UC&C ROI: Fueling Business Advancement
As organizations expand their business through new tech implementations, IT decision-makers (ITDMs) continue to recognize the need for unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) tools. A recent IDG Enterprise Unified Communications & Collaboration Study revealed that 55% of organizations currently use or run UC&C solutions – with a greater percentage coming from enterprises (defined as organizations with 1,000+ employees) – and that movement continues as 61% plan to implement or upgrade UC&C solutions within 3 years. The trend upwards in adoption also carries over to investment plans as organization’s UC&C budget allocation will see a 9% increase within a year.
There are many areas of potential investment, so what are the key areas organizations are looking at for unified communications investments? The top UC&C initiatives that organizations plan to invest in over the next 12 months include:
Telepresence is making its move as the next big thing in videoconferencing through its ability to give separated users the sense of being together; and it shows in organization’s investment plans. Telepresence technologies are or will be included in 58% of organization’s UC&C investments and this is even higher among enterprises (65%). Similarly, videoconferencing systems are a key area for enterprises as 48% plan to put dollars towards this area.
With the range of UC&C implementations, how will the workplace be affected? Enterprises are anticipating to see high value returns from the investments they are making, including increased productivity, employee collaboration, flexibility, and investing for the ultimate return of reducing costs in the long run. But these high returns can only be realized with innovation and the use of effective deployment models. There are an array of different deployment models, whether it be premises-based, cloud-based, or in-between. Currently, nearly half (49%) of organizations use a 100% premises-based model and 22% use a hybrid model with the majority premises-based and some cloud. In two years, a significant shift is expected as more organizations move to more cloud-based environments, an ideal model considering its easy management with no hardware, access flexibility and cost effectiveness.
Switching models and implementing new solutions are not always a walk in the park, and organizations are aware of the inevitable challenges this brings. Overall, the most worrisome challenges are cost/funding (41%) and security/privacy concerns (36%), followed by integration into existing infrastructure (33%). Vendors in this space should take note and not fall short when it comes to these concerns as they resonate with how organizations evaluate vendors as well. The most important factors for enterprises when evaluating vendors include security, integration into existing infrastructure and ease of use.
Communication is key to business growth, and UC&C’s increased implementation shows organizations’ realization of its value. Will the innovation behind UC&C continue to lead IT decision-makers towards investment and vendors to promote the next best solution?