A recent Wainhouse survey suggests that UC has shifted from being a strategic imperative to becoming a tactical challenge.
Two ways of reading this.
One is that when viewed solely from the perspective of raising personal productivity, then, UC is no more strategic than unified messaging was.
The other is that CXOs have business problems to solve and technology alone is seldom the answer. A key challenge for CXOs is how to improve and/or innovate new business processes, which implicitly drives a closer alignment between IT investments and business objectives.
The notion that UC is communications integrated to optimize business processes, elevates UC to being a strategic opportunity: improving customer service, accelerating business process, enhancing collaboration across the virtual enterprises, even contributing to Green initiatives through travel reduction.
The survey said that although only 15% of companies have done a UC needs assessment, almost 50% are well on the path to selecting their vendor. Not the right balance.
UC decisions should be made with an eye to establishing a supplier partnership and UC foundation for communications enabling their business processes. Specifically, going with a vendor that promotes a network-centric vertically integrated approach may actually be a bottleneck for application innovation. Going with an open SOA environment does just the opposite and creates opportunities for application innovation
The mantra might be: think strategically and deploy tactically.