Cloud technology has driven the idea of a more connected world for years, but it hasn’t yet been able to fully deliver on that exciting premise. The necessary supporting technologies are just around the corner, and the cloud, rather than being a vaguely understood concept, will become a core business process across nearly all industries. The results will be transformative for both businesses and the customers they serve.
The intersection of mobility, cloud and increasingly fast network speeds will continue to shape communications this year. As businesses seek to better compete, integrate decentralized workforces, and enhance client satisfaction, advanced cloud technologies will become a key enabler of business development.
The following is a list of the top trends in business communications that we expect to shape the year ahead:
- The cloud will make SMBs global and drive greater customer satisfaction: Time zones will become nearly irrelevant. Cloud technologies will enable SMBs to become truly global operations, able to service clients 24/7 and offer a local presence in numerous countries with minimal capital expenditure.
- The demand for managed Internet will increase significantly: As cloud-based phone service becomes the norm and usurps traditional landlines, the intersection between voice and data traffic becomes of critical importance. Businesses will come to demand managed Internet service to truly separate the two streams and deliver optimal performance. Private Internet will also see a sharp spike in demand as companies move to tighten security and protect data.
- Working entirely via smartphone or phablet will become a viable option: Smartphones are capable of incredible feats, but depending on one as a primary workstation hasn’t been a real possibility for most workers. That may be changing. As LTE networks cover more of the globe, traditional barriers such as handling large files, quickly accessing needed resources, and tying into CRM systems are breaking down. For smartphone users making and receiving calls via hosted PBX apps, voice quality and service availability are improving dramatically as 4G data networks spread. Even business software suites such as OpenOffice, traditionally the realm of desktop or laptop computers, are now available in mobile versions.
- BYOD will shift to JOC – Join Our Cloud: Despite devices growing ever more powerful, the world is becoming less device-centric. Companies will focus primarily on application, network and content environments that drive and enable a truly connected workforce, and less on asserting control over specific device choices. Workers will find it increasingly simple to understand and follow expected company procedures, get up to speed on internal systems, and access shared resources.
- Outsourcing will shift to decentralizing: More businesses will embrace geographically remote staffing solutions. However, a distinction will occur between the traditional concept of “outsourcing” versus integrating staff who just happen to be physically distant. Remote workers, even those on different continents, will become truly and tightly integrated into company staff and empowered to deliver an identical customer experience. Talent knows no borders in this decentralized work environment.
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