Today, Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX), the open cloud company, released findings from its recent national survey of more than 100 e-commerce decision-makers about plans for keeping online business rolling through the holiday season. The vast majority (81 percent) of the CIOs, CTOs and IT chiefs surveyed by Rackspace in September and early October are taking steps to improve the online shopping experience for this year’s holiday season. For example, they are increasing computing capacity, redesigning web sites and taking additional steps to address security concerns. The stakes are high as the economy struggles to emerge from its slump, with 46 percent of respondents saying they expect this year’s online holiday sales in November and December to be better than last year, and 45 percent saying they expect sales to be about the same. Some 29 percent of the respondent e-retailers are hiring more seasonal workers this year compared to 2011’s holiday season, while 7 percent say they will hire fewer. Web site downtime is expensive According to the survey, one of the biggest challenges looming in e-retailers’ minds is website downtime, with 77 percent taking steps to reduce or eliminate website downtime this holiday season. Last year, downtime posed a problem for 18 percent of respondents, with losses typically ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to tens of millions. Almost half (45 percent) of the respondents estimate they would lose between $500,000 and $5 million if their company’s e-retail site went down for a single day during the season. More than a quarter (28 percent) of retailers with online sales who responded to the Rackspace survey are working with their third-party hosting provider to make sure customers can keep shopping online during high-traffic periods. “Many online retailers have found out the hard way in 2011 that their internal IT systems and resources weren’t ready to handle large spikes in holiday sales,” said Adrianna Bustamante, who works in commerce channel development for Rackspace. “With 45 percent of retailers expecting holiday sales to grow this year, it is important that retailers take steps to improve the online shopping experience and reduce or eliminate downtime during the all-important holiday season.”
Many of the e-retailers surveyed will still rely on internal IT resources to see them through the season: 29 percent say they are hiring more IT staff. Nearly a third said they would use load testing (37 percent) and build up website redundancy (33 percent). Nearly half (48 percent) said they would increase computing capacity to improve the online shopping experience for this year’s holiday season.For more information on the full survey results, click here. About the Research Rackspace Hosting commissioned McLaughlin and Associates to conduct a national survey among 106 e-retail decision-makers. The respondents include CIO’s, CTO’s and IT decision-makers who manage their business’ e- Retail website. The national online survey was conducted between September 21st and October 3rd, 2012. The accuracy of the sample of 106 e- Retail decision-makers is within +/- 9.5% at a 95% confidence interval. The survey results in this summary have been rounded. About Rackspace Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX) is the open cloud company, delivering open technologies and powering more than 190,000 customers worldwide. Rackspace provides its renowned Fanatical Support® across a broad portfolio of IT products, including Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Hosting and Dedicated Hosting. The company offers choice, flexibility and freedom from vendor lock in. Rackspace has been recognized by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as a Top 100 Performing Technology Company and is featured on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. Rackspace was positioned in the Leaders Quadrant by Gartner Inc. in the “2011 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting.” Rackspace is headquartered in San Antonio with offices and data centers around the world. For more information, visit www.rackspace.com. Forward-Looking Statements This Press Release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of Rackspace Hosting could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including any statements relating to expected or predicted behaviors of consumers and the impact of cloud computing; any statements of expectation or belief directly relating to Rackspace business derived from the survey results; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include a substantial margin of error in the survey results, inconsistencies in respondent's understanding and Rackspace's analysis of survey questions and results, the possibility that expected benefits from any shift in consumer behavior may not materialize as expected; the achievement of expected operational results from any shift in consumer behavior; and other risks that are described in Rackspace Hosting's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the second quarter 2012 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 9, 2012. Except as required by law, Rackspace assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
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