End Users Reveal Investment Priorities for 2011 and Beyond

As we eagerly anticipate the New Year, we are all wondering what it holds in stock for us. Will the global economy continue on a growth path or will there be more turbulence in certain geographic regions or industry sectors? Where will the next natural disasters strike and how will we be able to cope with them? What role will technology play in the economic recovery and man’s continued strive for power over nature?

From a more pragmatic point of view, we also wish to know if businesses are looking to invest in communications and collaboration technologies in 2011 and beyond. Are technology budgets increasing and where are telecom and IT decision makers looking to spend their money?

Frost & Sullivan recently completed its 2010 communications & collaboration technologies end-user survey, which targeted 200 North American C-level executives and identifies their investment priorities and adoption drivers for advanced technologies including IM/presence, UC, audio, web and video conferencing, telepresence and collaboration. The survey revealed that the majority of decision makers seek to increase or maintain their investments in advanced IT and communications technologies over the coming year. An impressive 50% of respondents expect their communications and collaboration budgets to increase over the next 12 months, while 47% say their budgets are likely to remain the same. Respondents explain budget increases with the need to improve productivity and to take advantage of technology advancements.

Approximately half of surveyed companies allocate up to 30 percent of total expenditure to IT. Sixty percent allocate up to 30 percent of total expenditure to communications and collaboration technologies. The largest share of the surveyed companies allocate up to 15 percent of their communications budget to new technologies, such as unified communications and collaboration. CEOs, CIOs, and CTOs have the most influence at the final budget approval stage.

Generally, respondents evaluate all communications and collaboration technologies as similarly important. Improving collaboration and productivity across geographically dispersed teams prove to be the primary benefits among the majority of tools. It is also worth noting that most surveyed technologies satisfy or even exceed C-level executives’ expectations. Yet, current and future demand for specific communication and collaboration tools varies based on perceived value to the organization.

Similarly, demand for advanced communication and collaboration technologies varies by industry (vertical).

As businesses look for operational efficiencies and revenue growth in 2011 and beyond they will seek to invest in technologies that deliver a competitive advantage. For detailed industry forecasts by product segment and geographic region, please visit www.frost.com.

Happy New Year!

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