A global study of adoption of unified communications and collaboration (UCC) has revealed that more organisations are adopting this new technology but not without challenges.
Dimension Data recently released results of a global study it conducted with market research firm Ovum. The study involved interviewing over 1,320 enterprise ICT decision-makers and 1,390 employees from various industry verticals from 18 countries from Australia, Asia, the USA, Europe, and South Africa.
The results were then compared to primary research of Dimension Data done in 2007, before the era of the smartphones.
The 2013 study revealed that despite the fact that UCC is not a new concept, it is only recently that organisations have included some component of UCC in their IT budgets. Ironically, organisations seem keenly interested in UCC at a time when there is still global economic uncertainty, noted Dimension Data.
"The pace of change in the UCC market is heating up as enterprises are gearing up to adopt many UCC applications, despite depressed economies," Dimension Data said in a statement.
The study noted a "surprising shift" in how organisations now view UCC and its components, including the basic PBX (public exchange). Seventy-eight percent of IT decision-makers interviewed said they have a current strategic plan and a budget for at least some components of UCC, with over 50 percent having a plan and 43 percent a budget for 'most components of UCC', stated the report titled "Strategic, User-driven, and Managed: The Future of Unified Communications and Collaboration."
In contrast in 2007, only 35 percent of the large companies surveyed had deployed IP telephony, with companies in some geographies (in particular developing markets) reporting IP telephony (IPT) penetration rates in the low teens.
These figures indicate that UCC is being treated as a "strategic opportunity by many large businesses," stated the study report.
Some "22 percent of large enterprises also plan to roll out standard UC within a year, and 22 percent have such plans for mobile UC," the report further revealed.
"IPT (IP telephony) is now fully mainstream and mature; there are more delivery and management options than ever for organisations seeking flexibility when investing in critical UCC applications; employee-centric strategies are taking hold; enterprise mobility is more important than ever; and there is a new appreciation of the business process improvements which UCC can support," said Neville Burdan, general manager for Microsoft Solutions, Dimension Data Asia Pacific.
Still, not everything is good news as the study also revealed some challenges behind these plans.
IT decision-makers said cost is one of the major challenges in implementing UCC, but organisational and other decision-making issues also weigh on their plans.
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