A number of factors relating to digital acceleration are contributing to a strong need for innovative unified communication tools. Discover what those drivers are, along with the five most convincing benefits for implementing these cloud-based solutions sooner than later.
According to the latest research from Fortune Business Insights in UC Today, the unified communications (UC) and collaboration market will continue undergo an incredibly fast growth trajectory in the next decade. Having been worth $71.6 billion in 2023, the market is projected to expand to $222.61 billion by 2030.
The evolution of the Unified Communications (UC) landscape has not happened at random. Though organizations have consistently emphasized the importance of these tools within a business environment for decades now, numerous recent factors have compelled them to enhance these systems in order to keep up with digital transformation demands.
Most common factors driving UC adoption
The move to UC solutions is driven by several interconnected factors that collectively enhance communication and collaboration within organizations. Today, the most recognized key drivers include:
Hands up for hybrid
Collaboration solutions inclusive of UC tools are considered a lifeline for enterprises with hybrid and remote workers. Even though many employees are heading back to physical workspaces after years of working remote post-pandemic, CBNC reports that most experts all agree: The five day “in office” work week is dead. An antiquated one-size-fits-all workplace approach can lead to a lot of resentment and loss of productivity and trust among workers.
And if you ask employees themselves, there is an overwhelming preference for hybrid work environments. A Bankrate survey found more than two-thirds of full-time workers support a hybrid schedule that involves at least one day of remote work.
Automation expands the need for collaboration
As technological advancements such as the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G networks, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and cloud computing continue to progress, the need for more sophisticated UC tools is poised to grow. These innovations are intricately interwoven and create a dynamic landscape where seamless collaboration is essential.
With the increasing complexity and scale of data exchange, businesses and individuals will seek UC solutions that can harness the full potential of these technologies, ensuring optimal connectivity, real-time information exchange and efficient workflow integration. This heightened demand reflects a paradigm shift in how communication tools are not only expected to adapt to emerging technologies but also to leverage them for unparalleled efficiency and productivity gains in diverse sectors.
Furthermore, more employees are utilizing UC tools to increase productivity and efficiency with the use of speech recognition apps, desktop sharing tools and other AI-driven video conferencing solutions.
Out with the old, in with the new
Every enterprise has spent the last few years discussing digital transformation and how it’s rapidly impacting businesses and their decision making. Last year, Fortune Business Insights’ research found that instant and convenient messaging applications constituted approximately 32% of the market share, driven by an increasing demand for swift cross-team communication.
UC has been, and will continue to be, an integral part of an organization’s evolution—from the way they operate and align teams, to the way they communicate with stakeholders and customers. And as organizations move away from outdated and expensive legacy voice systems that no longer provide reliable methods of business communications—think Time Division Multiplexing (TDM), DS1 and DS3 access solutions and copper-based services like plain old telephone services (POTS)—they will likely transition to a cloud-based unified communications tool that offers a more seamless and simplified way of managing workplace collaboration.
Considering the switch to UCaaS?
For enterprises in the process of transitioning to Unified Communication a Service (UCaaS) in an effort to move their voice, conferencing and collaboration to the cloud, the time to make the swap isn’t a year or two from now. It’s now.
Here are five key reasons for realizing the benefits of UCaaS sooner rather than later:
- Scalability. Every on-premises system requires the purchase of dedicated capacity for maximum need, which can be wasteful in addition to being expensive. UCaaS can offer significant and simplified scalability in licensing, which is highly advantageous for enterprises that experience mergers and acquisitions, seasonal staffing fluctuations, temporary ramp-ups for marketing promotions, and any other factors affecting headcount.
- Resiliency. In addition to being more scalable than an on-premises solution, cloud-based unified communications and collaboration systems are less prone to single-event outages and resulting losses in sales, productivity, and customer satisfaction—which can be catastrophic with a major outage. In sharp contrast, UCaaS offers the reassurance and stability of up to 100% uptime.
- Flexibility. Moving to a UCaaS application can mean lower cost of deployment and implementation over time when compared to on-premises solutions. UCaaS also helps you future-proof an investment that is the productivity hub of your business, often enabling new features and add-on functions at no cost, giving businesses the opportunity to make sure they’re a good fit for the business before committing dollars.
- Cost-sharing. Enterprises that switch to UCaaS can benefit from the efficiency of flexible billing offered by many UCaaS providers. For larger enterprises especially, these billing options can offer considerable advantages compared to dividing the estimated costs of investment, maintenance and other factors across the organization.
- Savings. Consider both the hard and soft costs associated with hosting a business phone/voice communications system in your enterprise data center. Start with the real estate costs. Add the IT manpower costs of system management, maintenance, upgrading, and troubleshooting. Don’t forget VMware licensing, along with SAN storage, racks, power, and cooling. Top it off with on-site support, redundancy, and physical and cyber security. Now think about replacing all of that with a per-seat licensing fee that spreads OPEX costs over the term of use—plus a rich set of new UCaaS productivity gains.
These advantages aren’t theoretical; they’re being realized today by the one-third of organizations that have adopted UCaaS as their primary calling platform, according to Metrigy’s Workplace Collaboration: 2023-24 global study. And with an additional 26% confirmed to move to UCaaS (and another 21.4% not behind in the decision-making process, any enterprise that isn’t planning out the move now will be stuck very far behind the rest.
Ramping up your investigation and implementation of a solid UCaaS system is the best way to ensure that you’re not left behind, propping up a legacy system that can’t offer your enterprise—and its employees—a far better communications experience. As the world of work remains ever-evolving, a distributed work environment is something every business can count on—which is why turning to UC is a critical decision that will enable business continuity, greater flexibility and empower employees to contribute to better business outcomes and enhance customer experiences.