willingness to integrate it to their processes has improved significantly - even applying it to mission-critical systems. Some corporations have evolved in the cloud, making it an integral part of their company.Cloud means data storage.
Before anything else, data center outsourcing, data center modernization, and data center strategies are not synonymous with the cloud. Cloud spans beyond data storage. Your strategy for outsourcing, modernization, data storage, and the cloud should not be one and the same.Uploading everything to the cloud gives you access to the whole lot.
Just because you migrated to the cloud, doesnít mean you can do everything cloud-related. Cloud applications are different from cloud services so you have to distinguish which one you need. You can also look into the packages being offered by the providers because they might have set-ups that can be set according to your requirements. Virtualization means private cloud.
Virtualization is what you do to enable your system to have the cloud. Even if you upgrade your technical capacities, it doesnít immediately result to having a private cloud. It could just mean that your company is high-tech or innovative.
The rise of social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram has made it easier for conference organizers to bring in-person events online - and in real time. This is great promotion for both the conference and marketers. Not only does actively participating in an event and publishing it on social media help with your branding, it can also help expand your network to people with similar interests.
To rock social media and get more out of conferences, Mashable
gives us key things to keep in mind:
1. Spread positive vibes.
Conference tweets are mostly filled with words of encouragement, inspirational quotes from speakers and panelists, and exciting moments of the event in general. You should be tweeting the same thing. Share positive thoughts or opinions. Your goal is to keep that good energy going, so even if you donít agree with one of the speakers, be respectful online and do not say - or tweet - anything at all.
2. Use the conference hashtag and get it right.
Conference hashtags are the best way to find all things related to the event in one place, find out whoís attending the same event, and share your own thoughts and comments. But make sure youíre using the right one, as nothing is more awkward and frustrating than feeling like you've been tweeting passionately about the conference only to find out later on that you've been using the wrong hashtag the entire time.
3. Reach out to those who are also covering the event.
This is where the conference hashtag comes in handy: you get to interact with other people on Twitter or Instagram who are covering the event as well. Also, take your online conversations offline and make plans to meet up or find each other during a networking session - these can be some of the most valuable connections.
4. Donít get carried away.
You may get completely absorbed in live tweeting or Instagramming the event that you forget that youíre there to network and listen to great speakers. Hereís a rule of thumb for conference first timers: take one Instagram shot per panel or speaker and tweet two to five times per session. In a more intimate setting, put your phone away, pay attention, and summarize your thoughts on social media afterward. Post enough so that itís informative, but not so much that youíre giving the impression that you aren't even really paying attention to the event.
5. Have fun with posting about the event.
Social media is meant to be fun, so have a good time tweeting and Instagramming about the conference. Show the other sides of the conference like taking photos of great vendors or freebies, because who doesn't get excited about free stuff?
The next time youíre scheduled to attend a conference, remember that paying the entrance fee, bringing a big stack of business cards, and making sure your LinkedIn profile is updated arenít enough. Being active on social media during an event makes it even better.
With the holidays approaching, marketing and communications departments are shifting public relations efforts into overdrive. Here are three strategies to make the best of your holiday campaigns:
1. Study data from previous holiday campaigns.
Use the information as a guide to your future campaigns. Then measure this yearís results against last yearís.
2. Follow trends and join conversations.
Many brands have seen success by joining conversations around ongoing trends. Participate in conversations that are appropriate for your brand.
3. Find out what your local community is doing.
The holiday season is a great time to give back to the community. Without having to promote your charity efforts outright, simply supporting the community is an excellent way to raise awareness and interest about your business.
Itís never too early to start gearing up for the holidays. After all, the best campaigns all start with great planning.
Many people consider blogging as a crucial part of their online marketing strategy. That is good and all, but focusing on blogs alone is a short-sighted take on increasing a brandís online presence - and actually decreases your businessí ability to tap potential customers.
The crucial fact is, whatever form of content your company has scheduled for publishing, it should be informative and engaging. You also have to consider the technical side of your content.
How will search engines treat and respond to your content? How your content is processed, how it is shared amongst users, and your siteís ability to attract natural links are all considered as signals by search engines.
A post at Business2Community.com
shares three creative ways to attract ideal customers without blogging:1. Create killer infographics.
Creative infographics have been proven to attract ideal customers since these are not in text format. An infographic is a refreshing way of expressing your brandís message, and sometimes even data to users. However, it takes time to produce an infographic. It can also rack up a hefty bill for designers if you donít have an in-house graphic designer. One of the best ways to gather data for content is through surveys. 2. Create videos.
Videos, if done tastefully, can leave viewers itching for more information, a great way to engage with your potential customers especially if you are still in the introduction part of your campaign. Videos can be easily shared across different social media channels, and can be a jump-off point for traffic to your website. One popular topic for a video is giving customers a solution. This could be done through a how-to video, or a video with a storyline that revolves around tips and tricks.3. Know what the offline world has to offer.
As business owners, you should not forget to align your online initiatives with the offline world. One of the best ways to do this is by attending or participating in forums and workshops. You can likewise disseminate information about your website through TV, radio, and newspapers.
Choosing a qualified social media marketing agency can be a difficult task. Here are five qualities you need to look for to make sure that you will end up with a good social media marketing agency:
1. Has experience working with companies in your industry
Because each industry is different, a social campaign that is successful in one field may not have the same results in another. It is for that reason that you should look for a social media agency that had experiences with your industry and helped the companies achieve their business objectives.
