Streaming media worries IT

With most businesses turning to video and rich media, IT managers are starting to worry, according to a new survey.

The majority of enterprise organisations (88 per cent) are using video or rich media on a regular basis, according to a new Cisco survey, and 71 per cent see IT challenges associated with its deployment.

Unified communications - such as text, voice and video tools - are also challenging IT departments. More than a third of the 500 respondents (39 per cent) from UK and Ireland cited unified communications as a high priority for their organisation in 2009, but only 24 per cent rated it as easy to achieve.

The use of video emerged as more widespread in some sectors than others. Nearly all (94 per cent) of IT and technology companies used it on their network or website, closely followed by 93 per cent of construction and manufacturing companies, as well as retailers.

And more than half (58 per cent) of all the respondents believed it was important or very important for their networks to handle video and rich media.

But the public sector was found lagging, where a quarter of public sector organisations had no video or media-rich content on their website or network.

Unsurprisingly, budget was the biggest obstacle to achieving unified communications objectives for 37 per cent of the respondents. A lack of resources (31 per cent) and of the necessary skills (28 per cent) also hampered efforts.

Andy Brocklehurst, business transformation manager at Cisco UK and Ireland, said: "If 2009 is to be the year of the video, many organisations still have a performance gap when it comes to its delivery."

"As the demands for using video and deploying unified communications increases year after year, organisations need to prepare their networks to deliver the desired content at acceptable levels of quality," he added. "This will ensure that business-critical communications remain robust, as ever-increasing requirements are placed on the IP [internet protocol] network."

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.