A Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR), survey indicates that businesses are adopting mobile applications faster than they had planned. Nearly half of the respondents have deployed mobile applications like email, calendaring and employee content — 18 percent faster than originally planned for 2005. The survey of more than 1,000 network and telecom decision-makers at North American and European enterprises evaluated communications adoption and spending plans.

Overall, Forrester found that communications spending will increase modestly — 3.3 percent — slightly slower than the rate of overall IT spending. Security technologies will benefit the most — 67 percent of respondents plan to increase spending on security — listing it as the major concern when deploying new telecom technologies. As IP and mobile deployments and interest grows, so do plans and deployments for security technologies, such as intrusion detection. Not surprisingly, spending on traditional landline voice services was the only technology to see a slight decrease in spending.

Enterprise Mobility Demand Is High

Most of the enterprises surveyed have deployed some form of mobile data applications and estimate that full deployment will reach 23 percent of their workforce.

  • More than half have deployed email, calendar, and intranet applications, and close to 30 percent are interested in line-of-business applications, such as sales force automation and customer-facing applications.
  • US enterprise interest in WiFi/hot spots varies greatly by industry — with media and entertainment leading all enterprises.
  • Enterprises are slowing, following the consumer cord-cutting trend. Companies stated that as a result of using mobile 2G services, they now use fewer landlines — by about 4 percent — compared to 2004.
  • Additionally, more voice traffic is shifting to mobile. Respondents estimated that 19 percent of total voice traffic will use mobile voice services by the end of 2005.

IP Convergence Takes Hold

IP telephony and VoIP show the most promise for growth in 2005.

  • Thirty-six percent are considering or piloting IP telephony, and 33 percent say the same for site-to-site VoIP.
  • Forty-eight percent anticipate a full migration to VoIP at some point.
  • Twelve percent plan to increase the number of call center operations this year, and most are opting to do this in-house.

Mature Technologies Are Far From Dead

Forrester found that both remote access and site-to-site IPsec VPNs are reaching maturation, with approximately 80 percent of enterprises indicating interest.

  • Planned spending decreases on mature site-to-site data services — Frame Relay and ATM — are virtually offset by the number and strength of planned increases.
  • More than 30 percent of customers say that they don’t have any plans to use MPLS or VoIP — suppliers still need to provide customers with incentives to move.
  • However, 47 percent of enterprises are in the process of migrating to second-generation VPN technology — SSL or MPLS.

Forrester also asked enterprises about their use of managed services. While incumbent service providers have the greatest advantage selling managed services, one-third of enterprises look elsewhere — such as to SIs and the services divisions of equipment vendors. Not surprisingly, customers expressed greater interest in using managed services to support less mature technologies.

The research, “The State Of Network And Telecom Adoption,” also includes breakdowns of responses for size of enterprise and industry. Specific details on European adoption plans are available in the research, “Europe’s 2005 Enterprise Telecom Outlook: Business Technographics® North America And Europe.” More information on wireless adoption can be found in the research, “Knocking Down Barriers To North American Enterprise Wireless Adoption.” The research mentioned in the release is available to WholeView2™ members and can be found at www.forrester.com.