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.