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By 2020 IT departments will control just 10% of IT buying decisions1; that’s a 90% bigger headache for IT teams managing and securing the technologies entering the enterprise. Could Total Communications make a difference?

When it comes to enterprise IT, multinational organisations can be victims of their own success. Every time a business expands into a new office, store or market, additional suppliers, contracts and bills need to be negotiated. Every move into a developing economy such as Indonesia or the Philippines, means navigating new regulations, languages and cultures.

Business growth is the Holy Grail for the CEO and a holy headache for the CIO, taking him ever further away from having total visibility and control over his sprawling enterprise IT estate. Less control, however, does not mean less responsibility – or culpability if something goes wrong. This makes the case for consolidating communications into one place, otherwise known as Total Communications increasingly compelling.

Regaining visibility and control

In the past IT departments had control over the technologies entering the enterprise. Today the IT team is still responsible for managing and securing the company’s communications infrastructure; but it isn’t just the IT team making the buying decisions. Gartner estimates that by next year 40% of the IT budget will be controlled outside of the IT department2. The CIO and CFO have never had less visibility over critical resources such as the network, making it harder than ever to spot opportunities to deliver business value.

To claw back control of the enterprise IT estate businesses should look to Total Communications service providers, with the global reach and in-country depth to support total supplier and network consolidation.

If a business wants to scale up its operations in new markets, but needs to keep the cost of its network and ICT spend down, it can establish one single wide area network (WAN) across all of the countries it operates in. By doing this the business can consolidate the management of its network, providing greater visibility of cost for the CIO and CFO. This also means the business can establish a standardised operating model to support faster, more efficient deployment of vital business applications or new IT and cloud services.

Equally, a business that wants to meet employee demand for flexibility without impacting team collaboration can integrate fixed and mobile communications into a single, intelligent service. This ensures calls and messages can always be routed to reach employees. It also means teams have access to a range of collaborative tools such as instant messenger, video conferencing and enterprise social media apps on any device, through the same unified application, helping to speed up decision making and development cycles.

Seeing the bigger picture

Consolidating communications can also give the CIO the chance to elevate his head above the day-to-day tasks of managing systems and infrastructure to think more strategically about the technologies that could really make a difference to the business. Could there be an opportunity, for example, to excite the CEO and delight customers with new products and services using technologies such as mobile analytics or machine-to-machine (M2M)? For instance, under a Total Communications strategy the CIO could deploy a global M2M solution using a single global SIM card and single supply chain approach, across markets.

Successful global MNCs will not stop growing. But CIOs can avoid a painful headache by adopting the Total Communications strategy of consolidating suppliers and unifying communications. In an ever-changing economy, it means having the control and agile infrastructure to drive efficiencies, the best tools for staff to do their jobs, and the digital technologies to drive growth and business value in the future.

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Notes

1http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240205134/Gartner-Outsourcing-Summit-2013-How-digitisation-is-shaking-up-IT-outsourcing

2http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240205134/Gartner-Outsourcing-Summit-2013-How-digitisation-is-shaking-up-IT-outsourcing