CIOs urged to adopt IP networking

CIOs urged to adopt IP networking

Unified communications require a change in attitude as well as investment, says Gartner

Chief information officers (CIOs) must change their attitude to communications spending if they are to make the most of their investments, according to research by analyst Gartner.

The survey of 90 CIOs cited potential cost savings and increased flexibility as the main drivers behind networking purchases.

But embracing unified communications such as IP telephony and voice over IP will require organisations to increase their spend per user by 60 to 70 per cent, said Steve Blood, vice president of Gartner Research.

Many firms are missing the point when it comes to making investments, he said.
“Companies will replace their LAN switch after five years because it is cheaper than maintaining an old device,” said Blood.

“But many businesses have not moved to IP telephony because they have been looking for cost savings that have not been there.”

IP-based tools can lead to reduced expenditure, but the benefits will stem from improved communication and a more efficient business, said Blood.

CIOs must recognise this as the true purpose of such technology, and adjust their approach accordingly.

“The savings lie within the business, not the IT,” he said.

“We hear of cases where companies re-implement an enterprise resource planning (ERP) project three or four times before getting it right. Organisations know the strategic importance of ERP, so they are prepared to do it.

“The problem is that with the exception of call centres we have never seen the investment as strategic. A shift in people’s mindset is necessary.”

The Gartner survey was conducted ahead of its Enterprise Networking and Communications summit next month.