UCaaS Adoption Accelerated by COVID – Why is That Such a Good Thing?
The workplace looks vastly different than it did in January 2020 and the workforce’s expectations have evolved as much or more. For these reasons, it’s no surprise Gartner predicts that by the end of 2021, 90 percent of new unified communications systems will be in the cloud – UCaaS, Unified Communications as a Service.
During the pandemic, we watched the adoption of UCaaS accelerate at an unprecedented rate. Frost and Sullivan says that the North American hosted IP telephony and UCaaS user base will grow at a 23% CAGR from 2017 to 2024. Why is the forced acceleration of UCaaS adoption such a good thing for businesses? Because as one of our client’s put it, “You can deploy in five months what used to take you five years to get approved.” Leadership’s endorsement of technology change and the cloud is at an all time high.
Digital transformation has streamlined the way we work, and has made working from anywhere possible and even more productive. If collaboration and communication are keys to a successful working environment, bringing email, voice, video, document sharing, texts, and IM together in one place and accessible via all devices is a win all around.
So what are these benefits to your business?
- Financial: UCaaS ultimately saves budget dollars with no need to purchase and service expensive server equipment. The pay-as-you-go OpEx vs CapEx expense model for telephony is preferred by many businesses as expenses are more stable and predictable. Financial risks are reduced as purchases are “less permanent” making it easier to change vendors, scale, and adopt new technology advancements. Being married to a PBX is a long-term commitment that can restrain your flexibility to adopt the best business approach due to its financial impact. Note, the OpEx model does not prohibit you from paying for services up front. In fact, some vendors give a financial incentive for doing so.
- Competitive Advantages: UCaaS has a wide range of capabilities to take advantage of as business needs rapidly change with minimal time required to execute vs. the time and expense often required to enhance your premise-based PBX. Additionally, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ U.S. Remote Work Survey, 83% of workers say they want to continue working from home at least one day a week and 55% of employers said they’ll offer that option even after the coronavirus threat has passed to remain competitive in today’s workplace, making a cloud solution much preferred.
- Consolidation and Compliance of Communication Stack: Many business IT managers are tasked with managing a host of vendors and platforms to deliver collaboration and voice services to their users. With UCaaS, one platform delivers email, voice, video, document sharing, texts, and IM and provides one source for compliance regulations such as HIPAA, etc.
- Remote Workforce Support: Your IT staff doesn’t have to go on site for set-up, turn-up, ongoing support, or emergencies, saving time and money and providing a safer workplace environment.
- Security: CIOs, IT managers, and business leaders want to decrease the pressure to keep environments secure by relying on in-house staff and systems. By moving to a UCaaS platform, you move to a secure environment with data centers and cloud plaforms that are certified by third parties, adhering to tight industry standard security compliance regulations that are difficult – if not impossible – to maintain in-house due to high cost, staff limitations, and inevitable personnel churn.
- Reliable & Professional Platform: We all know the video conference blunder is just around the corner – the cat jumping on the desk, dog barking, child crying. Some things you have to take in stride. But you can protect your business from the things that are preventable. UCaaS providers offer a 99.999% SLA for availability, enabling your road warriors to seamlessly transition between softphones and mobile devices, providing the ability to communicate through multiple channels, and the benefit of publishing only one contact number vs. office and cell.
There’s no turning back. These changes were inevitable, but the events of 2020 got us here much faster than expected. Cloud-based communications is not going away. These changes are permanent and more people and businesses are taking advantage of these capabilities, which will increase even more as AI and VR technologies grow in popularity.
Are you ready?