A recent global survey involving 1,000 executives working in large enterprises across the main industry sectors around the world uncovers new attitudinal and behavioural factors. It highlights how Global Executives from various influential functional groups such as Accounting & Finance, Sales & Marketing, HR, Operations and Logistics are using advanced unified communication technologies and are changing working cultures.

The survey completed by Davies Hickman Partners for BT shows for example that the rate of adoption of unified communications is higher in the growing economies in Asia and Latin America than it is in the challenged economies of Europe. It also reveals a potential link between management effectiveness and the faster decision making processes allowed by instant messaging, e-mail, phone, video and telepresence technology. The findings show that younger executives gain a competitive advantage within the organisation by being most eager to leverage the potential of unified communications.

Executives globally say it is taking too much time, effort and money to collaborate, access data and work as a team. And 56 per cent of executives say slow decision-making by managers and colleagues is the biggest problem they face at work.

Executives feel they are wasting up to 25 per cent of their time every day due to poor communication, collaboration and information flows, as well as basic administration tasks. They also feel frustrated by their IT departments, with 48 per cent saying they don’t keep up to date with new technology. As a result, executives are starting to ‘go behind the back of IT’ to use open platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter to collaborate, potentially putting corporate security policies at risk.

The findings of the survey show a growing appetite for unified communications globally, with conference calls, – audio and video – becoming almost as ubiquitous as formal meetings. For example, 58 per cent of directors and general managers make on average more than one video call per week.

Executives are demanding more unified communications, with 84 per cent stating that, together, instant messaging, e-mail, phone, video and telepresence help them be more successful. They want solutions such as desktop sharing, unified messaging, video, voice-to-text services and secure cloud storage.

The technology is now available answering to Global Executives demands of wanting to collaborate internally and better the way they interact with customers, partners and suppliers. Cost effective pricing models with cloud-based services are available regardless of present legacy systems. It is also about making sure that existing investments are federated and bring all the tools and channels together in an effective and secure way that saves both money and time.