Steps for untangling the enterprise communications web

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How can multi-market businesses meet the challenges of an increasingly complex IT agenda?

The IT agenda is getting more complex. Tech-savvy generations want more efficient ways of working. Cloud, machine-to-machine (M2M) and data analytics are expanding. And shadow budgets are creeping in. Can multi-market businesses meet these challenges in spite of ever more erratic economic conditions?

Add a patchwork of different wire, wireless and cloud service providers around the world and we can only just start to imagine the challenge faced by CIOs trying to gain insight into critical resources. A challenge that is also faced by CFOs trying to monitor usage and expenditure across the business.

The communications complexity boom

Enterprise communications has become a complex web of services and applications, and a balancing act between the needs of the business, departments and people who work within it. All the while the CIO and CFO must meet these needs quickly and cost effectively while protecting the business against unforeseen security and cyber threats.

The complexity and fragmentation of enterprise communications is being driven by a myriad of external and internal forces.

Economic uncertainty and austerity in the West means organisations need to master the seemingly incompatible principles of “efficient growth”, to deliver operational efficiencies while still driving expansion into new growth markets. CIOs must find new service providers to drive speed to market in countries where fixed-line infrastructure may be lacking, new regulatory compliance may be complex and the business may be exposed to new security threats. They may also need to rethink IT investment plans if existing IT systems are not flexible or scalable enough to keep up with the needs of global growth.

As tech-savvy generations choose mobile as the medium of choice for accessing critical business applications, organisations will be challenged to protect and secure corporate data on a combination of enterprise and personal devices, and gain centralised visibility over the IT environment.

But this is becoming harder to achieve as business functions such as marketing, sales and HR realise the diverse benefits that mobile and cloud technologies can bring and procure these themselves. Gartner predicts 90% of technology spending will be controlled outside the IT department by 20201.

Only the businesses that meet these challenges and opportunities will stay at the forefront of tomorrow’s uncertain world. Untangling this complex web is the first step in reducing complexity, increasing transparency, and driving enterprise agility.

Untangle the web to stay ahead

To untangle this web and reconcile competing demands, businesses must consolidate their connectivity and communications services to ensure that wherever the organisation operates, whoever works within it, and whatever technologies and applications are needed to maintain competitive edge, the business can meet these needs.

In practice, this means that if a business wants to expand into new markets, but needs a way to reduce the cost of its network and ICT spend through a standardised operating model, it can move from patchwork to network by establishing one single, multi-service, wide area network (WAN) across countries. The business can consolidate the management of its network and improve the deployment and performance of critical business applications while enabling services to be rolled out faster to customers.

Additionally, a business that wants to meet generational demand for flexible working, without impacting team collaboration, can converge its fixed and mobile telephony, along with its messaging, conferencing and collaborative applications. By unifying communications, calls can be routed to reach an employee wherever they are, improving speed of response and productivity.

And with this vital communications infrastructure in place, organisations can then fully embrace Total Communications solutions. This means deploying technology solutions not just to enable and support the business, but also to drive it. This includes using solutions such as multi-channel contact centres, M2M or mobile analytics technology to drive competitive advantage through new products or services or deeper customer insights and relationships.

Connected whenever, wherever to whoever

The IT agenda isn’t going to get any less complicated. Enterprises can avoid a fragmented communications landscape by consolidating suppliers and then adopting a unified communications strategy. Working with one single global service provider to supply voice and data services, whether fixed line or mobile, across every office in every market – driving simplicity into the business through a single supplier and service model.


1 Gartner Says Every Budget is Becoming an IT Budget”, Oct 2012