And the survey says...

Over 70% of respondents to a recent survey of businesses indicated that the biggest concern they have when it comes to selecting a particular telecom / networking solution is the total cost of ownership (TCO).  I’m sure you’re thinking, “Gee, give this woman a prize for stating the obvious!”

Well, you would be right to think such a sarcastic comment. In these tough economic times, it came as no surprise to me either that this was the most important criterion for them. It didn’t matter whether they were considering a unified access solution that supports employee mobility and the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend that most companies are experiencing or if they were looking into a data center solution  or a voice communications related solution.

If money is such a concern, why bother spending anything?
Good question! The reason why companies are interested in investing money in newer technology is because they are trying to address the security challenges constantly threatening their online businesses, they want to provide their users – both employees and customers – the best experience possible whether local or while mobile, and  a desire to simplify their operations.

These concerns are driven by a consumer revolution where social networks, smart mobile devices, telecommuting, visual and real-time collaborative content are redefining the way people communicate.  People want to be able to use the latest technologies they have at home for work too.  

Along with the consumer revolution is a technology evolution that is moving towards open architectures and standardized technologies that will help simplify and lower costs by being able to upgrade networks without having to throw all existing equipment out and starting over – a pay-as-you-grow model. By deploying technology that uses industry accepted standards, it becomes easier to find products that work together and fit into a company’s budget yet provide the features and capabilities they are looking for.

Is the cloud another answer to spending concerns?
The concern over costs is also driving an interest in using “cloud”  solutions, where the cost of the supporting network and storage technology becomes less of an issue as the business only pays for as much as it uses.
In this recent survey, 56% of respondents indicated that if they were to move to the cloud, they would need help in doing so. Their primary concern, yet again, was the cost of using the cloud and the potential lack of privacy while over 72% said security was their greatest concern of using the cloud.

The answer is?
Every business needs to weigh the pros and cons to figure out what will work best for them. Whether the cost of deploying your own communications solutions is too great compared to the need to control access and content, or whether your security fears require you to keep everything in-house – it all depends on your business and your comfort level with risk.

About the survey
The survey, which was based on the responses from over 1000 enterprise users and 300 resellers located around the world, focused on the challenges and opportunities that face today’s businesses in terms of their communication technology needs. The survey questions covered: Unified communications, collaboration, data centers, unified access, customer service, the cloud and new technologies as well as related services.

To see “what the survey said”, check out the paper with summarized results where the most interesting and significant statistics are presented. Also check out the infographic.


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