Using communication technologies in the cloud is fast becoming a popular way for employers to engage with their employees. Recognising the impact, companies have been migrating from their traditional set up to a unified communications approach. Social factors responsible for this are vast and wide reaching within the modern workplace however cloud technologies are just as significant. According to a report by the professional consultancy firm, PwC, we will see a cloud-first universe by 2020. Here are four key challenges of the modern workplace that cloud solves.
A more collaborative, creative culture in the workplace
There is always a risk that things get lost in translation between remote working teams. Using cloud communications is a great tool that enables you and your team to speak anywhere, anytime, with communications linked up to documents that can easily be accessed or edited. Integrated collaboration apps can ease workflow and ensure that all team members are involved in the way that is most comfortable for them. The reality is that the workplace is changing and cloud technology can bridge the gap between the expectations and desires of employers for enhanced productivity. Millenial workers are used to communicating across their smartphones or via text message – even more so than their predecessors. The collaborative culture is highly desired.
Different working environments
According to UC EXPO, three quarters (74 per cent) of people want to be given the right to request remote working. By putting communications in the cloud you are ensuring true flexibility across a physically disparate workforce by allowing them to communicate however they like from whichever device suits them. This is a recipe for an effective and happy workforce with access to enhanced remote working facilities. Naturally, many organisations can see the value of reducing their real estate footprint and moving to a virtual office model that’s extremely cost-effective when supported with the right kind of technology. With property prices firmly on the rise, businesses need to make the most of their limited office space. Cloud communications makes remote working easy, and in many ways, puts power into the hands of the employee.
Planning for high growth
The market is rife with highly competitive and innovative newcomers in every field, making growth a top priority for businesses, especially small and medium businesses (SMBs). For any business planning to grow, the cloud is the perfect way to make sure communications are future-proofed. Yet growth needs to be supported by the right kind of communications. Businesses can flex up or down to add new workstations as it expands its operations by choosing one centralised software platform in the cloud. It is also easy to add or remove new features and capabilities with minimal disruption, effort or hardware requirements.
The drive to subscription models
We use subscription models in our personal lives, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. However when it comes to business technology, companies have been slower to adopt the subscription services model. As cloud offerings have matured the barriers to adopting the same subscription model in business services have been lowered. Now, organisations can easily subscribe to a monthly service in which the applications are located in secure data centre. More and more businesses are recognising that this is highly efficient and less likely to result in downtime as there is always support available when needed. The vendor takes on full responsibility for owning, configuring and managing them. It’s a move in society towards a flexible, short-term arrangement rather than a permanent solution with no adaptability.
Adrian Hipkiss is the VP& MD EMEA for unified communication provider ShoreTel. He has more than 26 years of experience in the communications sector as well as an extensive repertoire for creating, leading and developing high performance teams.