Thursday, July 15, 2010

CIO perspectives on UC and other recent industry findings

I've been continuing to follow research and developments in the unified communications (UC) space, and I've come across a few things I thought would be of interest to our blog readers.

First, this InterCall study. Researchers polled 2,500 Americans who use technology in their everyday work on whether they felt UC increases productivity, or on the other hand, increases stress.

Among the findings, 72 percent said that advanced technology, such as collaboration and conferencing tools, helps them do their job better and faster. They also reported that job morale improves when their employers provide them with supporting technology.

David R. Butcher analyzed this and other findings from the study in an article on ThomasNet News, which I'd encourage you to read. Also scroll down to the bottom to catch my feedback on the findings.

A recent Aberdeen Group study, "The CIO's Perspective on Unified Communications," took a more qualitative look at UC. You can download the full report online, or, for the distilled takeaways, hit this article on TechNewsWorld where Aberdeen's researchers summarize their findings and analysis.

One line that caught my eye was, "The decentralization and extended nature of business has also pushed the need for improved and converged communications." I can attest to that. As I wrote in my comment on the article, although there are numerous tools available that aid communication and collaboration efforts, integrating them into one platform is the key to achieving unified productivity. More on that in my comment.

And lastly, rounding out my UC reading is this Windows IT Pro article by B.K. Winstead. He takes a skeptical position on UC, writing, "When it comes to unified communications (UC), I’m not entirely sure everyone is exactly on the bandwagon yet -- at least not wholeheartedly."

He points out, among other things, that while more companies are adopting UC, not all of them are taking advantage of its full potential. I'm with him. From where I sit, there's a disconnect between focusing on communications technology as a means unto itself, as opposed to helping businesses improve collaboration within and between teams -- which is the real requirement I see businesses wanting to achieve. That's what unified communication and collaboration (UCC) is all about.

What are your thoughts on these studies and findings? What do you think they say about the future of UC?

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