Accessibility in the organization today is most often discussed as a matter of regulatory compliance. However, IBM believes that accessibility is ripe for consideration as a business-positive issue that can create value when it is holistically integrated into the fabric of organizations of all kinds.
Recently, IBM asked leading industry analyst, Datamonitor, to weigh in on the state of accessibility today, and to find out how organizations view the challenge of providing accessible, usable, responsive, and value-creating systems and environments for individuals with a diverse range of abilities. Briefly, here is what they discovered:
Legislation remains a key driver
For many companies and government agencies, meeting regulations is still the main reason for improving IT accessibility. However, a proactive approach to accessibility can help organizations extend the effectiveness of technology for everyone.
New factors are increasing corporate interest in accessibility
A host of socioeconomic and political factors, such as aging Baby Boomers, are increasing interest and investment in IT accessibility. Datamonitor advises that businesses must act now-rather than react later—to retain valuable employees and critical skills.
Proactive businesses will reap the biggest benefits
By considering accessibility in the larger context of overall technology systems and investments, companies can realize significant benefits. A piecemeal approach to accessibility often results in solutions that are ultimately more expensive and less effective.
Education is essential
Today, many organizations still believe that IT accessibility is cost prohibitive. Datamonitor underscores the importance of IT vendors continuing to educate the market about the real costs of accessible solutions and the potential for a significant return on investment.
According to Datamonitor senior analyst, Adrian Drozd, "The market for IT solutions that address human ability and accessibility issues is in a state of rapid evolution. We believe that this market will continue to experience growing client interest and increased value as proactive business and regulatory drivers continue to emerge and strengthen."