UK Enterprise Shows Cautious Uptake on Major Communication Trends

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Independent global research commissioned by Siemens Enterprise Communications has shown that UK businesses are adopting a cautious approach in their uptake of the five megatrends in communications identified by Hamid Akhavan, Siemens Enterprise Communications CEO.

Although UK businesses acknowledge the competitive advantage that advanced communications can bring, the research has identified that cost restrictions, lack of user up-take, executive buy-in and technology are the core barriers to the uptake of the latest communication and collaboration trends in the enterprise.

The key business drivers for communication change projects are improving service delivery to customers (60%), securing / gaining competitive advantage (46%) and innovation / future-proofing (43%).

The five megatrends are considered to significantly influence communications and collaboration within the enterprise. These five trends can be split into two categories, demonstrating the growing requirements of the user and the pressure that puts on corporate to match their communications that they enjoy in their home. The research highlights:

• The needs of the user: social collaboration, expanded user experience and seamless mobility:

• 56% of enterprises believe that corporate permission policies have been slow to react to social networking use within organisations

. Over half of organisations (54%) are under pressure from their internal users to open up their systems to support users’ own technologies (iPads, laptops, smartphones)

. 64% say customers are demanding companies react faster to their enquiries

• The requirements of the CIO: reliability, security, and flexible deployment models:

. 62% claim any new communications services or infrastructure must integrate with their legacy system

. 59% agree an open communications architecture is increasingly important

. 57% feel the flexibility to host communications services on premises based, in the cloud or both is becoming increasingly important. Although there needs to be an increased executive education/ awareness programme, with 67% agreeing that knowing the optimal time to invest in new technology to reap the biggest benefits would be useful.

The survey supports research conducted by Siemens Enterprise Communications in October 2011 highlighting that today’s working environment demands a more flexible approach to communication and collaboration. This is necessary in order for business and CIOs to meet the demands of those existing employees rapidly embracing the consumerisation of IT and in preparation for the high expectations of the next generation of ‘net-native’, tech savvy teenagers soon to join the workforce.

Adrian Brookes, VP Office of the CTO, Siemens Enterprise Communications said, “With the ‘net native’ generation poised to enter the workplace, UK businesses need to look closely at their communications and technology environments to ensure that the expectations of future talent and their existing workforce are met. It is clear that the way we will communicate is changing rapidly, both in our private lives and in business environments, and as such it is crucial that enterprises think smart and embrace the changes in communication. Only with a future thinking approach coupled with a strong awareness of how communications can have such a positive impact, can businesses overcome the barriers and ensure a competitive business advantage.”

The company’s research of over 300 CIO and IT decision makers from organisations of 500+ people across the globe were surveyed on the business drivers for and the impact of communication change across their organisation. The research was carried out in September 2011 by Loudhouse.