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2016 was full of surprises, some sad, such as the passing of rock icons like David Bowie and Prince. Some strange, such as the discovery that dinosaurs may have had feathers instead of scales.

We asked our analysts to share research findings that they found surprising or noteworthy in 2016. Here’s what they told us!


Jim RapozaSenior Research Analyst, Information Technology

43% of website visitors are unsatisfied with website performance. Many of these websites are the online equivalent of jammed doors. The sites are slow to load, or don’t load completely, and have bugs or issues that disrupt the visitor’s web experience.

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This isn’t limited to the desktop. As shown in the figure above, it affects the mobile experience as well.

Around 5% of organizations say that users have left their website after a one second delay. While 5% may not sound like much, with over a billion websites in existence today, we’re talking about 500,000 websites. After a two second delay, the abandonment rate stays about the same for traditional, browser-based desktop web users, but the rate of abandonment for mobile websites nearly triples.

Higher rates of abandonment on mobile makes sense. Desktop browsing can tend to be more casual or discretionary. Mobile users, on the other hand, may be looking for something that they need right away. If your mobile site is slow, they’ll quickly look for someone else to meet their needs.

Three seconds looks to be the breaking point for all web users. Indeed, abandonment rates for desktop web users triple at this point. In other words, at just three seconds of delay around 40% of all websites (i.e., close to 400 million), both mobile and desktop, see frustrated users leaving their business behind.

It doesn’t sound like much, “three seconds.” It’s about how long it took you to read that last sentence. For many online visitors, however, it represents an intolerable delay that is leading them to forgo connecting with your organization. Users today have very low tolerance for poor performance and measure every site and every app against top-tier vendors such as Google and Facebook.

Read more in the full Research Report: The Very Real Costs of Bad Website Performance.


Omer Minkara,VP, Principal Analyst, Contact Center & Customer Experience Management

The chart below shows the top three customer experience management (CEM) strategies pursued by Best-in-Class companies since 2014. The #1 strategy has remained consistent year over year: creating a unified view of customer data. Why? Because it is a key pillar of omni-channel CEM programs.

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Read more in the full Research Report: CEM Executive’s Agenda 2016: Aligning the Business Around the Customer.


Zach ChertokResearch Analyst, Human Capital Management

Best-in-Class companies are finally beginning to fit labor into the business case rather than treating it as a sunk cost. For example, Best-in-Class companies are 15% more likely than All Others (89% vs. 75%) to make increasing productivity a top goal for the organization. Based on my research, it’s clear that most organizations are now more focused on increasing return on investment when it comes to their human capital management capabilities and enablers, not just minimizing costs.

Read more in the full Research Report: Power of an Integrated HCM Ecosystem.


Derek BrinkVice President & Research Fellow, Information Security & Information Technology

A year ago, when looking ahead to 2016, I noted that time is the thread that ties together everything else you’ll read and hear about threats, vulnerabilities, exploits, and information security technologies. Time is currently working in favor of the attackers – and time is the strategic advantage that the defenders need to regain.

It turns out that time is central to success in many other solution segments as well. Some recent examples:

  • In Quantifying the Value of Counter Fraud Analytics in Insurance, Aberdeen’s analysis shows that for every dollar of profitability in the property and casualty insurance industry, the annual cost of fraud is most likely to be about 60 cents, with a 10% likelihood that it will equate to nearly an extra dollar of cost. This begs the question: Is this really just an acceptable “cost of doing business”?
  • In Informed Decision-Making: You Should Be Getting More Value from Your Data, Aberdeen analyzed the empirical responses from 173 organizations participating in its benchmark study regarding the accessibility, timeliness, accuracy, and completeness of the data needed to make well-informed business decisions. Our analysis yielded the following somewhat shocking results:
    • Enterprise decision-makers only have access to the data they need, when they need it, with high levels of quality and completeness, between 13% and 47% of the time, with a median likelihood of 29%. Aren’t modern enterprises too connected and too fast-paced for most important business decisions to be made strictly based on intuition and gut feel?

