End users in many organisations are now demanding access to a range of communications tools to enable them to work more efficiently and woe-betide any organisation that does not accommodate those demands.
That's the conclusion of a study, 'Rise of the Superuser', conducted by market research firm Vanson Bourne for Telstra designed to "quantify the mood of IT leaders on how employees are adopting and utilising technology tools to communicate and collaborate in the workplace."
The study found that end users have become increasingly aware of new cloud-based technologies available for business use. "Such services no longer just appeal to IT departments but to multiple business departments and users across an organisation."
As a result, it said: "End users now have a critical role to play in the products and services which are commissioned for business use. Failure to acknowledge end users’ awareness and desire for current technology can mean that some business units bypass the IT department and source their own solutions, potentially leaving organisations exposed to security risks and hidden cost implications."
However the study found that 90 percent of IT leaders find it challenging to effectively implement all the technology tools employees expect in the workplace, from remote access to desktop virtualisation and video conferencing. Almost half the respondents thought that other IT projects had higher priorities.
"Improving user experience, promoting innovation and enhancing internal collaboration all rank behind security, efficiency and cost reduction IT initiatives, demonstrating that many end users aren’t getting the attention they deserve," the report concluded.
However the research identified some organisations with different priorities. These it dubbed 'superusers'.
Adoption of unified-communication-as-a-service (UCaaS) was identified as a key attribute of superusers. "Superusers are more astute of the UCaaS solutions that will benefit their organisations than traditional organisations. For instance, around nine in ten respondents in extreme superuser organisations believe that UCaaS is very or extremely helpful in helping them achieve key business goals," it said.
The report defines UCaaS as "the use of a cloud-based solution to integrate multiple collaboration tools such as video, voice, data and instant messaging," and that "can lead to better working practices as it enables employees to be more productive, share ideas more easily, and communicate from different locations across numerous devices."
It concluded that superusers see communications tools as important in helping to provide end users with what they now expect as part of their modern workplace environment. Superusers also have a much greater awareness of the challenges associated with implementing communications solutions for end users. This places them in a position to recognise and overcome challenges when implementing the right solutions for the business.
In contrast, "Traditional organisations are less likely to see the benefits from UCaaS. This lack of awareness and understanding could mean that their organisation are missing out on a vital method of improving productivity."
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