As businesses strive to connect mobile and geographically dispersed workforces, they increasingly invest in communication technology. Over the next five years, the Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) space will continue to form the workplace of the future. So what is the future of unified communications and collaboration?
According to industry predictions, the market will reach a valuation of $62 billion in the next three years. Onsite deployments account for the largest market segment, but hybrid and cloud deployments may quickly overshadow traditional setups. To invest in value-driven and scalable solutions, businesses must understand what’s ahead for UC&C in the coming years, so they can plan and prepare for these changes. Let’s take a look at what to expect in the next five years.
Explore the UC&C Changes Affecting Forward Looking Businesses
Technology is more accessible than ever. Secure hybrid and cloud technologies lower the costs of UC&C and level the playing field for small and large organizations. Small businesses support remote workforces using UC&C to lower overhead costs, while international enterprises use solutions to streamline productivity and customer support. Consider these driving forces in UC&C as you plan for technology investments and support:
1. UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) will see an increase in market penetration.Hosted UC&C solutions give organizations the functionality of onsite solutions with the flexibility and support of the cloud. Businesses can expect large companies—including Microsoft—to continue to offer UCaaS services as smaller vendors begin to develop custom and integrated apps. The use of space will largely drive advancements in the field. Many employers support their employees’ desires for flexible and collaborative environments with UCaaS solutions instead of bulky onsite solutions.
2. Unified Communications will experience an increase in mobility. Mobile-friendly solutions will complement the increase in UCaaS. Responsive designs allow employees to take their work on-the-go using any device. UC&C solutions that support employee mobility may also enhance productivity across the board while decreasing the total cost of ownership (TCO) associated with onsite solutions. Mobility gives employees the ability to connect with colleagues and clients from flex spaces, traditional offices, at home, or wherever they are.
3. Companies will move away from voice and toward real-time messaging. For minor communications, a phone call or video call can often take up more time than needed. Emails drag out response times. Real-time messaging as part of a UC&C solution provides instantaneous communication. Real time voice, video, chat, and content sharing functionality streamline communication at every point of the daily workflow.
4. Companies including “as-a-Service” style solutions will overshadow traditional UC&C. Video Conferencing-as-a-Service (VCaaS) and UCaaS represent two service models transforming segments in the UC&C market. Even Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) may potentially lower the cost of use while improving support and update models. Service-based solution models often take the strain of support off of IT departments while improving security and upgrade functionality.
5. BYOD will enhance cloud adoption rates. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies allow employees to work with hardware they already know and use on a daily basis. Combined with secure, cloud-based solutions, businesses can use BYOD to improve adoption rates while lowering the costs associated with UC&C. BYOD enhances workplace flexibility, innovation, and productivity when combined with integrated UC&C solutions.
6. Companies will invest in UC&C more strategically. Collaboration is more than a single tool or approach. It is how companies use those tools to achieve their goals. Instead of purchasing solutions with narrow functionality, expect future companies to consider integration, scalability, measurement, and user-friendliness on an enterprise-wide scale. UC&C needs to easily support all communication and collaboration activities for the investment to make sound financial sense. Vendors who focus on the intersection of people and technology will gain long-term contracts.
As new technologies disrupt the UC&C market, companies can position themselves for success. Using an agile approach to collaboration tools, organizations of all sizes can meet employee, client, and other stakeholder expectations well into 2022 and beyond.