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Nick Castellina, Vice President & Principal Analyst, Business Planning & Execution

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Over the past several years in our Business Management and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Benchmark Survey, Aberdeen has asked survey takers to indicate which deployment models they would consider for their next ERP implementation. During this timeframe, the percentage of organizations willing to consider the traditional on-premise model for ERP has drastically decreased. Almost 30% fewer organizations would consider an on-premise solution today than in 2009. Over the same timeframe, as shown in the figure above, the percentage of organizations that would consider a cloud solution for ERP has increased from 23% to 59%.

Past Aberdeen research suggested that we would eventually get to a point where the differences in demand for on-premise solutions and cloud solutions would even out. However, this year for the first time interest in cloud-based solutions for ERP surpassed interest in the on-premise model. This is a major revelation since ERP was once thought to be among the last holdouts when it came to cloud adoption. It appears that most organizations are finally becoming aware of the unique benefits that a cloud-based ERP solution can bring.

Read more in the full Research Report: Cloud ERP’s Time Has Come!


Andrew MoravickResearch Analyst, Marketing and Sales Effectiveness & Strategy

Strong alignment between marketing and sales teams is widely recognized as important. Indeed, 74% of Best-in-Class organizations report that marketing and sales are either “completely” or “strongly” aligned on all relevant efforts, compared to just 45% of All Others. Long story short, top performing organizations focus on tightening up marketing and sales operations.

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Read more in the full Research Report: The State of Sales Enablement: Eliminating Ambiguity.


Greg ClineResearch Analyst, Manufacturing

The digitalization of manufacturing is quickly advancing on several fronts. Key digitalization technologies that impact manufacturing include IoT, cloud data storage, artificial intelligence, and advanced analytics. The ability to quickly exploit these new technologies separates Best-In-Class manufacturers from All Others. For example, the Best-In-Class have already implemented “discovery capabilities” to synthesize information from fast changing multiple data sources in order to increase user effectiveness.

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Looking ahead, as these key technologies evolve, the Best-In-Class will continue to take advantage of new opportunities to innovate and increase manufacturing effectiveness.


Bryan BallVice President & Principal Analyst, Supply Chain Management

Fulfillment: Best-in-Class retailers are more likely than All Others to rely on partners when it comes to fulfillment. Indeed, the Best-in-Class are 10% less likely to use their own distribution centers and direct-to-consumer fulfillment centers as part of an omni-channel fulfillment network.

Best-in-Class retailers are also 88% more likely to be “Very Satisfied” with their omni-channel “cost to serve” and confident in their process for determining profitability.

Convergence: B2B and B2C Convergence has shifted some in the last 2 years, moving away from a “ship direct to the customer” model and moving towards a model that leverages partner organizations. Partners also ship direct to the customer, of course, but the idea is that can do so at a cheaper rate based on their location in the network.

S&OP: With the aim of establishing a “prescriptive” S&OP process, the Best-in-Class are 48% more likely to have implemented systems enabling feedback, both to and from, their S&OP/IBP processes and the financial planning/budgeting processes.

Inventory Optimization: The Best-in-Class are 43% more likely to adjust their inventory model every 3 months or more.

Warehouse and Labor Management: The Best-in-Class are 60% more likely to have adopted a real-time approach to process and labor management.

Strategic Sourcing: The Best-in-Class are 100% more likely to have a standardized, formal sourcing process for key categories in direct spend.

T&E: Leaders are 127% more likely to employ fully integrated T&E solutions offering greater “ease of use.”

Transportation and Freight: Over 71% of companies surveyed indicated that the top motivation for outsourcing their freight, audit, and pay process is that doing it internally takes up too much staff time and resources. The focus is primarily on managing process costs.


Keir WalkerResearch Analyst, Financial Management & GRC

Users of FinTech solutions were 52% more likely to be have capabilities supporting inter-company funding and lending.

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Michael LockVice President & Principal Analyst, Analytics & Business Intelligence

Companies using predictive analytics can feed quality information into their analytical process, develop more relevant and usable insights, and deliver business results.

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Top-notch predictive analytics requires very sound statistical algorithms, the right skill sets to execute them, and technology to handle the data volume and latency requirements. However,without a solid foundation of clean and relevant data, all these capabilities are irrelevant.

Read more in the full Research Report: Prepping for Prediction: The Secret to Future-Looking Insight.


We’d like to hear from you! What did you find surprising in 2016? What did we miss?  Leave a comment below and let us know.

Image Source (Creative Commons): Ted Sakshaug.

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