Many of today’s most strategic IT leaders are looking for ways to implement a unified communications and collaboration strategy. According to recent research from Ovum, seven out of ten IT leaders are looking to invest in new collaboration technologies in 2020.
This is because the very nature of work is changing and in order to retain talent, IT leaders need to be looking for solutions that can support a modern workforce. Today’s workers want to be able to work how, where and when they want and they need collaborative tools that’s able to keep up.
An estimated 4 million people already work remotely in the UK, with the figure predicted to continue growing to half the UK workforce in 2020. The concept of working from home is clearly here to stay. Public toilets, zoos and mountain tops have been named as some of the odder places from which people hot desk for work and remote working technology should evolve to suit the demands of these new weird and wonderful working environments. Employees want guaranteed unparalleled audio to give them the assurance that whether working in the office, at home or on-the-go in extreme low-bandwith situations, they will always remain connected.
It takes a village to raise a child and the same is often said when it comes to business-wide projects. Video conferencing software that provide features such as chat and resource sharing, all in one platform, allow employees to communicate with others regardless of their geographic location. The main benefit of this concept is that it enables face-to-face communication in real time, with compatible communication across devices as well as the option to link existing video-conferencing systems, meaning anyone and everyone can join the conversation at any given time.
Securing a nation of remote workers
From small start-ups to enterprise-level global conglomerates, video conferencing, content-sharing and other collaboration technologies are now an essential addition to every business. In order for companies to utilise these technologies effectively, it’s important that they are able to safeguard their networks against the potential threats that come with a connected digital environment.
If IT leaders hope to drive adoption of a collaboration tool at all levels of the organisation, they need to have the peace of mind that no matter what is being discussed or shared it is secure – especially at the executive level. Having one trusted collaborative platform that offers a single hub for communication, content sharing and meeting hosting significantly minimises the threat of a security breach.
Ensuring remote security is also a top priority for businesses full of mobile workers, the demand for collaborative technology has likely resulted in an influx of requests to over-stretched and under-resourced IT teams. Single sign-on technology is one solution that can add an additional layer of security when businesses have employees logging on from remote locations, across the world, with varying devices. It is a good policy for all access needs, but definitely reinforces the benefits of a single, secure, robust communication platform and more importantly keeps IT teams happy.
Work trends fuelling the future of collaboration and communication
In recent years, we have seen an explosion of collaboration technologies introduced to the market alongside a plethora of tools that can aid communication, such as call center software with integrations for productivity and collaboration. With the sheer volume of tools readily available, employees are spoilt for choice and the amount of time spent switching between these apps is becoming a problem. Often resulting in reduced productivity which can prove detrimental for many organisations, and the market is demanding a new approach to application use. In the future, we are likely to see businesses moving towards a collaborative hub model that combines these tools that help to inspire employee creativity.
The introduction of AI to collaborative communication aims to support more seamless collaboration and improve workplace efficiency. We see this reflected in business leaders’ priorities – nearly three out of four IT leaders have AI technology as a priority on their roadmaps. Many businesses are choosing to invest in AI and cognitive technologies that are helping work get done more quickly and taking the most mundane tasks, such as note-taking in meetings or transcribing an interview, off the over-spilling plates of today’s workers. This leaves more room to get to the real “good stuff”! There’s suddenly more time in the day for the more exciting, and more importantly, valuable collaborative tasks including brainstorming, planning and presenting.
Collaborative hub-based technology has touchpoints across whole businesses and has the potential to dramatically improve workplace productivity, performance and, most importantly, wellbeing. Through the implementation of such solutions, businesses can offer their employees the option to work from the most remote locations, whether it be the top of a mountain or their local zoo, with the assurance that their work won’t be compromised.