You?ll never leave the office - or it will never leave you - in the new communication age, according to research from Cable & Wireless Communications.
The study, carried out by market analysts Prodata last month, polled 90 large private and public sector companies about the changing role of voice and data communications in their business.
More than half of the respondents said that telecomms would help them adapt to changing business conditions such as new working practices, more efficient communication channels with customers and globalisation.
The survey revealed a fundamental change in the way companies communicate with staff and customers, with the growth of IP based comms rising from 16 to 63 per cent over the next two years.
"The growth of email usage is not really surprising, whereas the growth rate in Extranets and IP based communications is amazing," said Lance Spencer, corporate markets managing director at Cable & Wireless Communications.
This growth was changing working practices, according to the survey. More than 70 per cent of respondents planned to deploy ?follow-me? phone numbers over the next two years, and 60 per cent would adopt home working and hot desking.
"As voice and data networks improve, so do working environments. From the corporate perspective, home working and hot desking bring huge cost savings and flexibility in time shifts," Spencer said.
Respondents believed the trend towards globalisation would continue to accelerate. Around 70 per cent said they would become reliant on information from overseas and more than 60 per cent said they would be competing in markets abroad.
But there are obstacles to global growth. Respondents cited political and legal issues, technical standards and communications and computing issues as barriers to global expansion.
Six months ago, Cable & Wireless Communications launched Network 2000, a joint initiative with Nortel to build an UK infrastructure for the predicted explosion in data and voice traffic. The company predicts that consumers, as well as corporate customers, will boost IP based traffic.
"Over the next two years, cable companies will roll out digital networks for the digital television market enabling consumers to browse and shop on high speed networks," the report says.
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