January 19, 2009

2009 Network Plans and Priorities State-of-the-Market Report

  • Good News in a Challenging Economy
  • Webtorials Editorial/Analyst Division
  • Lead analyst: Steven Taylor
In November of 2008, as the impact of current economic conditions became clear, the worldwide Webtorials community was invited to participate in a survey concerning their companies' economic outlook for 2009. While the User base was the primary focus for the survey, additional perspectives were considered as well.

There are two goals of this document. First, it is intended to provide Enterprise network C-Levels, planners and administrators with a baseline to compare their plans with those of their colleagues. In particular, this should be helpful in obtaining approval for additional funding as needed. Secondly, it is intended to help reinforce methods by which networking technology can be used to redefine business processes to increase/preserve profitability.

The key findings of this analysis are:    
  • While there will be a negative impact on 2009 telecommunications budgets, this impact is not expected to be severe, and over one-third of the companies expect no impact or some degree of increased funding. Overall, a quantitative index for Users showed the anticipated impact to be halfway between "No Impact" and a "Moderate Negative Impact."
  • Companies will be dependent on telecommunications more than ever, but there will be little additional funding (or, overall, a decrease in funding) to support both ongoing and new initiatives.
  • Funding for telecommunications services and staff salaries will be the least affected of the areas about which the respondents were queried. These two subcategories will, for all practical purposes, see no significant change.
The bottom line from the above-mentioned trends is that the effective use of telecommunications networks will not only be a key component in surviving the current economic conditions, but effective use can actually allow a company to thrive in these conditions.

This is not unlike prior, less severe, economic downturns over the past thirty years. Although the exact level of computing and networking has evolved steadily over the years, the business-critical nature of the network has continued to escalate exponentially. Consequently, the network will play an absolutely critical role, enabling the "impossible dream" of simultaneously enhancing existing services, enabling budget cuts in other areas (such as travel), and containing costs.

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