Business use of social media on increase, Deloitte survey finds
ORGANISATIONS are embracing new ways to communicate with customers such as mobile apps, a new survey has found, but they are still failing to weigh up the benefits of the strategies.
Deloitte’s fourth annual chief information officer (CIO) survey found that those some 60 per cent of businesses have developed a mobile app in the last year, primarily as a result of customer demand. The use of social media has almost doubled over the past two years too, with 73 per cent of organisations now using it to connect and communicate with customers.
“Organisations rush to do this without thinking about what they’re trying to achieve,” said Royston Seward, partner in Deloitte Digital in the UK (and EMEA).
“It might be that an app isn’t the right thing to do. You need to think through what you’re trying to achieve and how you’re trying to achieve it. Doing digital channels badly can be worse than not doing it at all.”
Companies need to keep an eye on social media, even if they have no desire to get involved with it, he said, and should monitor it regularly.
“I can’t think of any organisation that shouldn’t at a minimum be looking at what people are saying about them and their competition,” he said. “I think there is value. It’s all about how much investment you want to make in it for what return.”
Seaward was in Dublin this week to help launch Deloitte’s fourth annual survey, which provides a snapshot of the state of corporate IT in Ireland.
In contrast to previous years, the survey found that technology is now viewed as an enabler of change that allows businesses to be more agile, with 73 per cent of respondents reporting that their technology budget would be maintained or increased next year.
“When we started the survey in 2009 it was all about IT cost reduction; three quarters of the budget was being spent just keeping the lights on,” said Harry Goddard, a partner with Deloitte Ireland.
“The news is much more positive this year and there’s been a vast improvement in the perception of IT and business alignment.”
The report described the results as “striking”, noting that Ireland’s IT market was breaking free from the recession.
This year 71 per cent of technology managers reported that alignment with the overall business was “good or excellent” compared to around 50 per cent last year.
Companies were also keen to adopt new technologies in other areas of their business, with 39 per cent planning to investigate the use of big data technologies within the next year, and only 7 per cent actively using it.
But the report indicated that cloud computing in general has become increasingly popular, with 54 per cent of those who responded to the survey using it in some form within their organisations, compared with 38 per cent in 2011. More than 60 per cent of the private sector use cloud computing, while 25 per cent in the public sector use such services.
Goddard also had a unique take on the “bring your own device” (BYOD) phenomenon whereby staff are given a budget to purchase their own personal computing devices such as laptops or tablets. “It’s not about buying any old device but bringing Apple into the organisation,” said Goddard.
Only 12 per cent of the companies surveyed were found to facilitate some form of bring your own device arrangement, but 23 per cent said they planned to implement it.
Seaward described the concept of BYOD as “quite a big win” for corporates, as users were more likely to support themselves rather than relying on the company’s IT support, and the cost of hardware would potentially decrease.
One persistent problem in the market is a lack of skilled recruits, with the majority of those firms adding to their headcount – 84 per cent – saying they struggled to fill positions at both graduate and experienced level.