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IT/Telecom Buyers’ Perspective On Communications and Collaboration Investment Priorities
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This study provides the data collected through an online survey of 468 IT and telecom decision-makers across several customer size segments and diverse industries in Latin America. The survey was conducted during November and December of 2020. Respondents were qualified as follows: • IT/telecom decision-maker in organizations with 10+ employees• Having knowledge of communications and collaboration servicesThe overall research objective is to measure the current use and future decision-making behavior toward communications and collaboration solutions across industry verticals, customer segments, and, job roles in Latin America. More specifically, this study provides data on adoption drivers and restraints, deployment plans, perceived benefits and concerns, and allocated budgets with regard to the following technologies and tools: enterprise telephony, video conferencing, team collaboration, instant messaging and presence, and other transformative technologies.Frost & Sullivan aims to:• Understand the IT-related challenges organizations face today• Monitor the status of digital transformation • Assess the current and future use of business communications technologies• Evaluate factors that drive investments in communications technologies• Gauge IT and communications trendsSummary of Key FindingsDigital Transformation StrategiesCustomer Care, Marketing and Sales departments are the top priorities for investments in digital transformation. While IT departments are still the ones driving the adoption of new enterprise digital solutions, there is a bigger influence from department heads in Latin America when compared to the global average. Over the next two years, decision-makers in Latin America have shared that cybersecurity and the digitalization of its sales and marketing operations are their top priority for investments. Security features, Post-sale service, Reliability, and Return on investment are the top investment factors when making digital transformation purchase decisions over the next two years in Latin America. COVID-19 Impact While COVID-19 certainly impacted the acquisition of innovative technology, the same cannot be said about the pace of the digital transformation as only a third of respondents shared the Pandemic slowed down their strategy. Since the Pandemic, companies in Latin America have prioritized the adoption of new work modes, enhance their e-commerce capabilities, increase their capacity to respond to demand peaks and accelerate digital customer engagement.The rise in remote work and in customer & employee safety concerns were the biggest impacts of COVID-19 in Latin America. However, there were others as well (secure budget for IT investments, delays in distribution, manufacturing interruptions).Only 50% of respondents shared they have provided remote workers with computers and/or mobile devices, which means that a big portion of those has used their personal devices to work during the Pandemic, creating a potential security hazard. Besides the internet connectivity performance, IT admins experienced issues related to security, compliance, and providing data and application access for remote workers. Supporting remote workers’ techs was also a challenge. Future of WorkOther than implementing safety protocols, companies in Latin America are planning to reduce real estate (to accommodate hybrid work), implement staggered shifts, and add more meeting rooms. 70% of decision-makers shared that they plan to have at least 25% of their workforce working from home (part or full-time), only 2% cited they will have no plans to allow remote work in 1 year. Regarding office layouts in Latin America, decision-makers have depicted a mixed environment, composed of cubicles and private offices, open-office plans with and without huddle/small meeting rooms, and phone booths. However, on average, the number of private offices will increase more than the other spaces alternatives, a trend impacted by the need for social distancing protocols.Cloud MigrationWhen selecting a cloud communications provider, the top decision-making factors in Latin America are Security, Reliability, and Price. However, a broad technology portfolio and reputation/existing relationship are also relevantWhile Video Conferencing applications and infrastructure (storage) are the technologies with the highest rate of cloud deployments in Latin America, Big Data Analytics and Enterprise Mobility Management are the ones migrating more aggressively to the cloud within the next 2 years.Communications and Collaboration Tools AdoptionIn terms of communications and collaboration solutions, most companies in Latin America use a desktop videoconferencing application or a meeting room-based video conferencing, as well as a team collaboration tool.Only 50% of companies in Latin America are currently offering professional headsets to all employees. However, 70% are providing team collaboration tools to all, and 64% are doing the same with Desktop videoconferencing applications.72% of decision-makers in Latin America stated they are already using a webcam or a USB conference camera in at least some of their meeting rooms. However, only 46% cited to have a full video conferencing system or an all-in-one video conferencing appliance in use. Video conferencing is predominantly consumed in the region as the result of an hybrid deployment, combining cloud services integrated with on-premises video infrastructure among surveyed organizations.Improving customer experience, enabling productive remote work, improving teamwork and boosting in-office productivity are the major drivers to invest in communication and collaboration solutions in Latin America over the next two years. Nevertheless, decision-makers may not invest or use a collaboration solution for many reasons. The most relevant ones are if they have security concerns, it is too complex to integrate, it is difficult to manage, or if the cost is prohibitive. Communications and Collaboration Investment Factors and BudgetsSecurity features, reliability, post-sale service, and return on investment are the top investment factors when making communication and collaboration purchase decisions over the next two years in Latin America. Only 9% of the respondents expect that their IT/Telecom budget will decrease in 2021 as compared to 2020. However, the majority (55%) anticipate it will increase 27% on average.Author: Juan Manuel Gonzalez
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