Our current economic climate has done little to inject new technology into most companies other than standard equipment replacement. But as we slowly pull ourselves out of the morass, opportunities abound for new technology adoption, and most with the added bonus of a solid business case.
Take unified communications, for example. Some flavor of UC has been around for the better part of 20 years, but it has only been over the past few years that companies are starting to realize there is a cost benefit to UC. It’s a collaboration tool, a productivity enhancer, a travel-killer. It can save companies thousands of dollars every year without costing a bundle in the process.
A recent survey by CDW-G confirms this. In its 2010 Unified Communications Tracking Poll, the IT services provider asked decision makers in six markets – medium-to-large businesses, federal government, state and local government, higher education, K-12 education and health care – their thoughts on UC, and the results were telling. Of the 900-plus respondents, 67 percent are making serious moves to adopt UC in their organization; in other words, they’ve prepared a business case or strategic plan. That’s up 12 percent from last year’s poll.
And of those looking at UC or using UC, 54 percent view the technology as a driver of reduced operating costs, and 50 percent view it as a productivity enhancer.
When you parse out the numbers according to market segments, it gets even more interesting. In the medium-to-large business space, for example, 57 percent of respondents are planning their UC adoption, while 25 percent are assessing the technology. The primary driver cited is improving business outcomes, but costs — both capital and operating — remain the largest stumbling block. That’s not very surprising these days, but it does infuse a certain amount of reality into the picture.
Still, few technologies out there can provide the cost and operational benefits that UC can. Companies willing to fork over the cash can realize such benefits almost immediately. The tricky part is making the commitment.