The following article appeared in the January issue of Internet Telephony magazine.
As we enter 2009, the economic slowdown is upon us, and IT Managers will be, more than ever, looking to align their budgets with business objectives. The following five criteria will be top-of-mind with IT Managers when making technology investment decisions.
1. Show Me the ROI first. IT leaders will demand to see hard evidence as to how a technology will impact their top and bottom lines. In-year paybacks will be the norm. There are some low hanging fruits: for example, fixed mobile convergence can reduce cell charges by 30 percent.
2. Get the Facts on Green Claims. Many companies are making Green claims, but who can deliver? How do we measure Green? IT will demand vendors cut through the marketing speak and offer real solutions to reduce energy consumption and contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions and waste. Nortel (News - Alert), for example, has gone to third party testing to substantiate claims that its data products use 40 percent less energy than those of the gorilla in the market.
3. Give me technology that evolves with my business. IT solutions need to be adaptable, appropriate for current use, and most of all provide a foundation for future growth as user needs and bandwidth demands increase. This is not the time to be ripping out old systems and starting from scratch with new technology. For example, HSBC has deployed a communications integration software solution that allows them to implement their hot desking strategy across Nortel and Cisco IP PBXs, Tandberg desktop video and IBM (News - Alert) Sametime environments.
4. Improve Collaboration For Accelerated Business Processes. Applications that integrate communications at the point of their usefulness are becoming increasingly important. It’s all about time-to-decision within an increasingly global marketplace. For example, Orlando Regional Health has reduced its average patient discharge time by 4 hours, and dramatically increased its resource utilization and effectiveness by communications-enabling its clinical order entry system.
5. Manage the blending of business and personal technology. The lines between work and home are blurring. New hires have grown up with wikis, Facebook (News - Alert), LinkedIn and Twitter, and expect to be able to use these types of tools in their work environment. To meet these expectations, enterprises need to balance the needs of individuals with those of the business. Unified communications extended to social networking capabilities can do just this, while providing a foundation for enhanced collaboration and accelerated business processes.
Targeting these criteria will make enterprises that much more ready when the economy picks up.
Tony Rybczynski (News - Alert), Director of Strategic Enterprise Technologies at Nortel, writes the Inside Networking column for TMCnet. To read more of Tony’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Greg Galitzine