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The recession is driving the increased use of managed services by IT organizations.

That’s according to a new report from Forrester Research which notes
that almost 20 percent of IT professionals are purchasing more managed
services as a result of the current economic conditions. The finding
comes from Forrester’s Enterprise and SMB Networks and
Telecommunications Survey.

“While the down environment is making most technology areas suffer,
managed services is getting a boost as firms look for more flexible
payment models that limit capital expenditure but also can keep them
current with technology changes that help their firm,” said Ellen
Daley, vice president and research director at Forrester, in a prepared
statement. “This further accelerates an industry move to a more
flexible services model for fulfillment of telecom, network and IT
technology changes.”

The Forrester survey of more than 2,300 IT executives and technology
decision makers in North America and Europe found that 47 percent of
enterprise respondents and 37 percent of SMB respondents say that they
have already purchased managed or outsourced telecommunication

But unlike in past years, the top reason for managed service use wasn’t
cost savings. Rather, both enterprises and SMB respondents say they are
motivated to use managed services in order to focus on their core
business competencies and instead of keeping the network running.

The survey also found that adoption of unified communications continues
to grow. Forrester says that 22 percent of enterprise respondents and
24 percent of SMB respondents report that they are already using or are
implementing a unified communications solution. Only 12 percent of
enterprises and 20 percent of SMBs say they have no interest in UC.
Business identified cost savings and better communications as the
drives behind adopting UC.

Another growing area comes with desktop voice over IP (VOIP), according
to Forrester, which reports that 34 percent of enterprise respondents
say they have already implemented or are implementing desktop VOIP and
another 14 percent are expanding or upgrading their VOIP environments.
On the SMB side, 34 percent of those respondents say they’ve already
implemented desktop VOIP and another 9 percent are upgrading or
expanding their current implementations.

Nearly 65 percent of enterprise respondents and half of SMBs have
implemented or are implementing a wireless network (WLAN), Forrester
adds. And while enterprises are very interested in both fixed and
mobile WiMax, SMBs showed more resistance to public cellular data, with
45 percent saying they have no interest in it.