By Marcus Leach

Research findings have found that only 42% of IT executives questioned in the UK and Ireland felt they had tools capable of adequately managing quality of service and application performance.

The report, by Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, found that 44% of IT executives surveyed had to use four or more systems to configure a new user for all network services.

The same research indicated that these difficulties had a knock-on effect on knowledge workers as network and user management issues prevented them from getting access to the advanced technology they needed. 43% of those surveyed believe they waste more than 30 minutes each day experiencing difficulty in accessing the information they need. On top of this, over half (53%) experience network delays or poor application performance each week.

The importance of these difficulties was underlined by the fact that 89% of knowledge workers surveyed believe that communicating and collaborating with others is increasingly important to their ability to perform in their work. And almost the same number — 85% - believe integrated communication technologies would increase productivity and engagement.

The research also indicated that 39% of those surveyed felt a unified user Unified Communications (UC) management system, which enables communications and applications to be accessed via any device, would be significantly more cost-effective for them. When asked about supporting technology, 79% of UC users said it has improved their level of engagement at work; of the 69% who had not used UC, a full 100% believed that having UC technology available to them would increase their productivity.

"It is clear that inadequate network infrastructure and user management systems are major inhibiting factors for businesses who are struggling to enable knowledge workers to use new technologies they say they need to do their job successfully," Manish Sablok, Head of Marketing, North Europe, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise said.

"With the evolution of UC services comes a move away from the device-centric and service-oriented nature of management we are so familiar with. At the moment, each individual communications service and device is managed individually, which can become very complex, and means that there are several parameters which need to be managed for multiple devices and services for each user.

"Add to this the abundance of devices now available for employees to use in the workplace, and it is clear that a change is required. Unified user-based management allows the IT manager to manage the individual at a user level, irrespective of the services and devices they choose to use. It can also hugely reduce operational costs of moves, additions and changes for the IT manager."

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