Unified Communications, IaaS, and Desktop Virtualization Show Best Risk-Reward for 2015

March, 2015

After a long ascent, unified communications rose to the top of the Computer Economics list of technologies with the best investment profile for 2015.

The IT research firm’s annual Technology Trends study identified unified communications as the technology initiative offering one of the highest chances of obtaining a positive return on investment coupled with one of the lowest risks of overrunning the budget for implementing and supporting the system.

Other technologies having similarly strong customer experience profiles, as shown in Figure 2 from the Technology Trends 2015 study, include infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and desktop virtualization. While neither of those technologies are as widely deployed as unified communications, their risk-reward profiles indicate IT organizations should be paying close attention to these emerging technologies.

Tech Trends Fig 2 - Unified Communications, IaaS, and Desktop Virtualization Show Best Risk-Reward for 2015

The analysis measures reward in terms of the number of adopters that obtain at least a break-even ROI on their investment within a two-year period. It measures risk as the percentage of adopters that meet or exceed projections for total cost of ownership (TCO). Technology initiatives with higher combined success rates for ROI and TCO experience are positioned closer to the upper-right-hand corner of the chart.

Unified communications, which ranked only fifth in the previous study, has been rising slowly but steadily in both economic experience and adoption. “The technology is becoming easier to deploy and more integrated into the fabric of the communication infrastructure,” said Frank Scavo, president of Computer Economics, Irvine, Calif. “Not only is the risk lower, but organizations are taking more advantage of the opportunities this technology provides.”

The full study examines the customer experience, adoption trends, and investment activity for 14 technologies and technology initiatives. The study also delves into the specific types of solutions under consideration and the amount of money being budgeting for these initiatives. With this information business leaders are in a better position to assess the potential risks and rewards of each of these technology initiatives. They also can gain insight into just how aggressively competitors and peers are making these investments.

In addition to unified communications, the infrastructure technologies include: IaaS, desktop virtualization, platform-as-a-service (PaaS), software-defined storage, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and tablet computers. The study also covers seven enterprise systems: ERP, CRM, human capital management, mobile applications, social business/collaboration, and data warehouse and business intelligence.

This Research Byte is a brief overview of our study, Technology Trends 2015. The full report is available at no charge for Computer Economics clients, or it may be purchased by non-clients directly from our website (click for pricing).