Almost 20 percent of IT professionals are purchasing more managed services as a result of current economic conditions, according to the latest Enterprise And SMB Networks And Telecommunications Survey by Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR). The survey of more than 2,300 IT executives and technology decision-makers in North America and Europe, which is Forrester’s largest annual study of networks and telecommunications spending and adoption trends for both enterprises and small and medium-size businesses (SMBs), is part of Forrester’s Business Data Services (BDS) series. BDS provides an extensive data set for B2B Market Research professionals’ go-to-market strategy assessments.

“While the down environment is making most technology areas suffer, managed services is getting a boost as firms look for more flexible payment models that limit capital expenditure but also can keep them current with technology changes that help their firm,” said Ellen Daley, vice president and research director at Forrester. “This further accelerates an industry move to a more flexible services model for fulfillment of telecom, network, and IT technology changes.”

Forty-seven percent of enterprise respondents and 37 percent of SMB respondents say that they have already purchased managed or outsourced telecommunication services. Unlike in past years, the top reason isn’t cost savings – both enterprises and SMB respondents say they are motivated to use managed services in order to focus on their core business competencies and not just keeping the network running.

Top-line overviews of the full survey responses are available in the reports “The State Of Enterprise Networks And Telecommunications: 2009” and “The State Of SMB Networks And Telecommunications: 2009.” Subscribers to Forrester’s Business Data Services receive unlimited data support, including custom segmentation from a dedicated data advisor. Other key highlights of the survey include:

  • Unified communication (UC) adoption continues to see traction. Twenty-two percent of enterprise respondents and 24 percent of SMB respondents report that they are already, or are currently implementing, a UC solution. Just 12 percent of enterprises and 20 percent of SMBs report no interest in doing so. The main motivations for adopting UC are cost savings and increasing communication flow between employees.
  • Enterprises use a plethora of wireless networks. Almost 65 percent of enterprise respondents report that their firm has already implemented, is implementing, or is upgrading their wireless local area network (WLAN). Close to half of SMBs have already implemented or are implementing an in-house WLAN solution. While there’s high enterprise interest in both fixed and mobile WiMAX, SMBs are more resistant to public cellular data with 45 percent of them indicating no interest in using it.
  • Gradual growth in desktop voice over IP (VoIP) continues. Thirty-four percent of enterprise respondents say they have already implemented or are implementing desktop VoIP, and an additional 14 percent of enterprise respondents are expanding or upgrading their VoIP environment. Thirty-four percent of SMB respondents say that they’ve already implemented a desktop VoIP solution, and another 9 percent of SMB respondents are upgrading or expanding their current one.

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