13 years after Google CEO Eric Schmidt coined the term “cloud computing” and 3 years after IDC proclaimed that the technology went “mainstream,” cloud technologies are a part of our everyday life, both professionally and personally. From storage to computing power to communications, the cloud-style of computing has become essential to businesses to grow and thrive. But special emphasis should be put on, what can arguably be called the “first kind” of cloud computing – telecommunications.
Cloud communications grew from the basis of Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP), which became widely used as early as 2005, thanks to open-source projects like Asterisk. As more businesses realized the benefits of moving from the PSTN (Private-Switched-Telephone-Network) to VoIP, the technology took off. What was the driving force behind the switch? We feel there were three main reasons that businesses felt compelled to make the change.
Instant Access to a Multiple Location and Mobile Workforce Strategy
70% of people are working remotely at least one day a week, according to a study released by a Switzerland-based office provider. Further findings by the study shared how 53% telecommute for half of their workweek. The trend is growing exponentially. Millennials have reported that the ability to work remotely or with a flexible work environment holds significant weight in their decision-making process about which job offer to accept. As more baby boomers reach retirement and the up-and-coming generation of Millennials enter the workforce, businesses that are unable to meet the demand for flexible work solutions will miss out on the top talent.
Let’s look at these statistics from FlexJobs:
- 70% of Millennials have left or are considering leaving jobs that do not encourage a flexible work culture.
- 78% of Millennials state that flexible work options make them more loyal to the company.
- 83% of Millennials rank work-life balance as the most important factor when considering a potential job offer.
Maintain a Competitive Advantage with “Evergreen” Technology
Physical technology infrastructure is expensive and complex to maintain. Challenges with maintaining patches, updates, and an inability to scale efficiently leave IT departments struggling to keep up with the competition.
Here is where cloud communications come in. Computer Weekly defines evergreening IT as “the concept geared towards helping IT departments continuously upgrade and iterate their systems in such a way that they never go out of date, so they avoid the costs and issues associated with running a legacy IT estate.”
Cloud communications are inherently evergreen, which means that all updates are automatically included in the price of your subscription fee. Maintenance and scale are no longer a hindrance as the provider takes on the task of keeping the servers up and running and securing the solution. As your provider adds features and functionality to their service, the updates will be automatically distributed network-wide, meaning you will gain instant access to the latest technology without the hassle of updating and procuring the updates on your own.
Reduced Complexity and Cost
It’s not that the infrastructure becomes less complex just because the solution is moved to the cloud. Cloud solutions reduce the complexity for your staff maintaining it. If you have an in-house IT staff already, then this benefit may not resonate with you.
But what if you didn’t need to spend your time repairing failing servers and various components? What if a power outage no longer became YOUR problem to solve, but that of your providers? What if you could maintain a best-in-class communications solution without all the procurement and maintenance headaches that typically come with legacy communications?
And what if you could move your technology spend from a CapEX to an OpEX expense, therefore reducing the overall TCO of a communications solution? Just things to think about as you continue in your efforts to continue to provide excellent support to your business and keep your company competitive.
What’s holding you back?
The business world today is highly competitive, and to survive, you need to ensure that you present a professional image to your prospective and returning customers alike. Even with the movement towards more digital forms of communications. A Google study found that while 84% of people use cell phones while researching businesses and that 48% of those searches resulted in a phone call. And nothing, as a consumer, is more frustrating than a business who pushes all communications to a digital process. Sometimes your customer just need an answer now, not 5 minutes, 10 minutes or even the next day, but now. Some questions are better resolved through a voice conversation than a digital one. So how are you going to ensure that your customers can reach you, and your business, regardless of their physical location?
Here are 7 signs your communications system needs to be updated. Read now.