Leader: It's time for VoIP to prove itself

Needs to be secure and stable to impress CIOs...

Needs to be secure and stable to impress CIOs...

Analysts are saying voice over IP will be mainstream in enterprises within three years and the technology is ready for the big time.

'So what's new?' you might ask. After all, the technology has been hyped for at least five years.

What's new is the fact the market is - admittedly after much build-up - growing out of the early-adopter-only stage.

Even the more cynical agree that whether VoIP takes off is not a question of 'if' but 'when'. It could take up to 10 years, according to some, before it's an accepted part of organisations' IT. But it will happen.

This opens up a whole new arena of questions for the technology. No longer is talk just of its potential and promise.

At an industry conference this week, the focus was on real-life case studies, return on investment, the business case, best practices and security - the same issues that occupy CIOs and IT directors for any project they undertake.

VoIP has joined the ranks of ordinary IT and is thus subject to the same scrutiny as a web server or database. The issues of stability, performance and security are now front and centre, alongside the age-old motivator of cost savings.

The technology's clearly got the name recognition - now it's got to prove itself as a valuable tool for businesses.