4 reasons IT leaders should adopt unified communications
As stewards of a company’s day-to-day business and communications, IT leaders play a pivotal role in a company’s efficiency and productivity. One such way is through the use of unified communications systems — but are organizations using this technology to its full potential?
What is unified communications?
Unified communications are the technologies that facilitate the cross-functional use of multiple communications tools — such as Voice over IP (VoIP), telephone and chat software, conference calling, business applications, mobile devices and everything in between.
As a whole, the umbrella of unified communications includes managing and integrating these tools so that they are all able to communicate with one another under a unified network or system.
Businesses rely on their communications systems not only for their business-to-customer operations, but also for their internal communications and ability to keep information flowing. Organizations of every type rely on unified communications to stay connected in an increasingly global world, and to ensure their systems are working together efficiently — which can have significant impacts on the bottom line.
Here’s why unified communications will continue to be an important development over the coming years.
1. Generational bridging and boosting collaboration
One of the best advantages of unified communications is that it allows an easy way for your varied workforce to communicate with each other.
As the workforce continues to ebb and flow, you’ll find that some are able to communicate more easily with one form of technology than another.
Adopting a unified communications system ensures your project teams and employees can talk seamlessly to each other — regardless of what tools they have.
2. More flexibility in the largest part of the incoming workforce: Millennials
As the millennial generation becomes the biggest part of the workforce, unified communications is expected to rise alongside them. Not only do they treasure the flexibility that unified communications provides, but their early adoption mentality means they’re ready to take that step and make the most of the tools at hand.
Flexibility for millennials is known to drive their loyalty and engagement at work — and of course, an engaged worker is a happy worker. Millennials want, and expect, immediate access to information through connected platforms or mobile devices, which includes access to information across organizational barriers, quick access to communication with colleagues (anywhere and at any time) plus the ability to collaborate, share information and build on the ideas of others.
As well, unified communications extend the mobility they need to work on the go, from a coffee shop or even on their couch via laptop, smartphone or tablet. As mobile devices continue to improve, this is only bound to be more common.
3. Reduced cost and increased productivity
Speaking of mobility, the nature of unified communications means that conferences and collaborations are able to happen anywhere. Employees working on other tasks outside of the office will still be able to join meetings through virtual means — ensuring project deadlines and meeting times continue to be met. For larger companies, this can spell be significant savings on travel costs.
Unified communications means that you can connect with team members across the country and around the world seamlessly and without hassle. With precious time being a hot commodity, this is bound to improve employee productivity.
Additionally, having your communications systems unified can save on costs with the need for fewer IT resources. It’s always easier to manage one system as opposed to multiple, and nowhere is this truer than in IT. Having unified communications means you can lower operating costs and address other priorities in IT as opposed to troubleshooting communications more often.
4. A higher level of security
In the business world today, digital security is becoming more and more important. Not only are data breaches more common, but consumers are trusting more companies with their data. This comes with a responsibility to protect customers, their data and your own business intelligence.
A unified communications system allows you to bring all of the company communications under one roof, and thereby secure it as you see fit. Not only does it allow you to encrypt the communications and data sent through its channels, but it also ensures that you’re doing your part to archive data responsibly in an organized manner. Regardless of whether data is transported via video call, phone, fax, email or other channels, you can ensure your critical information is secure.
As the world continues to connect through digital means, the benefits of unified communications become more and more apparent. Being an agile organization requires a strong communications foundation, and that is what unified communications brings to the table.
For businesses looking to go above and beyond, being able to communicate securely, with lowered costs, across any type of device and medium is a great way to increase productivity and boost your bottom line.