Unifed comms confusion blights adoption, research shows
Survey shows CIOs are reluctant to invest because of concerns over costs and deployment.
A lack of understanding around unified communications (UC) is preventing CIOs from investing in the technology, despite feeling more enthusiastic about it than cloud, a new report shows.
In a survey of 100 business and IT decision makers, conducted by managed service provider Calyx, 51 per cent of respondents said UC was the technology that contributed most to their business agility.
In these straightened financial times, it is difficult to get people to buy into unified communications.
However, confusion over costs, implementation and a lack of a single supplier integration have led firms to hold back on adoption.
Daniel Fuller-Smith, EMEA sales manager for Toshiba’s Business Communications Division, said: “IT professionals understand the importance of unified communications, particularly for employees who often work remotely.
“However, its implementation is often held back by a company’s lack of initial understanding of the technology and what it can do.”
Rob Bamforth, principal analyst at Quocirca, agreed that lack of understanding is causing businesses to hesitate on UC deployments.
“A lot of these technologies are important, but half the problem is that…if you move from where you are today to the UC utopia,it looks like a big step, a big investment and, perhaps more importantly, a big change for all involved,” he said.
“Particularly in these straightened financial times, it is difficult to get people to buy into [UC]…when some of the benefits are perhaps not very well explained.”
In the survey, cloud computing and virtualisation were considered to contribute far less to companies' business agility than UC, gaining just 23 per cent and 13 per cent of the vote, respectively.
Piers Linney, joint chief executive of unified communications service specialist Outsourcery, said UC, cloud and virtualisation should be viewed as a whole solution, not in isolation.
“UC needs to be cloud-based to ensure users can communicate and collaborate from anywhere or any device. A credible supplier should be able to provide an end-to-end service that includes design, implementation, integration and support," he added.