UC&C Is Headed to the Cloud

Photo by Jonathan Simcoe on Unsplash

Success in business depends as much on innovation as it does on adaptability, strategy, marketing, and of course solid investments. The evidence in favor of digital investments as a key driver is overwhelming. In the not too distant future, a company’s communication and collaboration efforts will be inherently reliant on cloud technology. And the reason is simple: everybody’s doing it, and he who doesn’t falls behind in reach, discoverability, customer satisfaction and many other areas that make or break a business.

Fierce competition, but also the always-on nature of cloud solutions, forcefully dictate the need to incorporate technology as a business strategy. Research conducted by IDG Enterprise gives us a bird’s eye view of the direction of spending, areas of investment and drivers, with a focus on the communication tools employed (or soon-to-be-employed) at large companies.

If so far only 13% of companies are collaborating and communicating using cloud-based solutions, that number will rise to 20% within the next two years, and even higher in the next three. Many are enjoying the best of both worlds, using a combination of hosted and on-premise services and applications, in what is known as hybrid cloud. By 2018, 47% of companies will have embraced this model. Right now, 49% say their UC&C solutions are 100% on-premises. The number may sound disarming from an adoption standpoint, but it also means there’s a huge market ahead for cloud-communications solutions. If IDC’s data holds water, of course.

Other noteworthy findings include:

  • UC&C will see a surge of adoption, with 56% of enterprise and 66% of SMBs planning to implement or upgrade their solutions within the next 12 months.
  • Budgets for Unified Communications & Collaboration will be 9% larger in 2016 than they were in 2015.
  • The next 24 months will see organizations move their UC&C tools to the hybrid model, with a greater focus on cloud applications than in-house applications.
  • Enterprises are increasing their use of videoconferencing and telepresence technologies, but traditional solutions (desk phone, email) remain the top form of employee communications – again, a market ripe for the picking.
  • Security concerns remain high among IT decision makers, both at an enterprise level and at SMBs (which of course is old news).
  • Ease of use and total cost of ownership are also top concerns holding back the UC&C adoption wave, despite the fact that many of these fears have been proven as unfounded (some are pure myths).

As we’ve stressed before, scouting for UC&C vendors begins by establishing an evaluation process that’s aligned with the very business goals that the company seeks to accomplish through that investment. Full report: 2015 Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) Study.

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