Bucking the Consolidation Trend: Use of UC&C Remains on the Rise
With growing complexity of multiple platforms, vendors, and global users, proactive visibility is vital for addressing issues quickly.
With economic uncertainty looming, many organizations have downshifted spending on technology initiatives. In last year’s unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) study, NETSCOUT found that 86 percent of organizations planned to consolidate the number of platforms used by employees. However, the latest study has found the opposite is actually occurring.
According to the recent report, 75 percent plan to grow their platforms, which can be explained by a number of factors. First, customers and partners may prefer using different platforms than the one established by an organization, making it necessary to use multiple platforms to accommodate these preferences. Because there may not necessarily be a cost associated with these additional tools, IT may be more willing to accept these demands rather than create greater friction by demanding that customers and partners switch to the company’s preferred platform.
Other reasons for adding platforms include wanting to take advantage of better features and functions, the need for enhanced support for employee collaboration, accommodating employee and/or company growth, security concerns, and technical challenges with an existing platform or acquisition of a new company or business group that is already using another platform. Any of these can lead to a growth in UC&C platforms, despite a desire by IT to standardize on platforms in order to make maintenance and security easier.
The NETSCOUT report found that two-thirds of IT decision-makers at companies with more than $1 billion in revenue increased UC&C tools and applications over the past year. This fact is reflected in projections from Fortune Business Insights, which predicted UC&C market size will reach $131.58 billion in 2029, at a CAGR of 13.6 percent.
All of this points to strong continued adoption of UC&C and unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) tools.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Collaboration platforms have become absolutely essential for nearly every business today. The NETSCOUT report revealed that 60 percent of respondents indicated their platforms were critical, compared with 49 percent when asked the same question last year—a 22 percent increase. While the continued growth of UC&C platforms may be good news for collaboration and business growth, it presents real and significant challenges for IT, which is tasked with supporting availability and performance of these technologies.
One of the biggest problems is the sheer number of platforms in use, creating tremendous complexity for IT. The report found that 69 percent of respondents stated an increase in the number of UC&C tools and applications used by their companies. Most of these companies are now supporting between one and four collaboration platforms. And more than a third indicated they are utilizing five to nine tools and applications. This multivendor complexity makes it all the more difficult for IT to support collaboration tools that have been become essential for hybrid workforces.