TMIS eNewsletter

       Winter Issue  December 2003
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Tools for efficiency — portable computing devices and other products to fit the needs of the technical communicator, business person, author, artist and consultant.

A year ago, I wished I had a crystal ball to peek at future IT trends, but I sought for a clear one in vain. This year I am doing much better. Several excellent business reports are available. Tallan Technology’s predictions assume companies will want to fund only those technology projects next year that are both profitable and long-term. Other predictions include changes in offshore development, gravitation towards use of Web sources for large data set query and retrieval, emergence of XML as the data language of choice, and all-toll see 2004 as successful barring any economic disaster.

Forrester Research, Inc. predicts a conservative growth of 4% in IT spending in the first half of 2004, with better prospects in the second half. Risk management, more moves to Linux and offshore outsourcing, and compliance with government mandates will be top considerations for budgets.

According to Techtel’s Tech Demand Index, which bases its projections on the statistics of the proceeding year, 2004 will be a slow transition out of lingering issues of trust and lack of innovation. Increasing interest in financial applications software, midrange servers, customer relationship management, outsourcing, and systems integration are all sited in the report.

A leading online recruiter has issued a comprehensive report on worker trends and plans to change jobs in 2004. Another business research report looks at the increasing importance of Service Level Agreements in negotiating outsourcing deals, which often fail without a mutually agreed upon beneficial contract laid out in advance.

This is especially interesting in light of much current debate over the topic of IT outsourcing. Some reporters have drawn parallels between the current phenomena of the “Global Economy” and other industrial-era catalysts like the invention of the combustion engine and the telephone on our workforce as a transition from which we would never go back. Beyond all the pros and cons of the debate, IT outsourcing is getting to be known as the “New Service Frontier.”

I am grateful to be in a collaborative business with many talented and skilled professionals. Additional feedback and recommendations for our products and services at TM Information Services are always welcome.

- Mary M. McLaughlin

In this Issue:
From the Front Page of TMIS News
From Thunder Mountain the On-Line Store

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From the Front Page of TMIS News <Top>
Click on links below to read Full Stories

Tallan Technology Predictions 2004: Another Up Year?
Glastonbury, Conn.

It's shaping up to be a great 2004 for those in the technology sector. But don't expect the free-spending days of the late 90s. Companies are looking to fund technology projects that will affect the bottom line and have a long-term payoff. Three developers with Tallan, Inc., one of the country's leading development firms, sat down and talked about what they see in their crystal ball. "One of the big things that will affect developers in 2004 is a gravitation towards the offshore development hybrid model, which uses trusted U.S. development firms as intermediaries in the offshore development process," says Robert Northrop, a design and development director with Tallan. "Offshore development is here to stay, but the hybrid model helps mitigate the risk."

Full Story

Despite Signs Of Economic Recovery, Caution Characterizes 2004 IT Spending Plans
Cambridge, Mass.

Forrester Research, Inc. estimates that IT spending will grow 4 percent in 2004. Despite the improving economic picture, 2004 IT budgets remain conservative -- CIOs expecting, on average, a modest 1.7 percent budget increase from 2003. Forrester anticipates that an improving economy could unlock budget reserves in the latter half of 2004. Forrester's November survey of more than 800 technology decision-makers at North American firms reveals that the top budget priorities in 2004 include risk mitigation strategies that entail upgrades to security and disaster-recovery systems. Additionally, consumer sectors, eCommerce initiatives, and pent-up demand for servers and PCs will lead the way in IT spending for most firms.
Full Story

Tech Demand Index Rises with Enterprise Technology Showing Growth
Emeryville, Calif.

The improving economy boosted by a rising stock market is slowly improving spending plans and resulting demand for information technology. This is despite lingering issues of trust and lack of innovation, according to the Q3 Techtel Tech Demand IndexTM (TDI) from Techtel, a leading market research firm, which has tracked demand for information technology solutions since 1984. Overall, TDI indicated a 15% improvement from a year ago when pre-war jitters were a major concern. For the second consecutive quarter, overall technology purchases continued on an upward trend rising 2% from 91.4 in Q2 2003 to 93.0 in Q3 2003. Another positive sign is that tech consideration (potential demand) rose 2% from 105.4 in Q2 2003 to 107.3 at the end of Q3 2003, and in the process rising slightly above a flat trend that had lasted almost three years.
Full Story

Comprehensive Report Reveals Worker Trends and Plans
Chicago, Ill.

Nearly one-in-four workers say they are currently dissatisfied with their jobs, a 20 percent increase over 2001. Six-in-ten workers say they plan to leave their jobs for other pursuits in the next two years. These statistics and others can be found in's new report on worker trends and aspirations titled "At Work 2003: Past, Present, and Future." The in-depth report compares workers' attitudes and opinions between 2001 and 2003, discusses trends in select industries and job functions, and explores gender differences in perceptions of work.
Full Story

Half of Outsourcing Contracts Include Service Level Agreements
Durham, N.C.

The number of outsourcing deals with Service Level Agreements (SLAs) is increasing from 20% in 2001 to a predicted 50% in 2005. Outsourcing contracts often fail if some sort of mutually beneficial contract is not agreed upon before hand, according to business intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information. The second edition of "Outsourcing from Strength," published last week, contains 35% more information than the original and discusses the latest trends in outsourcing initiatives and includes the most up-to-date 2003 data.
Full Story

Paranoia at the Helm Costs Businesses Dear
Cannes, France

Exaggeration of the risks attached to outsourcing business functions is stopping international companies from making potential productivity gains and improved profitability. New international research commissioned by LogicaCMG reveals that companies are making subjective rather than objective decisions about the processes they outsource - from payroll and finance to IT. In the UK and France in particular, companies view outsourcing as a highly risky business.

Full Story

When Government Invests in IT, Benefits to Constituents Often Exceed Internal Benefits to Government
New York, N.Y.

A study released by Deloitte Research offers a new approach for evaluating the return on investment (ROI) of government technology investments. According to the study, public sector organizations should evaluate information technology (IT) investments not only by the cost savings they generate for government, but by the financial benefits they create for citizens and businesses. This study brings a new dimension to the valuation of IT, suggesting a direct correlation between e-government and economic competitiveness.

Full Story

Government Agencies Rely on MapInfo for e-Government Efforts
Troy, N.Y.

MapInfo Corporation, the leading provider of location intelligence solutions for the enterprise, today announced that an increasing number of government agencies and other public sector organizations have embraced its location-based software for the development and deployment of e-government initiatives. Agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the International Trade Administration, the City of Tampa and the Arizona Department of Public Safety use MapInfo to enhance their e-government efforts. Until recently, citizens, businesses and government employees might only have been able to access public information through telephone or written requests, which are inefficient due to the demands placed on staff. Now, using mapping technology and the Internet, organizations at all levels can collect, analyze and disseminate data easily and cost-effectively to all constituencies, even across agencies and jurisdictions. From self-service Web sites that enable citizens to find the closest schools for their children to sites that help businesses find pertinent export information to armed forces recruiting, MapInfo is helping government agencies establish e-government initiatives to improve the accessibility and efficiency of their services.

Full Story

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