Around half of businesses, large and small, are turning to managed telecommunications services as a result of current economic conditions, according to a recent study by analyst firm Forrester Research.
The researchers canvassed thousands of IT executives and technology decision-makers in Europe and North America from both large enterprises and small and medium businesses (SMBs) to generate The State Of Enterprise Networks And Telecommunications: 2009 and The State Of SMB Networks And Telecommunications: 2009 reports.
Across both studies, the findings concluded that, despite the recession being cited as the primary driver behind the growing adoption of these services, cost was not the main contributing factor. Instead, most were motivated to use managed services in order to focus on their core business competencies and not on just keeping the network running.
The research also revealed that unified communications (UC) continue to gain traction – thanks to cost savings and the increase of communication flow between employees – with 22 per cent of enterprise respondents and nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of SMB respondents said that they are already using, or are currently implementing, a UC system.
Furthermore, only a handful (12 per cent) of enterprises said they have no interest in UC, but this figure was one in five for smaller companies.
Large organisations are becoming increasingly reliant on wireless networks, with around two thirds (65 per cent) saying they are installing, using or upgrading their wireless LAN and many looking into both fixed and mobile WiMax systems as well.
In terms of smaller companies, the implementation of Wi-Fi is around half, but many seem resistant to public cellular data with 45 per cent saying they have no interest in using WiMax.
Voice over IP (VoIP) is also seeing gradual adoption, with about a third of all businesses using a desktop VoIP system, thanks partly to the fact that managed services allows the implementation and maintenance of these types of potentially complicated network applications to be handled by specialists.
These findings suggest that businesses of all sizes are responding to the growing need to be constantly connected, both to enable the business to let workers access systems and data no matter where they are, and to let customers talk to the right people at the right time.
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