SOURCE: Burton Group

March 06, 2006 11:05 ET

Burton Group Report Debunks Hype Over Skype for Enterprises

SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 6, 2006 -- Significant cost savings and improved communications are luring enterprise organizations to consider Skype. However, according to a report from in-depth IT research firm, Burton Group, Skype may violate some enterprise information management and security policies. Burton Group recommends enterprises assess the risks vs. rewards of Skype as the simplest solution for evaluating its use.

In the report "Debunking the Hype About Skype," senior analyst Irwin Lazar points out that enterprise use of Skype is growing. Those contacted by Burton Group cited significant reduction in long distance and mobile phone costs due to extremely low global long-distance rates, as well as Skype's ability to deliver unified communications service for both internal and external use (Skype integrates voice, video, IM, and presence capabilities) as primary business drivers to investigate Skype.

However, evaluating whether Skype fits into an organization's overall security and information protection policy is the biggest concern for enterprises. Burton Group found three areas that should be considered:

Management and Control -

- The lack of ability to provide centralized management and control
- The inability to log (and record) conversations with external entities
Security -
- Skype is a proprietary application that does not publish its protocols
  for public review
- Skype may offer a backdoor into enterprise networks
- Skype's security model does not support strong authentication
- Inability to guarantee voice and video performance
Regulatory compliance -
- The ability to provide accurate user location information to emergency
  services as mandated by the FCC
- The ability to support the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement
  Act (CALEA) by providing an interface for wiretapping.
Lazar points out that it's as simple as weighing the risk versus the reward. "If the risk is too high -- ban Skype. If the reward outweighs the risk -- consider Skype as part of your overall communications strategy." Lazar also notes that the success of Skype has led to a slew of competing services, both from traditional IM providers (AOL, Yahoo! & MSN) as well as startups such as Tello and Gizmo. Lazar expects the market for integrated communications services to continue to rapidly grow.

Lazar discusses more about the issues enterprises should be aware of if considering Skype via a Burton Group Inflection Point podcast available at http://inflectionpoint.burtongroup.com

About Burton Group

Burton Group (www.burtongroup.com) helps technologists make smart enterprise architecture decisions in increasingly complex environments. Burton Group is an IT research and advisory services firm focused on offering in-depth analysis of infrastructure technologies relating to security; identity management; Web services and service-oriented architecture; and network and telecom.

Burton Group's corporate roots are anchored in an uncompromising allegiance to the enterprise technologist and grow far outside the shadow of vendor agendas. This independence stems from Burton Group's mission to produce honest, meaningful research -- created by technologists, for technologists.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Amie G. Johnson
    Burton Group PR manager
    Tel: +1 801-304-8136
    Email: Email Contact