Every year, leading enterprise IT commentators make their year-ahead predictions, and 2015 is no exception to the rule. Forrester analyst David Johnson states that 2015 will see the rise of human science and technology converge. In his view, firms which favour strict centralised management policies and control of their technology resources will fall further behind competitors compared to firms that prioritise investment in autonomy and improving information access on-the-go. Johnson also states ‘many IT customers are increasingly looking to fund current investments by cutting unnecessary hardware spend and lengthening their software refresh cycles.’ In other words, converging spend into fewer and fewer IT services is increasingly common. This was borne out in recent Colt research The Tech Deficit where 63% of respondents cited having a single supplier provide a range of different IT service and infrastructure options as a viable strategy for reducing IT complexity. The ability to procure multiple services from a single point of contact is very much the approach we have taken at Colt to diversify our own voice solutions. Customers are increasingly coming to us with one service request but then are happy to expand and scale based on other services we can provide in multi-country voice, networking, emergency services and cloud-based support. Convergence also means buyers only want to be provided solutions which function across multiple platforms and enable multiple devices. Amongst the predictions IDC (via The New York Times), says rates of adoption for ‘third platform’ technologies – i.e. cloud, mobile, social, and big data – is set to increase by 13% in 2015. But what does this mean for an end customer, and is there an added professional services element to converging an IT service? I would argue the provider offering the best range of enterprise voice services – including customer service with multiple language support, best-of-breed consultancy, and taking an innovative approach to provisioning their services – is converging best. Companies also need to continually evaluate their own spend to ensure if they move to a mobility-enabled approach, to ensure they receive a maximum return on investment. As providers we must be able to adapt to a changing infrastructure landscape by predicting and changing before it’s too late.
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