Since the advent of mobile and unified communications, communications capabilities were untethered from desktops, allowing users to communicate anywhere and on devices of their choosing. But, while early adoption was promising, the market didn’t grow as quickly as many projected. That is changing now, driven by evolving views toward UC and how it can help businesses grow.
As with many technologies, initial uptake was driven by cost factors – businesses were looking to reduce communications costs, particularly by moving to cloud-based UC solutions. Recently, however, with a general shift in business mindset, factors like business agility, operational efficiency, and customer success are increasingly pushing businesses to migrate to UC solutions.
Businesses now seek out UC solutions to help them address productivity, mobility, agility, IT staff reduction, business continuity, and functionality, even over cost savings. Cost is still a legitimate driver, however, especially because cloud-based services come with little or no up-front investment.
These figures are clear indicators that business leaders are placing increased emphasis on technologies that support modern business values, including flexibility without sacrificing productivity, better multichannel customer communication, and rapid implementation. It also signals a continued acceptance of cloud computing, with as much as 80% of businesses indicating plans to move to cloud communications. The benefits of cloud – cost model, scalability, mobility, geographical reach – have resulted in more and more businesses migrating to the cloud.
Evolution Of The Workforce
A significant factor driving both general cloud adoption, as well as unified communications, is the generational changes in the workforce. The Millennial generation now is the single largest working population group and, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, could make up more than half of the workforce by 2020. In addition, the oldest post-millennials are now starting to enter the workforce, adding to the number of working digital natives – those who have grown up with and expect messaging, video, collaboration, cloud, multi-device availability, and consistency of experience all to be part of the business environment. Integration of other business-related apps into workflows, such as office, general business, and even social applications, and a device agnostic experience are among the key demands placed on IT.
UCaaS providers have been well-positioned to deliver on these expectations for a decade, but the confluence of evolving business strategies, cloud acceptance, and workforce changes have made UC impossible for businesses to ignore now.