Less than one third of Irish organisations expect to increase spending on mobile telephony this year, figures from IDC indicate. Two out of three expect their outlay to remain static.
According to the most recent edition of IDC’s annual user survey, Telecoms Trends and Expenditure in Ireland, 28pc of organisations expect their mobile telephony expenditure to increase during 2005. However, the analyst firm noted that this figure was just half the proportion quoted in last year’s survey when asked the same question.
IDC qualified this by saying that an imminent downturn is unlikely – merely that customers will expect more for their money from mobile operators.
Another trend observed by IDC in its research is that Irish organisations need help in developing a mobile strategy for their staff. Lars Vestergaard, research director of European wireless and mobile telecommunications at IDC, commented: “It might sound obvious, but ICT professionals have so many demands on their time that keeping up to date with the convergence in the technology itself is enough to handle, compounded by different partnerships, overlap between solution providers, and over-zealous account managers, causing headaches for businesses trying to support their mobile employees.”
IDC’s findings show that organisations have historically been hesitant to offer proactive support to their mobile employees because the options have appeared complex and unpredictable. The upshot of this has seen staff making what IDC calls “maverick purchases”. The users’ subsequent demands then cause problems for the technology team trying to support them.
“Companies are now realising that they cannot continue along this path and the only way to leverage the benefits of a mobile workforce is to look at their needs not as an extension but as an integral aspect of the current infrastructure,” Vestergaard said.
He claimed that organisations are looking for consultative support. Providers capable of understanding the needs of the business and building a solution with multiple partners are in a far stronger position, Vestergaard claimed. “Vendors must focus on their strengths; for example, mobile operators should stop pretending to be systems integrators. IDC foresees a significant rise in the requirement for managed services around mobility solutions, as organisations increasingly want to remove the uncertainty and rely on the experts.”
Partnerships and mobile managed services are two of the subjects up for debate at next month’s IDC Mobility Ireland 2005 event, which takes place on 8 November at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.
By Gordon Smith