2019 is paving the way for a new kind of workforce. Gone are the days of the Monday-Friday, 9-5 workday. Employees are no longer clocking in and out at the end of the day, companies don’t hold regular in-person meetings or have to wait by the phone for a business call. Now, teams are using more technology-based tools for day-to-day operations including instant messaging, video/audio conferencing tools or team collaboration applications. These enterprise communication techniques are becoming easier to use and offer more productivity than typical communication practices. Additionally, with the help of the cloud, businesses are entering the complete connection era, where companies and its employees can be connected 24/7/365.
Don’t Write off Traditional Communication… Just Yet!
The new year will see a demand for unified communications solutions as customer expectations increase in today’s “always available from anywhere” business model. However, don’t completely write off traditional modes of communications. Despite the need for collaborative and innovative cloud solutions, the death of this technology is still far off. This can be attributed to adaptation – the main barrier to technology adoption in general. Meaning, the faster an industry moves, the more difficult it can be for users to let go of the products they have become accustomed to using for years, like the typical desk phone. For many employees, the desk phone has become a staple in the office. The question of when exactly the desk phone will disappear remains to be seen.
Smaller businesses and start-ups seem to be more open to public cloud adoption. This is in part due to the unified communications as a service (UCaaS) technology is not quite well-known enough for large-scale, consumer-like usage. It may take some time, but the cloud will begin to pass the on-premise business solutions as smaller companies and start-ups continue to grow. For the larger companies, they may need to employ leadership who are equipped with a more naturally mobile mindset before we see replacement of those on-site solutions.
Retail Set to Benefit from Collaborative Approach
In the new year, we will see a large spike in the collaboration technology adoption in the retail industry. Retail has always been an industry that is ripe for innovation and will continue to adapt the trends that increase a completely integrated customer/business workflow. For example, in today’s stores, in-store employees are rarely sitting within reach of a desk phone. Additionally, larger retailers have staff in stores all over the world and are in desperate need of the collaboration technology. This is a stark contrast to other sectors like professional services, where most employees reside together in an office, sitting in front of a computer, next to a phone and only steps away from the nearest meeting space. Whether consumers are visiting brick-and-mortar stores or shopping online, the adaptation of collaborate technology will offer retailers the unique ability to successfully complete their complete digital transformations.
Looking ahead, we are in for a collaborative year for 2019. We will see continued growth for cloud and unified commutations.