Today’s Unified Communications as a Service offerings represent a “fundamental shift in business communications.” This form of pay-per-use service embraces cutting-edge technology to go beyond traditional voice services, incorporating aspects such as video conferencing, faxing, and messaging. These elements come via a consolidated cloud system that is available from virtually any location or for any internet-connected device.
Of course, UCaaS tech has been around for years, and its implications on the teleworker are well documented. With an overall market presence of $47.64 billion (2021) that is expected to balloon to $210.07 billion within seven years, UCaaS has streamlined remote communications at a time when more users than ever are working and collaborating across many miles!
What, then, are the top trends in UCaaS as we head to the latter part of the year?
Need for Improved Cybersecurity Awareness
Per estimates, 82 percent of IT teams faced some form of cyberattack since the onset of COVID-19 in 2020. These strikes include instances of dangerous phishing and ransomware hits, in many cases due to the unmonitored or ill-informed remote worker using UCaaS tools.
As employees make their return to a physical office in late 2021 and beyond, some execs believe there is cause for concern. Of note, 56 percent of IT leaders feel staff has learned “bad cybersecurity behaviors”, 54 percent fear inadvertent malware infection, and 69 percent see ransomware as a “greater concern” in a hybrid work environment.
- Maintaining infrastructure updates and patches
- Encouraging consults with IT security personnel, also involving them in company decisions
- Fostering a positive, productive work culture
- Drafting policy reflective of the organization’s vulnerabilities
- Establishing “Zero-Trust” architecture with restricted access and changing credentials
- Promoting resources and training to reinforce employee cyber intelligence
Need For Innovative Digital Transformation
In recent years, UCaaS has proven its ability to adapt to changing collaboration and communications demands. Unfortunately, today’s remote staffer is far less flexible. Reluctance to adopt new technology, support cybersecurity practices and change bad habits can plague today’s enterprise and prevent growth. For example, Loopup recently reported that 61 percent of individuals prefer a traditional, dialup conference call to video conferencing.
In the midst of so many changes, choosing the right technology setup is more crucial than ever to ensure successful adoption, productivity, and security. Businesses need to reevaluate the tools they are currently using, identify areas of difficulty and app overload, and consider new solutions designed to simplify today’s workforce needs. A system that can balance ease of use and flexibility with built-in security is quickly becoming the most popular solution for many companies in need of a technology upgrade.
Increasing Need for Remote Solutions
With more employees in telework than ever - and some estimates pointing to an 87 percent increase over pre-COVID numbers - growing reliance on UCaaS packages should likewise grow. With this growth in demand, however, users are reminded again to keep their software updated to ease the impact of remote worker error. Solutions such as mobile softphones, Desktop-as-a-Service, and connected workspaces are helping an increasingly remote workforce to adapt.
Other UCaaS Trends
In addition to the aforementioned factors, additional UCaaS market drivers could include:
- Consolidation, with top companies such as Zoom, Google and Microsoft Teams leading competitive offers
- AI (artificial intelligence) integration as developments warrant
- Increasing reliance on interoperability
- Reductions in guest-account sprawl
- Developments in presence technology
Of course, many new UCaaS shifts should emerge this year and beyond. Business success will likely be most impacted by one’s ability to properly plan, adjust, promote tech comprehension and follow all prescribed software updates.