In two years, will mobility make desk phones obselete?

In two years, will mobility make desk phones obselete?
This article first appeared on Best in UC. The desk phone’s days could be numbered. That’s the opinion of respondents to the BroadSoft 2011 Mobile Enterprise of the Future Survey. This study found that global enterprises are shifting to mobile-only communications more rapidly than expected, as well as adopting unified communications (UC) more broadly. Perhaps most surprisingly in the survey:
  • 25 percent of enterprise IT decision-makers believe desk phones will be replaced by mobile phones within two years
  • 82 percent of enterprises have employees currently using mobile applications for communications and collaboration
The survey, which was conducted by Cohen Research Group, gathered opinions from 200 U.S. and 200 U.K. IT decision-makers at enterprises of all sizes. The results indicate that enterprises are increasingly supporting a diverse mobile workforce and a challenging range of mobile platforms. In addition, they are rapidly prioritizing the expansion of their unified communications capabilities. The survey determined that:
  • 44 percent of enterprises have at least one-quarter of their workforce operating solely using a mobile phone
  • 30 percent of enterprises support tablets, while 51 percent support BlackBerry devices, 40 percent support iPhones, and 31 percent support Android phones
“Enterprise end-users are demanding their IT department support a consumer-grade communications experience that includes access to advanced communications services and applications across their preferred mobile communication device,” said Leslie Ferry, vice president, marketing, BroadSoft. “More telling, the survey revealed mobile network operators have a compelling, but closing window of opportunity to be the preferred provider of choice when it comes to delivering unified communications services that keep mobile employees connected via video, instant messaging, web conferencing and presence management, indicating MNOs need to act now, before competitors erode their customer base.” Additional findings of the survey showed that:
  • 62 percent of IT leaders are expanding their enterprise’s UC capabilities
  • Over the next three years, the top UC services to support on mobile devices are instant messaging, web collaboration and video conferencing
  • 72 percent of U.S. decision-makers are looking to deploy video conferencing across their organization in the next year, compared to 56 percent in the U.K.
So what does this mean for your organization? As mobile technologies become the most common and preferred method of communication, employees will demand more freedom and flexibility. Rather than being tied to a desk phone, they will wish to carry their phone, instant messaging, email and other apps wherever they go. Now is the time to investigate a unified communications platform, or to more fully implement the UC tools you already have available. With UC, your office can be truly mobile, without giving up the valuable collaboration that makes your business effective.

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