The Roundup: All Holds Barred

The Roundup this week includes new research on total security spending, demand for customer care services, and the Web's gender majority.
Gartner: Security Spending Will Skyrocket

Security, never far from a CIO's mind, is expected to remain among the highest of priorities over the next decade. But how much will you spend to protect your network in years to come? A lot, if a report this week from tech analyst firm Gartner is any indication.

A Gartner analysis of U.S. companies finds that corporations right now are spending 0.4% of their revenues to combat internal and external network security threats. But leap ahead 10 years and that figure will rise 10 times, to 4% of revenues.

(The percentage figure is based on Gartner's "total cost of ownership" model, which maps the dozens of costs associated with network security, including the cost for hardware, software, people, external services and physical security for all information security across an enterprise.)

Gartner's report echoes mounting statistical (and anecdotal) evidence that security is among the top handful of issues confronting CIOs. In last week's CIO Digest, a report from The Yankee Group indicated the market for security as an outsourced service will rise from a mere $3 million this year to more than $300 million by 2005. (A separate report by Frost & Sullivan says the managed security service provider industry will grow from $165.8 million in 2000 to more than $2 billion by 2007.)

For its part, Gartner says the mounting security concerns are now going far beyond e-mail viruses and international espionage as nearly every businesses is putting key functions on the Web. Security issues today span "every business process, application and desktop," Gartner reports. And the threat from internal users is seen as a bigger concern every day. (Click here to see a report on internal threats in the June 7 CIO Digest.)

"Open supply chain communications will explode over the Internet over the next two years," says Gartner research director Roberta Witty. "Enterprises will save a lot of money and headaches if they address their total security plans now."

Companies To Customers: We Care

Call it the spending race to make your customers happy.

A fresh report from IDC says that businesses will spend lavishly in the next four years on a range of "customer care" and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions and services.

Not surprisingly, businesses have "elevated the customer to the top of their business strategy priority list," thus the hyper spending on related technology, IDC reports. That means if you don't address their needs, somebody else will.

The amount companies spend on CRM-related projects and services will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20%, from $30 billion in 2000 to more than $76 billion in 2005.

The spending boom has benefited all types of providers in the "e-customer care" market, IDC senior analyst Brian Bingham says. The market is currently fragmented - no company has more than 7% of overall market share. The top five outsourcing providers (based on 2000 revenue) includes Convergys, TeleTech, SITEL, WEST and EDS.

Spending leaders are in the U.S. and Western Europe, which combined will account for nearly 80% of the "e-customer care" services revenue in 2005. Latin America will also post strong growth.

Demand for customer care services is high across a few vertical industries, especially telecommunications, retail/consumer goods and services, information technology and banking, IDC says. Combined, those sectors will account for more than 70% or worldwide customer care spending in 2005.

Report: Women Still Trump Men for Online Usage

A year after women surpassed men in terms of the number of adult Internet users, the gulf between the two sexes continues to grow.

Jupiter Media Metrix reports that women over the age of 18 comprise 40.9% of all online users, up from 40.3% in May 2000 and 39.3% in May 1999. Men 18 and older now account for 39.8% of all online users, down from 40.1% in May 2000 and 45.7% in May 1999.

"Women continue to tip the scale when it comes to their representation online," said Doug McFarland, president of Media Metrix. "It's been a year since women have leveled the field, but the ratings show that they're not through yet. Marketers and online advertisers must not lose site of this important demographic as it continues to shift the online landscape."

But while more women may be using the Internet, men are using it more often. Nielsen/NetRatings says men spend 16% more time online every month than women. In May 2001, they also viewed 31% more pages and went online 11% more often than women.

HTTP, HTML, WAP Enter OED

The Oxford English Dictionary, for centuries the final word on the English language, has added a fresh handful of IT-related words, according to The Register, a U.K.-based IT publication.

They are: .com, FAQ, HTTP, HTML, homepage, information superhighway, MP3, search engine, spam, smiley face, smail mail, WAP and Y2K. (Last year, the OED added e-commerce, cybersquatting, dot-com, e-tailer, WAP phones, webcam and XML.)

Fittingly, for now the new words will be included, only in the OED's online version. That's because a new printed OED isn't due out for another 10 years.

Among the non-IT words making the OED: Cartoon character Homer Simpson's trademark exclamation, "Doh!"






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