GALA Member Pulse Survey Results: Tools and Technology
By: Laura Brandon (GALA)
10 September 2008
GALA designs surveys to increase resources for members and to gather interesting and relevant data and content for the industry as a whole. This member survey focuses on trends in software and technology purchases as well as current events.
We received responses from more than 40 percent of GALA’s membership, which collectively represents an experienced and widespread body of companies, mostly multiple language vendors. Over 60 percent of the companies that responded have been in business for more than 10 years and operate in an average of four offices (including headquarters). The breakdown of respondents by region roughly corresponds to the current demographics of GALA’s membership, with responses from Europe (54 percent), North America (17 percent), Asia (18 percent), South America (6 percent), the Middle East (4 percent) and Africa (1 percent).
One of the most telling statistics from the survey was in the growth of the language services industry. An overwhelming majority (86 percent) of respondents report having seen a significant increase in work volume this year compared to last year, and, not surprisingly, a corresponding 78 percent have had to increase their number of employees to accommodate the extra work. In fact, 69 percent of the respondents have increased their workforce by 10 percent or more over the past year.
In addition to increased work volumes, technology implementation has also impacted internal hiring. Members have seen an increase in the need for staff training on tools. They have also taken advantage of tools that enable them to manage staff more efficiently (both remotely and in-house). When asked what their most significant technology implementation in the past year has been, many cited project management or workflow systems to increase productivity as well as streamline processes and communication with staff and partners.
Technology budgets have increased over last year for 39 percent of the respondents (by more than 10 percent for almost a quarter of the group), in many cases to either accommodate or manage new staff or because of customer requirements. Almost half anticipate another jump in technology budgets in the next year.
When asked about machine translation (MT), 70 percent responded that they do not currently provide an MT offering for their customers. And over 50 percent indicated that they do not plan to implement MT in the near future. Reasons ranged from lack of demand or benefit to doubt about whether current technologies are suitable for their company. Nevertheless, many respondents are keeping a close watch on the development of MT technologies for possible future implementation and, in fact, MT was listed as the most likely development to shape the industry in the next two years. Meanwhile, a handful (16 percent) shared that they do indeed intend to implement MT as an offering in the next year.
Thank you to all those who responded. Our next survey is just around the corner and will ask members about the places where GALA members promote their services. This information will also help GALA to expand its promotions efforts beyond current areas of focus.
GALA members may download the survey results at this link.
Laura Brandon is the association development manager for GALA.