Two-thirds of companies intend to move their applications to IP networks in the next five years, according to an Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) survey.
The study found that firms are moving towards IP networks capable of handling voice, video and data applications, but slowly.
"Network convergence is a reality," said Denis McCauley, director of global technology research at the EIU. "But migration will continue to be staged and gradual."
Of the 103 senior executives surveyed, 59 per cent thought IP convergence would have a significant impact on their businesses within five years.
But McCauley warned: "The people we spoke to had some strong concerns. Cost is key."
Almost a third of respondents thought there was no compelling business case for the technology, 55 per cent were worried about voice quality, and 58 per cent were worried about security.
Peter Finter, head of enterprise solutions EMEA at Nortel, said: "Enterprises clearly recognise that convergence is of strategic importance. It's no longer an option to stay in a niche specialisation if you're a networking reseller.
"Multimedia conferencing and video conferencing are key applications, and resellers need to look at getting these skills."
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