New Technologies Prompt Many Organizations to Re-examine Approach to Communications, CompTIA Research Finds

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Emergence of cloud, mobility solutions opens doors to new tools

Downers Grove, Ill., February 26, 2014 – The rapid acceleration of modern technology – with cloud computing and mobility at the forefront – is prompting many organizations to re-examine their approach to communications, according to research from CompTIA, the non-profit association for the information technology (IT) industry.

Data from the new CompTIA study Trends in Workflow Automation and Communications shows that there is clear momentum towards considering cloud computing systems for real-time systems, such as voice and video.

“This is a definite change from early cloud adopters, who mostly shied away from these areas,” said Seth Robinson, director, technology analysis, CompTIA. “Today, both virtualization and networking technology have improved to the point where it’s feasible to conduct real-time communications over virtual or cloud systems.”

The connection between mobility and communications in present, too, though somewhat surprisingly, in a less proactive approach for some companies. The majority of firms claims to be taking a proactive approach to mobility, but less than half are tying mobility decisions to a comprehensive communications strategy,

“If mobility is handled separately from communications, there’s a much greater chance of extra work to integrate tools, as well as lower productivity from having multiple options and data silos,” Robinson said. “Companies should ensure that mobility plans are in line with overall communications goals.”

Companies have many goals for improvement within their overall communications strategy. Among the 500 firms surveyed by CompTIA, here are the top priorities:

• Reduce costs (61 percent of companies)

• Improvement engagement with customers (59 percent)

• Improve employee productivity (57 percent)

• Improve collaboration ability (49 percent)

• Improve business metrics (48 percent)

Need for End User Education

A challenge faced by a majority of organizations is relatively low usage of existing communications tools.

The good news is that low utilization is not a technical issue. For the most part, the communications tools that companies have invested in work as advertised.

The main reason for low utilization centers on the users of the tools; specifically, individual behaviors and preferences.

“Because workers are more accustomed to certain forms of communication, either in their professional or private lives, they may default to those tools even if other, more powerful and efficient options are available,” said Seth Robinson, director, technology analysis, CompTIA.

“For example, instant messaging or collaboration platforms may be the best tools for a specific task. But a user may gravitate toward the communications options – typically email and phone – that they are most comfortable with, especially if the new tools are not tightly integrated into workflow.”

This learning shortfall may be a business opportunity for solution providers who sell and service communications technology, Robinson noted.

“End-user education is an option that many providers offer, but this type of education should target the entire workforce, not just the implementation team,” he advised. “Descriptions of capabilities and features should be tailored to specific job roles and specific devices, whether it’s a laptop, smartphone or tablet.”

The Trends in Workflow Automation and Communications study was conducted in two parts: an October 2013 online survey of 500 IT and business professionals in the United State involved in IT decision making; and a separate survey of 500 U.S. IT firms. This study is the latest example of how CompTIA re-invests resources into the IT channel to help IT businesses expand and grow. The full report is available at no cost to CompTIA members. Visit www.comptia.org or contact research@comptia.org for details.

About CompTIA

CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. Visit http://www.comptia.org/home.aspx, and to learn more.

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