Massive growth of cloud platforms in 2020 proves that firms of all types are flocking to secure and flexible remote tools. This shift has proven to be best for businesses and their employees, and what is best for the customer has to be best for the industry. Those in the industry that do not adjust their business model to this new remote reality will likely get left in the dust.
2. Major acceleration in adoption of cloud communication platforms and growth in personal collaboration device market
Cloud technology has been ready to and able to support a flexible workforce for years. Whether it was lack of trust in the cloud, lack of trust in remote employees, or both, society was not yet ready to adopt it up until this point. Now that many businesses have experienced the benefits of remote work, it will be critical for them to support a flexible workforce moving forward, and cloud platforms have proven to provide the most seamless and powerful way to do so.
A direct result of cloud platform adoption is the growth of the personal collaboration device market, which had already been on the rise over the past few years. Headsets and webcams allow businesses to ensure that their remote workers can always communicate with the highest possible quality, and their affordable cost makes them a no-brainer.
Another thing to look out for is the possibility that Microsoft Teams and similar providers will move to an open-integration hardware model. This often-rumored possibility would make it even easier for businesses to adopt the cloud by ensuring they can integrate with any of the hardware they already and would likely tilt the market even further towards the cloud.
3. Video is no longer a nice-to-have feature – it is a requirement
Video provides the most personal connection and builds relationships more than voice, which is much more important as many businesses go remote. UC Today has reported a 200% increase in video usage across all major vendors through June, even with the expected decline in traditional room-based video conferencing systems. To prove the major opportunity that video will continue to have, 87% of millennials (future business decision makers) report that video has a positive impact on business communications, while only 25% report currently using it at work (Cisco).
4. Increased reliance on Wi-Fi for on-premise deployments
This was a trend even before COVID19 as Wi-Fi technology is now as quick and secure as wired connections. In comparison to the traditional wired deployment, Wi-Fi is quicker and easier to install, cuts out miles of wasteful, costly and unreliable cables, allows much easier expansion, provides more mobility with greater range and streamlines all traffic onto one common network. The eco-friendly wireless office was already gaining momentum and now with the growth of web and mobile tools, the likelihood of devices moving between home and the office and the need to allow employees to work anywhere in a physical setting, Wi-Fi deployments will become the norm.
The way that I see it, COVID19 is not forcing the communications technology to change – it is helping us to finally evolve. Flexible communication platforms that allow businesses to work from anywhere have been around for years, and I believe they have always been best for the customer. However, this model was different from what we were all used to. Now that businesses received a crash course in working remotely, and now that the benefits of flexible work are becoming obvious, there is no going back. It’s time for the communication industry to evolve into the next generation – a generation of flexible and remote tools that can be accessed anywhere on any device.