Gartner analyst Bob Hafner believes IT departments around the world will waste a staggering £65bn in the next five years on poor buying of networking equipment.
Mistaken opourchases range from throwing away £10bn on IP phones with small monitors for telephony for all staff, when simple handsets will do for most of them to wasting £5bn by unnecessarily running Gigabit Ethernet to every desktop in an organization.
Hafner and his colleagues believe that organisations around the world could save a total of £10bn by using WAN optimization products to boost bandwidth.
What you should do
Don't upgrade to your favourite vendor's newest product automatically.
Align your spending to the CIO or CEO's priorities;
Look to a broad business view of the network and not on specific technology solutions;
Determine a single, clear benefit of unified communications applications to justify them;
Install wireless LANs not to save money but to improve staff mobility.
Such technologies can achieve reductions in network traffic of at least 60%, Gartner believes, delaying bandwidth upgrades for almost three years.
Making the network more reliable by taking full advantage of the Internet as an alternative to private services could generate another £17.5bn in savings, it says.
In an individual company "these are not huge dollars," Hafner said, "but they all add up."
"It's paying $35 to $50 more per Ethernet port, it's paying $75 to $100 for a Gigabit phone and then paying an up to $300 extra for one with a big screen on it."
He estimates an organization could save 10% of its network spending by moving to the Internet from private WAN services. "In an organisation that spends $10 million on network services that's $1 million a year."
"You're probably are going to still spend the money (saved), but spend it on things that are of more value to you," such as network automation.
Through 2011, companies will pay an extra 20 to 50% for technology features they'll never use, Gartner estimates.