Unified Communications Featured Article

IT Workers Lack Skills to Implement UC Solutions

April 23, 2012

TelecomReseller.com reports that choosing a single unified communications solution with SIP trunking can save businesses as much as 50 percent off of their digital communications expenses. Also, replacing disparate phone systems with a single UC system cuts ongoing maintenance and carriage costs.

The biggest issues with UC deployment often lie with staffing. Over three-fourths of companies report staff-related challenges with UC because of IT skills gaps.

Mobile and digital workforces are fueling many UC deployments as organizations cite that more than 80 percent of their communications endpoints are outside of the enterprise. Forty-five percent of companies that responded to a Siemens Enterprise Communication survey reported that they planned to deploy cloud-based UC solutions in 2012.

Training may seem like the simple answer, but it does require some strategic planning to appropriately manage the process and the workforce,” said TEKSystems Director Rachel Russell. “Training takes time. It also requires ample reinforcement on the job to truly lead to skill mastery.”

However, because training requires significant time and resources, many companies are outsourcing services like UC. For roles involving constant improvement and monitoring, like business intelligence, security and compliance, firms are looking to hire from the outside.

“Organizations planning to train staff should account for these considerations, ensuring workloads are balanced during the training period and that there is a backfill plan to manage legacy programs once staff is equipped with new skills and priorities,” Russell remarked. “It is also important for organizations to take stock of what competencies they need and which can be trained into the workforce versus which are better bought into it.”

According to a study by CompTIA, IT skills gaps affect staff productivity, customer service and engagement, and security. For IT businesses, the gap in skills often has a significant effect on time to market for new products and solutions.

Fifteen percent of large and medium-sized firms said that underprepared IT staff affected their profitability, while 23 percent of small companies saw an impact to their bottom line.

“Even as the importance of technology to business success grows exponentially, few organizations are exactly or even very close to where they want to be with technology utilization and staff skill levels,” said Terry Erdle, executive vice president of Skills Certification at CompTIA.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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