What is the future? Oxford dictionary defines the word as:
Future – the time or a period of time following the moment of speaking or writing; time regarded as still to come. ~Oxford Dictionary
Throughout humanity, many have attempted to predict the future. For individuals, for humanity as a whole. We have spent countless hours dreaming up stories about what the future holds, both real and fantastical (think Star Wars and Star Trek).
But how much time have we spent thinking and dreaming, specifically, about the future of work?
The Time for Dreaming is Over; The Future is Here
Over the last generation or so, the way we work has undergone a significant shift. From crowded, stale, confined cubicles with little interaction, cramped walls falling in on you and whispers in order to speak without interfering with your coworkers’ concentration to open concepts surrounded by windows and white, flashy, shiny desks. Even with technology giants like Yahoo attempting to increase productivity of teams by bringing all employees into the office, the trend is still moving towards remote and flexible work options.
Social networking giant, LinkedIn, recently surveyed over 5,000 of their own users, asking them to rate the importance of work flexibility when considering a job offer, and what they found is surprising. The number of users who cited work flexibility as important jumped 78% from 2016 until 2019.
“Work flexibility is becoming the norm. The challenge is how fast can organizations provide it. Those that can are going to be in a far better position to retain top talent over the next three to five years.” Jason Phillips, Vice President of Digital HR and Global Chief of Staff, Cisco
Let that sink in. Flexible work is the new “normal.” It no longer lives in our dreams of a future where our work life and our personal life can co-exist in harmony instead of separate silos. And this is not just for the employee – but you, as the business owner, will see significant benefits in promoting a flexible work environment. The same survey by LinkedIn reported statistics that productivity in a company from China, with a total of 16,000 employees, realized an increase in productivity of 22%. And Dell saved $12 Million annually just from the reduction of rental space when they enabled employees to work remotely or variable hours. The future of work is here, and that future includes cloud communications.
The Future of Work is Cloud Communications
Cloud communications have made our vision of the future workplace come true. Wikipedia defines cloud communications as Internet-based voice and data communications where telecommunications applications, switching and storage are hosted by a third-party outside of the organization using them, and they are accessed over the public Internet.
Because cloud communications are accessed over the internet, employees do not need to be tied to their physical desk in order to utilize the service, therefore enabling this “deskless” workspace. This technology unties the employee from the office and allowing them to work where and how they do best.
But wait, there’s more. The benefits of cloud communications extend beyond enabling a more productive and flexible workforce. Here are five more you should take into consideration. Something we will call “SERIS.”
5 Benefits of Cloud Communications
Scalable – the possibilities are endless. There is no cap on how many users you can deploy on a cloud communications solution. The only boundary is how many you want to buy. Not only that, but the cloud does not require a “one-size fits all” solution. You can choose the features you want bundled together, enabling you to just pay for what you need, and not all the fluff.
Easy to Use – the days of the complicated legacy solution are reaching their end. Cloud communications removes the barrier of the need for a certified PBX technician (and not just any certified technician, but one certified in the particular brand of PBX you purchased) by creating a solution that is intuitive and easy to use. Adds, moves, and changes can all be handled through a user interface, meaning if you desired, you could have an admin assistant managing the growth of your communications solution, freeing up your highly technical staff to work on more pressing issues than adding a new user.
Reliable – Cloud communications can significantly enhance your business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) strategy. How? Redundancy. Cloud solutions have built-in redundancy and failover. If one data center goes down, whether due to power outage, local disaster or other event, a secondary center is immediately spun up in a geographical diverse location to handle the load. Some providers, like MIX Networks, even utilize 4G technology, enabling your communications solution to seamlessly failover to cell phone connections in the event of a service interruption.
Instantaneous – How long has it typically taken you to spin up a new technology? Days? Weeks? Months? Even years? Cloud solutions are subscription-based, meaning you can start services as soon as you click “buy.” Yes. You can be up and running in minutes with a new telephony solution, and one that is best in class. Cloud solutions also automatically send updates to the PBX and end-user devices, removing the need for IT to personally trigger the updates, ensuring that you will always have the latest technology and security features needed to maintain your telephony solution.
Secure – There has been a myth pervasive to cloud solutions since the beginning. And while the myth may be founded in truths, the reality is that it is now just that – a legend. Alert Logic issued a report on the State of the Cloud back in 2012 that found that the cloud is actually more secure than on-premise solutions. You read that right. The cloud is more secure. On-premise users experienced 61.4 attacks, while cloud providers averaged 27.8. The thing is, a cloud services provider has the resources available to ensure their servers have the utmost, best-in-class, and latest security protocols put into place to ensure that your data is not breached while on their network. Remote monitoring and management capabilities, as well, catch any breach before it reaches your sensitive data and enables the provider, and you, to stop an attack before it can begin.
Are Your Communications in the Cloud?
If not, why? Tell us in the comments why you have chosen to maintain an on-premise solution? We’d love to hear your point of view. Or if you have determined to move communications to the cloud, tell us why. We want to hear from you.
Need more? Learn more about how the future of communications, unified cloud communications, can bridge your “what if’s” into “have done’s.”