Businesses across the globe will increasingly rely on web conferencing instead of traveling to meet face-to-face in a bid to cut costs in the aftermath of the recession, according to a new study.
In a new report, independent telecoms analyst Ovum forecasts that spending on web conferencing will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 18 per cent over the next five years.
The report shows that globally businesses’ spending on web conferencing will hit $2.7 billion by 2015, more than double the $1.2 billion reached in 2010.
Richard Thurston, Ovum senior analyst and author of the report, said: “Web conferencing is bringing about a radically different way of working for businesses across the globe. Web-based meetings enable enterprises to communicate effectively with customers, colleagues and business partners without leaving their office. This means a radical scaling back of face-to-face meetings and therefore corporate travel.
“Web conferencing is growing rapidly in popularity among companies of all sizes, meaning they can hit both their cost and carbon reduction targets, while increasing worker productivity and decreasing time to market. Business executives are increasingly recognising these benefits.”
In the UK, spending on web conferencing will grow from $82 million in 2010 to $185 million in 2015, while in the US it will grow from $426 million to $859 million.
In India, spending on web conferencing will increase from $11 million last year to $42 million in 2015.
Growth in web conferencing is also being driven by globalisation and mobile and home-based working, which are causing workers to become more geographically spread.
There is also strong interest in a new breed of technology that has recently been released. One of the critical advances is the use of video, meaning employees can see each other as they communicate.
“We are seeing a revolution in workplace communications, and at the heart of this is video-based web conferencing,” said Thurston. “The technology is maturing and can now offer a quantifiable and much stronger return on investment. Because of this, we expect rapid growth in web conferencing to occur over the next five years.”