Only one in ten UK IT projects delivered on time

Shocking news this morning. But is it really ‘news’?

Salmon Limited has been aware that the IT Services Industry underwhelms too often, since the company was founded in 1989. And still, even in 2007, only one in ten UK IT projects are delivered on time, according to research group the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). That’s simply absurd.

The findings are particularly alarming because speed is an increasingly important factor in business profitability, says EIU research director Denis McCauley.

Firms that succeed in IT project and service delivery have a big advantage, while those that do not may suffer at the hands of the competition, he said.

The EIU report, sponsored by HP, is based on a survey of 1,125 IT professionals worldwide.

The main reasons for project delays are changing business priorities and poor co-ordination between IT and business managers.

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Online banks 'failing to gain trust'

Internet banks have fared particularly badly in a new study that suggests the industry has lost trust from the majority of UK consumers.The Unisys-commissioned survey found that 71% of customers do not trust their banks, while the two worst rated brands were web-based.

At a time when the industry is under fire over charges and profits, 82% of respondents attributed ‘respect for customers’ as an important issue in gaining their trust.

Disrespectful attitudes, poor privacy, weak IT and poor corporate governance were among the main problems they highlighted.

According to Unisys, the results also suggest face-to-face interaction is important to consumers, as the lowest six rated banks had no High Street presence.

Elton Birden, the company’s VP of UK Financial Services said:

“Banks must look beyond firewalls and data breaches and understand that consumers consider everything when deciding where to place their trust.

“The poor performance by the online banks also suggests that face-to-face contact and the ‘human touch’ count for a lot with the British public.”

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eBay to limit Google ad spend

eBay has resumed advertising on Google after the two companies’ well-publicised clash earlier this month, but all is not forgiven.The online auction company said it would use Google’s ad platforms in a “much more limited way” and focus more on rival ad services.

eBay, one of Google’s biggest PPC clients, yanked its advertising earlier this month in protest at Google’s plan to hold a promotional event for its Checkout payment system outside eBay’s annual conference for merchants in Boston.

The idea was to lobby eBay to allow Checkout to compete with eBay’s Paypal system on the auction site, but backfired royally. The ban remained in place despite Google’s event being cancelled.

eBay then increased its ad spend on Yahoo!., Ask and MSN in what it called an “ongoing experiment” into how it promoted its auctions across different media channels.

Announcing its return to Google on Friday, spokesperson Hani Durzy told Reuters that eBay’s use of the search engine would be “much more limited” than before, adding:

“What we found is that we were not as dependent on AdWords as some people thought.”

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Online ad spend continues to rise

Increasing online spend helped the UK ad market grow 3% to £4.2bn in the first quarter, the highest Q1 increase since 2005, according to new Advertising Association (AA) figures.Only the outdoor, cinema, and internet sectors saw an increase in spending, with the web ad market growing 42% from the first quarter of 2006.

Print and broadcast media ad revenues declined, according to the AA figures, with regional press and business magazines seeing the biggest drop. They fell by 3.8% and 6.6% respectively, while total press advertising was down 3.3% to just under £1.6bn.

Meanwhile, TV ad revenue dropped 0.8% to £962m and radio ad revenue fell 1.8% to £127m.

The report said the online ad market was worth £2.01bn last year, when internet ad spend surpassed that on national newspaper advertising for the first time.

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Hear from Bebo CEO

Second Chance Tuesday have announced that Michael Birch, CEO of Bebo will be speaking at the next Second Chance Tuesday event on the 17th July. Final event details are still being organised.

Bebo is the largest social networking site in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand, and the third largest behind MySpace and Facebook in the United States. Officially launched in July 2005, Bebo has more than 34 million registered members viewing 7 billion monthly page views.

Bebo was the most searched-for term in 2006 according to Google zeitgeist, and it received the 2006 Webby Award People’s Vote as the best social networking site in the world. The executive team has a significant background in viral marketing and the online social networking space, starting up and building companies such as Birthday Alarm, Ringo, and Friendster. Located in San Francisco, Bebo recently received a round of funding of $15MM led by Benchmark Capital.

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A quick round up

  • Game has acquired Gamestation from Blockbuster for £74 million, which will give it a boost as it adds 217 stores to its portfolio in the UK.
  • Jakob Nielsen claims Web 2.0 “neglects good design” practice. Personalisation can make sites “glossy but useless” and designers should focus on usability, good search, and jargon-free text first. Remember Boo.com? Looked great, didn’t sell…
  • A version of the Ubuntu Linux o/s will be developed for net-enabled phones and devices.
  • IMRG estimates that the global internet shopping marketplace will be worth £250bn in 2007. UK Shoppers will spend £78 billion a year online by 2010 – doubling the web’s share of retail sales to 20%. This year internet shopping is expected to reach £42bn. Internet sales grew by 3,553% between April 2000 and December 2006.
  • eBay profits soared by 52%, its quarterly profits grew to $377 million, a leap of 52%, with a 26% surge in the number of registered users. eBay’s global revenue rose 27% to $1.77 billion, which the company attributes to a 51% rise in payments through PayPal.
  • According to eGain Research conducted in December 2006, 38 per cent of major UK companies are ignoring e-mails from their customers. 67 per cent fail to deliver an acceptable response to customer e-mails. Only 10% of retailers managed to respond within one hour, which was the poorest performance amongst all sectors tested.
  • The Launch of the Kate Moss range of clothes helped www.topshop.co.uk achieve its highest rank and share of visits of the past year. The website ranked number 2 among Apparel and Accessories websites and number 138 among all UK sites, exceeding its previous high of position 238 on 26th December 2006. Demand on the Topshop website was reportedly so high that the Kate Moss collection sold out in just 12 hours.
  • Home Retail Group has reported annual profit at the top end of estimates, and said it is confident of making of making further progress this year. The group reported profit before tax, goodwill and one-off items up 12 per cent to £376.7m in the year ended 3 March 2007.
  • Microsoft unveils Table Computer…

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Turning shoppers into advocates

There has been a lot of talk about turning shoppers into advocates: The customer focused retail enterprise if you like.

While retailers are heeding the daily drumbeat of pundits on the importance of focusing on the customer experience, a gap still remains between what some retailers are delivering and what most shoppers expect.

Retailers can close this gap by systematically integrating knowledge of what their best customers want and expect from their brand into every core operational decision.

This is where the bar will be set for retailers – to turn shoppers into advocates and create a sustainable, differentiated advantage.

This IBM Institute for Business Value study (336KB) captures a great deal of thinking about turning shoppers into advocates. Get Adobe® Reader®.

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