Virtualization for the Virtual Enterprise
Server virtualization of unified communications and collaboration tools is seeing widespread adoption, but remains a work in progress.
Frost & Sullivan's latest CXO survey shows that the number of virtual workers continues to grow within most organizations; fewer than 20% of participants report that they have no remote or home-based employees. As a result, perhaps, more companies are looking at technology virtualization to help them better serve and support an increasingly dispersed workplace and IT environment.
Server virtualization of unified communications and collaboration tools is seeing widespread adoption in our survey, with slightly more than 60% of participants at some stage of planning or deploying virtualized UC&C platforms. However, virtualization among most respondents is still a work in progress; that just-over-60-percent figure breaks down as follows: 6% of businesses reporting actual deployment, 13% currently deploying, and the remaining 43% in the planning stages.
Among participants, the interest level and progress in virtualized communications is strongest among mid-size (100 to 499 employees) and large enterprises (more than 500 employees). This is not surprising, since mid- to large-size businesses require communications and collaboration solutions at a higher scale than small businesses, and in turn can derive a greater return on investment through virtualization. Likewise, mid-size and large enterprises are more likely to have the necessary IT resources and skills to support a virtualized communications infrastructure.
Participants also affirm that their confidence in virtualization technologies has moved these technologies into the mainstream. While the traditionally early adopter IT/telecom sector leads in virtualized communications deployments, the more conservative retail and manufacturing sectors are close behind. Smaller businesses are less focused on deploying virtualized communications and collaboration. Larger organizations, typically with multiple distributed sites, see the greatest benefits in consolidating their communications infrastructure. Compared to other surveyed industries, deployment of virtualized UC&C is occurring least often within the hospitality sector.
We also continue to see most organizations struggling to support a complex communications infrastructure, with roughly half of participants having deployed multiple products from multiple vendors. However, over the next couple of years, organizations are planning to simplify their communications infrastructure and migrate to single-vendor solutions or tightly integrated multi-vendor environments.