News Scan: M-commerce sales up; Cloud leadership; more

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>>Mobile sales up, total sales down, for holiday shoppers

It very much is beginning to look a lot like a mobile Christmas. According to just released figures for the Black Friday to Cyber Monday holiday shopping period, mobile traffic accounted for approximately 41 percent of all online traffic, up from 35 percent for the same period last year, according to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark. That benchmark captures and analyzes data from approximately 800 retail web sites in real-time, reported ZDNet. The IBM data also seems to confirm recent predictions about m-commerce and e-commerce sales this holiday period: that consumers would use mobile devices such as smartphones in their search activities, but use laptops or PCs to actually make purchases. Still, IBM said tablets accounted for 15.7 percent of actual online sales. Unfortunately, the increase in mobile activity did little to brighten the holiday spirits of retailers overall, since total shopping was down approximately 2 to 4 percent, depending on who you ask.

(Read more on holiday m-commerce: US retailers report disappointing holiday sales / Holiday sales sag despite blitz of deals)

>>Defining the traits of effective cloud leaders

What does it take to be a highly effective cloud leader? It starts by defining what that means. According to Forbes, cloud leaders "come from both IT and the business side of their organizations. They understand and are comfortable with the notion of bringing in new types of solutions to address business problems, as well as to super-charge innovation. At the same time, they understand the needs of the business, and are capable of communicating with and listening to business users from across the spectrum." Forbes goes on to list 10 traits of highly effective cloud leaders.

(Read more on cloud leadership: Leadership in the cloud computing era / Global cloud computing visionaries to take the stage)

>>Global cloud traffic predicted to quadruple

Global cloud traffic will more than quadruple through the year 2017, according to Cisco's third annual Global Cloud Index. That amounts to an increase from 1.2 zettabytes to 5.3 zettabytes. The Cisco report says three-fourths of that data will originate in the data center, "largely generated by storage, production and development data in a virtualized environment," and "used in activities that are virtually invisible to individuals," CIO reports. Another 7 percent will be from data replication and software updates, and the remaining 17 percent will be from user multimedia and project-oriented cloud services, CIO notes.

(Read more on cloud traffic: Cloud traffic will rule the data center, Cisco says / Cloud traffic climbing to new heights)

>>PC sales expected to drop by highest percentage yet

The year ahead will not be kind to PC makers, as sales will see the most severe yearly contraction on record, according to International Data Corp (IDC). The research firm has just released new projections for the PC market which show a 10.1 decline in sales from this year. Adding insult to injury for PC makers, the firm also said the market is not expected to ever recover from recent sales losses. As noted on ZDNet, "because interest in PCs remain limited, as the world increasingly takes up tablets and posts-PC devices, there's little chance of the traditional desktop and notebook market showing positive growth beyond device replacement."

(Read more on PC sales: PC sales head for worst year on record / Gartner says worldwide PC shipments in the third quarter of 2013 declined by 8.6 percent)