Seven in 10 businesses expect investment on unified communications and collaboration (UCC) deployments to increase in the next year. This is from new survey on collaborative software was conducted by Ovum Research and GoTo by LogMeIn.
The survey of 2,100 IT buyers and leaders found that communications and collaboration tools were “business critical” to the success of organisations. Investments in these tools has been identified as priority to support remote workforce and the rise of office digital natives.
As businesses plan for 2020 and beyond, collaboration tools are a major focus for unified communications and collaboration (UCC) deployments. Seventy-three percent of survey respondents expect spending to increase. However, it’s not just about finding a collaboration platform, it’s about finding one that meets the needs of a changing workforce.
The workplace is seeing an increase in employees working remotely, and digital natives entering the workforce as full-time employees. The survey found that 93% of respondents agreed that digital natives have different needs and expectations in the workplace. More than half of CIOs (56%) are looking to grow their collaborative software offering to meet that demand.
Digital Natives – front and centre of planning
The survey suggests C-Suite IT leaders prioritised items as steps they’re taking in anticipation of the growing digital native workforce:
- Increasing availability of collaboration software to employees (54%).
- Encouraging remote and flexible work options (49%).
- Ensuring UCC tools are up to date (48%).
- Aiming to hire and retain digital talent (47%).
- Seeking a best-in-class user experience (45%).
Providing for today and future proof for tomorrow
IT leaders play a more strategic role than ever before. They need to adopting new technology, and accommodate and support a diverse and dispersed workforce. At the same time keeping costs down and showing ROI for their decisions. For example:
- 66% of CIOs consider communications and collaboration critical to the overall success of their business.
- 75% of CIOs in the US consider communications and collaboration critical to the overall success of their business.
- IT execs cited the primary reasons for successful user adoption of comms & collaboration tools in their organisation as:
– A clearly articulated digital transformation strategy (57%).
– The consolidation of the technologies / platform (49%).
– A move toward a more flexible way of working (45%).
- 39% of IT leaders surveyed report having more than four tools deployed for their comms and collab needs. Eight percent said they had seven or more tools.
- The top benefits expected from consolidation of disparate tools to a single UCC tool included:
– Improved team productivity (49%).
– Lower costs (44%).
– Easier management and administration (42%).
- IT leaders are being tasked with driving strategic business goals such as:
– Driving operational efficiencies.
– Improving the customer experience.
– Reducing costs.
AI continues to be top of mind
AI capabilities are continuously improving in ways that help employees. In the coming year, more and more IT leaders will adopt AI technology for smarter, more efficient collaboration:
- 32% of respondents are leveraging AI technology today, and 49% are evaluating AI technology and identified use-cases and rollout plans.
- When evaluating AI, the top three places IT leaders are considering implementing AI for collaboration tools are:
– Personal digital assistants (59%).
– Improved analytics for informed decision making (59%).
– Intelligent, automated transcription services (54%).
- Companies with a global presence are 11% more interested in investing in AI and digital assistants than those with only a United States based presence.
According to Mark Strassman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of UCC at LogMeIn, “Today’s CIOs and IT leaders need to play a more strategic role than ever before. They’ve got a new seat at the table and are expected to drive overall business strategy. The very nature of the way people work is changing. That change needs to be supported through technology that is simple to use, easy to adopt and painless to manage.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean for business?
The use of UCC tools, especially for workflow approvals and interactions between global, regional and local offices is a really good simple idea. However, there are still far too many global businesses with multiple, incompatible collaborative software in different offices around the world. The situation where the London Office is on one platform while New York and Singapore on totally different platforms is not unusual. None of these platforms can communicate with each other or require time, effort and resources to integrate information or data.
Businesses have to find tools and applications that meet demands of the modern workforce. Needless to say, the Ovum research found communications and collaboration tools were “business critical” to the success of organisations. Businesses need to support digital natives and remote employees to optimise for today. Investment in these tools needs to be made a priority. To support the growing remote workforce and the rise of digital natives in the office.