Businesses Turn to Managed Services, Report Finds

Two reports from Forrester Research highlight the migration cost-conscious businesses and enterprises are making toward managed services.

In a struggling economy, it turns out small businesses and enterprises alike are turning to alternative measures in their IT departments to help stay competitive. Forrester Research found almost 20 percent of IT professionals are purchasing more managed services as a result of current economic conditions in the company's latest Enterprise and SMB Networks And Telecommunications surveys.

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

The surveys also found UC (unified communication) adoption continues to see traction, with 22 percent of enterprise respondents and 24 percent of SMB respondents reporting that they are already have implemented 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.

Survey results also suggest 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 WLAN (wireless local area network). Close to half of SMBs have already implemented or are implementing an in-house WLAN solution. Forrester noted 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.

Another trend the studies found was gradual growth in desktop VOIP (voice over IP). 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.

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 SMBs, is part of Forrester's BDS (Business Data Services) series. BDS provides a data set for B2B market research professionals' go-to-market strategy assessments.