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Editor's Letter: Wireless, Web 2.0 and Privacy

The numbers have it.

Many of you like nothing more than a good metric. A statistic that tells you what your peers are doing, a benchmark that gives you something to consider when mapping out your strategy. That being the case, we have some good ones for you this issue.

For example:

What does your phone bill look like these days? If it's anything like those of the 421 people who responded to a Forrester Research survey, 29 cents of every dollar now go to mobile service (for both voice and data). And wireless spending will grow another 60% this year. That's something to keep in mind as you negotiate with your providers and consider the other resources you need to support all those devices. Management doesn't come free.

Are you using Web 2.0 technologies? Some 89% of companies are, according to another Forrester Research survey. As our story "Sold on Web 2.0" and its four mini case studies show, these technologies -- from blogs to podcasts, RSS feeds and more -- aren't complex or expensive. Inside the firewall, they're all about information sharing and collaboration. Outside the firewall, they're about customer engagement. There can even be a hard ROI: The Burpee seed company reports that sales increased once it added customer reviews to its Web site.

And now for a more sobering number: Just 10% of midmarket companies have ever conducted a privacy audit, compared with 80% of large enterprises ("Privacy: The Midmarket CIO Career Killer?"). This data is from a small sample, but even anecdotally it forms a mandate. You need much more than a privacy policy to satisfy regulatory requirements and protect your organization in the event of a breach, and you need to probe those safeguards to ensure they really work.

Have you been reading along and nodding your head? If so, I'll venture that means you're either on top of these trends or building a to-do list to see about incorporating them into your strategy. Or using them to justify new purchases or policies. So if there's other data we can provide to help you, write to me at the address below and ask for it. If we can't find it, we'll add it to the CIO Decisions research agenda.

Anne McCrory is editorial director of CIO Decisions and the CIO Decisions conference. Write to her at

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