Data Services as Critical for Business Continuity as Voice

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A recent survey of the telecommunication priorities for Australian CIOs finds one third of CIOs said the loss of data services would bring their business to a standstill.

Core business applications are driving the reliance on real-time network availability. The shift to unified communications and VoIP is becoming important as organizations rely on IP-based networks for business operations. This reliance is placing an unprecedented demand on existing communication systems to meet business priorities, and provide the reliability and scalability required

One third of CIOs said the loss of data services would bring their business to a standstill, an annual survey of Australian CIOs has found.

In its second year, the survey findings indicate voice telephony is still critical for 36 per cent of businesses, but this figure has remained unchanged over the past 12 months.

The criticality of data communications, on the other hand, has increased by 10 per cent since the 2006 survey suggesting that for the first time, data is of equal importance to voice communications for one third of CIOs.

Commissioned by Uecomm and conducted by Fairfax Business Research, the survey questioned 110 chief information officers around the country on their telecommunication priorities.*

Uecomm's director of strategy, Brendan Park said the increasing importance of data to business continuity highlights the need for high-speed networks that are capable of supporting the demands of mission critical and time sensitive information.

"Core business applications are driving the reliance on real-time network availability. The shift to unified communications and VoIP is becoming important as organizations rely on IP-based networks for business operations. This reliance is placing an unprecedented demand on existing communication systems to meet business priorities, and provide the reliability and scalability required," Mr Park said.    

Significantly, the survey found that system replacement, upgrade or migration of the network was a key priority for 69 per cent of CIOs in the coming year. Planning for current and future needs were also an issue for 33 per cent and managing budget limitations was the third biggest priority for 29 per cent of CIOs.*

Whilst cost reduction is seen as a key responsibility for all CIOs, the findings indicate the intention to invest in network capability over the next 12 months outweigh budget concerns.

According to Mr Park organizations are recognizing future proofing as an important part of their network management.

"Businesses are accountable to shareholders and customers to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, and the reality is, demand for increased network capability over the past decade has grown considerably. Businesses require future proof networks that provide far greater capacity for a similar investment.

"By reviewing or replacing their legacy networks with more efficient technology, organizations ensure they can meet future needs and reduce costs over time," he said.

  • This market research study was conducted by Fairfax Business Research, MIS Australia and commissioned by Uecomm. Over 110 Australian Chief Information Officers (CIOs) were surveyed nationally from a minimum enterprise size of 200 employees.
  • Responses were in order of priority and may add up to more than 100 per cent due to multiple options.

About Uecomm             
Uecomm is Australia's leading next generation network provider, delivering high-speed broadband data solutions to corporate, government and wholesale customers nationally.

Uecomm was the first company in Australia to offer Ethernet Metropolitan Area Networks delivered across the Uecomm network, which is among the most advanced fibre optic networks in the world. The widespread CBD and greater metropolitan reach of the network makes it one of the most extensive in Australia.

Uecomm was established in 1997 and is a part of the Optus SingTel group of companies, and a fully owned subsidiary of Optus Networks Pty Limited. Details about Uecomm can be found on the company's web site http://www.uecomm.com.au

About Fairfax Business Research
Fairfax Business Research is the research arm of John Fairfax Holdings' Fairfax Business Media, publisher of The Australian Financial Review, AFR Magazine, AFR BOSS, BRW, AFR Smart Investor, CFO, MIS and Asset. Fairfax Business Research conducts customised quantitative research that delivers strategic intelligence to a range of internal and external clients. http://www.fairfaxbr.com.au

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Caroline Dever
UECOMM
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