A Post-Brexit Cloud Boost?
Increasing productivity and capitalising on the Millennial workforce are key drivers for British business moving to cloud-delivered Unified Communications (UC) post-Brexit.
The British economy continues to be one of the strongest in Europe. Even as the country prepares to leave the European Union, a recent study indicates that British business seems more ready to consider the positives than the negatives of Brexit.
In the survey of 750 British businesses of between 50 to 500 employees, when respondents were asked whether they thought Brexit would create opportunities for their business to grow, a majority (54 percent) agreed, while 28 percent had no opinion and 16 percent disagreed.
So, as they look to make their businesses ready for the opportunities and challenges ahead, what role does unified communications play?
The answer is a central one, though businesses expect much more of their communication systems and are looking toward cloud-based delivery of services to support more agile business models.
A Cloud Powered Business
Organisations of all sizes agree (65%) that increased competitive pressures make more effective communications critical to increasing productivity. The research reveals the driving force for changing communication systems is the need to extract more value from their current services and equipment. Unfortunately, over half (51%) of all respondents say their current communications systems are unable to support how staff work flexibly and this is impacting productivity. This seems to be a stronger issue for larger enterprises (250-500 employees) with 62% of respondents citing issues in this area.
The need to modernise communications is also linked to how businesses are planning for significant changes in their workforces. Survey respondents noted that new systems are needed to meet the demands of the younger, digitally aware workforce - a view shared by 64% of all respondents and 76% of businesses with 250-500 employees.
These drivers demonstrate why British businesses are embracing unified communications and perhaps more importantly, give compelling reasons why more organisations are looking to the cloud as an easier, more flexible way to deploy UC. In fact, not only did over 75% of respondents indicate they were aware of UC cloud, but over 58% said they already used cloud-based unified communications, with an additional 38% planning to transition to it.
The study makes clear moving to the cloud is strongly influenced by the need to better marry communication systems to new ways of working and running a business more flexibly. After costs, when it comes to evaluating cloud-based unified communications, the top ranked considerations are: 1) can the service support workers wherever they are working (33%), 2) guaranteed high speed, always-on network access (27%), 3) one bill to cover all costs (22%), and 4) full-service 24/7 support (16%).
While security fears are said to be the top factor that prevents businesses from moving to the cloud, this positive and ongoing adoption of cloud-based UC may suggest that security concerns are diminishing. Furthermore, a majority of respondents (72%) agree services and data held in the cloud are secure and safe while only eight percent disagree.
Brexit Won’t Stop a Unified Future
The data is clear - organisations of all sizes are shedding their initial concerns and embracing cloud UC because it can better support the modern working environment. The flexibility of the cloud means that businesses can not only improve employee productivity but also create unique customer experiences that help their company be more competitive.
However, with the ‘consumerisation’ of IT and steady advancements in intelligent machine-based automation, businesses have also grown more discerning with the UC solutions they purchase. They expect an intuitive, flexible and pervasive service that is easy to deploy and makes interactions simple for users, whether in the office, on the road or working from home.
Despite some post-Brexit concerns, British business seems to be on the right path when it comes to communications by investing and moving to the cloud – and ShoreTel Connect can help.