2. Has an in-house creative design team
A qualified social media agency is one that has its own team of creative designers. Otherwise, they will have to outsource the visual designs to another agency or to a freelancer, making it difficult for you to communicate with different stakeholders.
3. Delivers measurable results
A qualified social media agency should be able to deliver measurable results. By measurable, we mean quantifiable results and not just "a lot of people are talking about your brand on Twitter". And "your post has received a lot of shares lately" doesnít measure up, either. An example of a measurable result would be that a social media contest generated x number of retweets, increased the number of Twitter followers by x%, drove x number of visitors to the company website. Without measurable results, you wonít be able to determine the return of the social media campaign and whether the agency is performing favorably.
4. Accountable for the outcome of the campaign
A qualified agency should always have a contingency plan in case the objective isnít met. For example, if an agency had a goal of increasing your Twitter followers by 15% in three months through a series of contests but failed to do so, the agency should have other social media campaign ideas available for achieving the goal.
5. Has existing relationships with bloggers
Having existing relationships with bloggers increases the agencyís chance of recruiting them to take part in the social media campaign. Instead of spending time reaching out to hundreds or even thousands of bloggers and ending up convincing only a few to share your campaign on their websites or social networks, an agency with existing relationships with bloggers can persuade them more easily to promote the social contest on their blogs or social channels. When used as a way to assess the quality of a social media agency, these five qualities can help you select an agency that can deliver the results that you want.
This generation lives most of its life on social media that itís no surprise that even recruitment managers are growing savvier, thereby making social recruiting a norm. The fierce competition in the labor market has compelled recruiters to engage candidates like a marketer would engage customers. Although traditional recruiting methods have not been completely discarded, the targeting options social media offers have enabled recruiters to find quality hires. According to Jobviteís 2014 Social Recruiting Survey Results, 93% of hiring managers will review a candidateís social profile before making a hiring decision. Also, 55% have actually reconsidered a candidate because of what they find, with 61% of those double-takes being negative.
Recruiters take social media profiles very seriously when evaluating candidates, which is why it is important for job hunters to keep clean social media profiles. This, however, does not let existing employees off the hook - a single tweet could ruin your relationship with your boss - or worse, get you fired.
Here are top 10 social media mistakes that could cost you your next - or current - job:
- Making references to illegal drugs. In case this isn't common sense, know that 83% of recruiters say doing so is a strong turn-off.
- Seventy percent of social recruiters will count sexual over-sharing against you as this demonstrates very poor judgment.
- Two-thirds of recruiters told Jobvite that posts including profanity reflected poorly.
- Over half found posts about guns an obvious no-no.
- Drinking in a photo, holding an alcoholic beverage, talking about how many units of alcohol you have consumed or are about to consume - basically any signs of alcoholism, 44% found concerning.
- You might want to review what you've written, because 66% of hiring managers hold poor spelling and grammar against candidates.
- Recruiters also see posting about your political affiliation as a potential negative, so consider keeping this to yourself.
- Complaining about your job. Or talking smack about a job even before you've accepted it.
- Posting while youíre supposed to be working.
- Making fun of your boss, team, or clients.
Take the time to review and revise your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook profiles before recruiters seek you out. Be vigilant: donít post anything you wouldn't want your employer or potential employer to see. Check your privacy settings, but donít rely on them because theyíre known to change frequently, especially Facebook. And remember that just because your social media posts havenít hurt you yet, doesn't mean they wonít.
Highlights of the recent Outsourcing Index organized and published by technology consultancy firm Information Services Group (ISG) were recently posted in MarketWatch.com
. The report stated that despite a slow third quarter, the global outsourcing industry is poised to achieve double-digit growth for 2014.
The Outsourcing Index covered the activity of commercial outsourcing contracts with an annual contract value (ACV) of $5 million or more. It found that year-to-date, ACV climbed 13 percent to $17.1 billion in various segments such as regions, contract types and sizes, and service areas. Also, the contract volume increased by four percent.
As for this yearís third quarter, ACV weakened by double digits in almost every location and segment, as the market took a step back from an aggressive first half where ACV for the first and second quarter was $6 billion. When compared to the ACV of 2013ís third quarter, the difference is 21 percent and only valued at $4.6 billion. The number of closed deals for Q3 2014 is also 32 percent lower to just 239.
According to John Keppel, ISG Partner and President, recent years showed that third quarters are becoming stronger, but this year, it went back to the normal and weaker pace and is the weakest for 2014 so far. The strong performance of the industry from January up to now keeps the industry on target and could even lead to a strong finish.
Changes in ACV scope and activity affected the performance of the third quarter. The number of mega-relationships which are $100 million and over, as well as small-time deals, is also found to have declined.
If viewed from each segment, information technology outsourcing (ITO) decreased by 23 percent from 2013 due to the slowdown of new-scope awards. Activity in the business process outsourcing (BPO) space also declined, but increased in terms of new-scope awards particularly in the Americas. The report also pointed out that the BPO market is no longer strictly focused on horizontal back office process, but is now more on facilities management, industry-specific work, and voice operations.
In the Americas, ACV is up by 11 percent from last yearís third quarter, and is now $1.9 billion driven by large contracts in Canada and Brazil. However, the volume of deals decreased by 30 percent. On the aspect of year-to-date, ACV is 18 percent higher. Meanwhile, ITO contracts rose by 20 percent and BPO contracts are up by 17 percent. ITO contracts are at its highest from January to September which could mean more contracts amidst an increase in multi-sourcing activity.