May 18, 2012 – Few enterprises are at a high functioning and desired level of collaboration and communications, but there are strong indications that could change in the next few years, according to responses to a new IT advocacy organization survey.
CompTIA’s “Unified Communications and Collaboration Trends” report boils down and assesses answers received during March 2012 from 500 IT and business executives involved in work data sharing and telecommunications processes at small, medium and large companies.
Only 1 in 10 of those surveyed stated they were “exactly where they want to be” in terms of their desired levels of communications and collaboration proficiency. But that number may go up in the coming years based on ongoing in-house connectivity efforts – 34 percent reported they were “very close” to proficiency, and 48 percent ranked themselves as “moderately close – as well as additional implementations on the horizon, CompTIA found.
The report suggests that expenditures on communications and collaboration offerings will outpace the percentage growth of overall IT budgets this year. Over the next 12 months, many have projects in the works to add aspects of workplace and business data collaboration, such as social enterprises tools (23 percent) or a new collaboration applications or platform (21 percent). And for medium and larger businesses, there was greater interest in reaching tighter integration of communications tools and making those capabilities accessible on mobile devices. Based on answers from the survey, the top five areas for communications improvement were, in order: reduce costs; improve employee productivity; improve communications with customers; improve quality/reliability of IP communications; and improve collaboration.
Still, while 80 percent view collaboration as of high or moderate value to the entire organization, only 42 percent of respondents tagged collaboration as a “high priority” for their tech plans, lagging behind other initiatives like security (73 percent), data storage (64 percent) and mobility (50 percent). Further, CompTIA reported that though there are “solid” voice and email communications in place at nearly all nearly all enterprises in the survey, most remain “underinvested” in areas such as collaboration platforms, communications enabled business processes and integration solutions.
CompTIA points to two issues that have delayed maturity in this segment of enterprise IT: economic hiccups at many organizations from the recent recession and a lack of understanding or definition on unified communications and collaboration. The IT organization suggested more in-house discussion on possible collaboration uses and outreach to cloud or as-a-Service providers for new or revamped ventures, as well as the need for more clarity from vendors.