UK firms suffering from next-gen comms complexity

Most UK businesses understand the value of building a next generation telecoms infrastructure but many are being held back by the barrier of increasing complexity.

According to findings in the latest Communications Management Association (CMA) survey, the vast majority (94 per cent) of respondents believe that the country needs such infrastructure to compete on a global basis.

In technology terms, voice over internet protocol (VoIP) emerged as an important technology enabler. Over two thirds (72 per cent) said it formed a "key element" of their collaboration strategy, while 61 per cent said it was "of significant interest".

But, of the hundreds of organisations polled, nearly two thirds (62 per cent) also said VoIP rollouts had been more complex than expected and that anticipated cost savings "had yet to be realised".

Unified communications was also an area of focus, where 45 per cent of respondents had deployed it and 30 per cent said they were implementing or planning a deployment in the next year.

The CMA, which is part of the British Computing Society represents business users of communication technologies, networks and services, said its survey showed the showed the urgency with which the measures proposed by the recent interim Digital Britain report are needed.

"We welcome the measures proposed in Lord Stephen Carter's report which we believe, if implemented, will enable British companies to remain competitive in the current tough economic climate," said Glenn Powell, the CMA's chief executive.

National telecoms infrastructure investment came top of UK businesses' wish list. More than half (55 per cent) craved digital subscriber line (SDSL) connections to assure network bandwidth levels, but not all were necessarily able to get them.

Cutting carbon emissions also emerged as key area for concern, with 76 per cent of businesses reporting that their organisations regarded climate change as an urgent issue to be addressed.

What's more, 60 per cent said they would make the best use of technology to reduce travel and energy requirements.

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.