The overall research objective is to measure the current use and future decision making behavior toward unified communications and other workforce technologies around the globe, specifically: desktop video conferencing, room-based video conferencing, huddle room video conferencing (meant for small rooms of up to 4 participants), audio conferencing, web conferencing, IP telephony, team collaboration tools (e.g., Slack), unified communications (UC) client, consumer messaging and calling services (e.g., Skype, Google), headsets, and unified messaging.

Dealing with security and privacy concerns is the greatest challenge faced by IT departments (32% of respondents). Other top concerns include aligning IT with business strategies and/or lack of clear IT strategy and systems integration.

A factor for concern among unified communications and collaboration (UCC) suppliers is that it ranked low among respondents who were asked to select the top three technologies to impact revenue growth and margins. The good news is that more than half of the respondents plan to invest in UCC over the next two years.

Consumer messaging and calling services (e.g., Skype, Google), audio conferencing, and web conferencing are the most used UCC solutions today, and will continue to represent the majority of purchases over the next two years.

According to respondents who did not purchase these technologies, the most prominent reason is that they do not provide enough value, either to the employees or the executives. Other reasons were that they are cost-prohibitive or not secure enough. Reasons varied for some technologies.

With political uncertainty and the Equifax dealing with the latest data breach, security is the number one issue across regions and industries. This issue must be a big part of decision making when developing products over the next two years. It will be a critical decision factor not only for cloud applications, but for all IT solutions.