Communications needs for many organisations are changing rapidly.
Internally, there are always new technologies appearing and
changes in working styles to deal with but there is now,
increasingly, the influence of more social and consumer choices
affecting the officially deployed systems.
However, unpredictable external factors are also having a
significant effect. There are rapid fluctuations in financial and
currency markets with ensuing fears of economic uncertainty and
downturn. There is disruption to travel from industrial action,
terrorism or freak natural events, which create sudden demands
and loads on communications systems. Social and political
pressures are causing governments to act quickly, sometimes
making abrupt changes in legislation, which will have a further
significant impact on organisations.
With so many options and diverse demands, it is even harder to
make long term decisions about technology solutions.
Organisations need to adopt a far more flexible approach to
meeting their ongoing communications needs to ensure they have
sufficient agility for dealing with shifting commercial,
technical, environmental and social issues.
Most organisations are operating in an increasingly complex and
challenging environment. All aspects of media and communications
are becoming digital, shrinking the globe and introducing new
competitors as well as new opportunities and new ways for
individuals to work and collaborate. There is more change and a
greater diversity of options in every aspect of ICT (Information
and Communications Technology).
Inside and beyond the organisation, systems have become more
streamlined, lacking slack or excess capacity; business cycles
are more compressed, so disturbances have greater impact and
everyone needs to be able to respond faster. This creates a
mixture of pain points, but also opportunities for organisations
in how they might address their communications needs:
Convergence - is an opportunity to bring
multiple modes of communication together as different
technologies become integrated and overlap around common
standards. However, this creates some challenges as overall
solution choices become more complex and specialist roles merge
e.g. voice telephony becomes part of IT.
Flexible working - organisations face
increasing workforce pressures as legislative and economic
pressures demand more workplace flexibility, creating a
diversity of working patterns. Managing employees that are
frequently away from traditional business premises, but still
need access to corporate IT and communications, drives up the
requirement for well integrated mobile and remote access.
However, this workplace dynamic brings an opportunity to be
more flexible and resilient as environmental, weather and fuel
pricing pressures affect travel and commuting.
Cost challenges - financial market
woes and recessions have cut spending, putting all budgets
under increasing scrutiny. Communications costs are under
pressure as new applications emerge, usage soars and previously
uncontained mobile data costs escalate. This is an opportunity
for organisations to identify more flexible payment models and
switch the emphasis from ‘lumpy' capital
expenditure to more predictable operational
Business driven ICT - technology
investments are more closely scrutinised for quicker returns
and immediate impact on the business. This is an opportunity to
bring line of business and IT and communications groups closer
together, but requires full and open dialogue or risks
decisions being made on too narrow criteria rather than broader
User generated demands - consumer
technology choices are influencing employee agendas from social
networking and collaboration to communication preferences and
device choices. This places new demands on IT and
communications functions to use the latest technologies and
offer a diversity of choices, yet still keep services under
control and safeguard corporate
This report looks at the impact of these issues and investigates
the value of agile communications in addressing the challenges
and opportunities faced by most organisations. To do this it
takes a broader look by outlining a total value proposition (TVP)
rather than simply using direct return on investment. The data
used comes from recent Quocirca quantitative primary research and
from interviews with managers of UK companies having to deal with
communications challenges today.
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