A Silver Lining for UC in the Economic Downturn

I came across a report by analyst firm T3i that details a drop off in unified communications (UC) technology spending thanks to the current state of the U.S. economy.

In many ways, UC technology parallels the Web 2.0 market – it’s new, it’s hot, it’s flashy. Plenty of IT departments bought into this consumer-based technology before fully realizing its underlining business advantages.

A lot was made around Web 2.0, which despite its power, is still underestimated even today. Web 1.0 didn’t really provide viable economic models – most companies simply took what they already had and tried to commoditize it on the Web, with mixed results.

Unified Communications is experiencing similar issues, though there are some technologies that have come out of unified communications that have clear business benefits. SugarCRM, a company that has 25 percent of its employee count working remotely, clearly leverages UC to its benefits.

Just like Web 2.0, the key is only implementing the technology that is driven by a clear-cut business need, and not the whole ball of wax simply because it’s the latest and greatest. Now that there’s a collective breath in IT spending due to the economic downturn, IT departments should have a chance to catch their breath and truly learn which UC technologies work best and can be truly leveraged to the benefit of the company.