IDG Enterprise’s Research Details Unified Communications & Collaboration Strategy and Its Shift Towards Cloud Deployment Models

FRAMINGHAM, MA–(Marketwire – Apr 26, 2012) – IDG Enterprise — the media company comprising CFOworld, CIO, CIO Executive Council, Computerworld, CSO, DEMO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World — releases the results from the 2012 Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) research examining UC&C implementation, investment plans and vendor requirements.

The survey — completed by more than 1,100 IT and business decision-makers from a range of industries — highlights the uptick in UC&C adoption and investments in the coming 3 years — specifically in enterprise organizations — demonstrating the value organizations place on technologies that enable consistent and connected communications between employees, customers and partners. Numerous triggers including social media and collaboration are contributing to the uptick in investments, however the proliferation of consumer devices is seen as the biggest trigger — 74% of enterprise organization are accelerating UC&C plans because of consumer devices.

The majority of respondents (90%) state that they have UC&C investments scheduled in the next year, including both new programs and upgrades. The model in which organizations invest in is shifting; currently half of organizations use an on-premise model (51%) where organizations build and house the solution, however in the next three years there will be an uptick in the use of hybrid solutions (27%), which include a combination of the on-premise model and cloud solutions. In driving these purchase decisions, CIOs and senior IT management are most often involved (63%).

UC&C encompasses a variety of technology solutions. Over the next year, organizations plan to invest in enterprise IP telephony (55%), collaborative applications (51%), videoconferencing equipment (46%) and enterprise mobility (40%). Employee benefits are the primary drivers for these investments, from increased productivity (61%) to increased flexibility (42%) and faster response and delivery of information (39%). Additional investments and use of free software vary by company size. Enterprise organizations are investing in telepresence (67%) and 48% consider video important, compared to 38% and 25% respectively, of small/medium-sized organizations. However, small/medium-sized companies are adopting free software, like Skype, at a much higher rate (59% vs. 37% of enterprise organizations).

Vendors have the opportunity to demonstrate their benefits and become a market leader. At this time, one third (30%) of respondents indicated that there was no clear leader in the UC&C market. To be considered a strategic partner — and market leader — UC&C solution providers need to be efficient in several key areas; ease of use (87%, critical or very important), ability to meet security requirements (82%), low total cost of ownership (79%) and integration into existing infrastructure (78%).

Key findings include:

  • More than half of organizations (51%) are currently using a UC&C solution. Enterprise-sized organizations are leading the way with 59% currently using a UC&C solution.
  • A majority of organizations (90%), plan to invest in UC&C in the next 12 months, in fact, organizations currently are spending an average of $383,000 on UC&C solutions and services per year.
  • Two-thirds (63%) of organizations include the CIO and senior IT management in the purchase decision process for UC&C solutions.
  • Education (72%), manufacturing (66%) and retail/wholesale (66%) are the industries that expect to see the most growth in implementation in the next three years.
  • Increased productivity (61%), increased flexibility for employees (42%) and faster response time/delivery of information (39%) are the top drivers for implementing UC&C solutions. However, these drivers are weighed against the top UC&C challenges including cost (54%), integration with current infrastructure (47%) and lack of experience/skill sets (33%).
  • Three-quarters (74%) of enterprise organizations are accelerating their unified communications and collaboration plans because of the influx of consumer devices like smartphones and tablets, compared to 62% of small/medium-sized organizations.
  • Top factors considered during vendor evaluations (critical/very important) are ease of use (87%), ability to meet security requirements (82%) and low total cost of ownership (79%).

“As the proliferation of consumer devices in organizations continues, organizations need to investigate communication platforms that increase productivity and flexibility to be successful,” said Bob Melk, SVP, group publisher & CMO, IDG Enterprise. “Unified communications and collaboration tools, whether a paid or free service, need to unite employees and foster an environment of seamless communication. Now is the time for unified communication and collaboration solution providers to showcase their solutions as 90% of organizations are planning to invest in unified communication and collaboration solutions in the next 12 months.”

To receive the complete study results contact Bob Melk at bmelk@idgenterprise.com.

More at www.idgenterprise.com

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