There have been few greater challenges to enterprise traditions than the cloud. With its ability to be accessed from remote locations and be outfitted to serve any number of needs, the cloud is proving to be a game-changer not only for collaboration, but for competition, as well. Those businesses that are just starting out or have not been around very long are more likely to embrace this technology, creating strange new dynamics between rival organizations.
"In industry after industry we have seen the nature of competition disrupted, resulting in many sleepless nights," wrote No Jitter contributor Guy Clinch. "This transition has often been total, with the Internet and Internet technologies completely changing the marketplace landscape. Retail, media, publishing, travel, entertainment – the list goes on. New competitors, unburdened by the restraints of old ways, have completely upset entrenched companies and whole industries."
This is especially true in terms of communications. Now that more people are accustomed to operating advanced IT devices, they are expecting to be enabled to use them at their jobs. This may come in the form of having the option to work from home whenever the mood strikes, meaning that office phone networks have to be available beyond the physical confines of the office.
Cloud communications, namely VoIP, are becoming essential to the longevity of organizations all over the world. The benefits they offer and the innovation that they foster can bring any company to the front of its respective field.
IT Limitations Becoming More Pronounced
To some, cloud communications might seem like a fad – one populated with buzzwords in an attempt to make them appear to be a bigger deal than they actually are. Not only is this sentiment totally false, but it can end up putting a business behind the curve. As customers become more tech-savvy in their personal lives, they are beginning to perceive enterprises differently. If they believe a company to be disconnected from the times, it could influence their decision to move to a competitor.
Not only that, but an organization's own employees will start to notice shortcomings in their infrastructure. If they feel that their needs are not being supported, then they may start to look elsewhere for work. This is a major way to lose top talent, and is something that should be avoided.
But with this in mind, transitions to cloud communications are not always going to be smooth. While these systems represent logical conclusions in the business world and must be sought out, there is a level of planning and training that has to be achieved in order to experience a successful deployment. This goes especially for the staff members that will be using these networks – regardless of how informed they believe themselves to be.
Cloud Communications Training Essential
Especially when launching a full-scale unified communications solution, it is going to be important to get workers on the same page when rolling out cloud telecom assets. Because these systems represent a whole new way of working rather than just a change in platform, chances are that protocol and common practices are going to be disrupted along with other traditional operations.
"Although experts can make sure employees have a good handle on new devices and programs, continued support through providers makes sense when managers have issues they run into through the lifecycle of their utilities, and team leaders within offices who work among their peers can become contact points for any day-to-day problems employees may encounter," wrote TMCnet contributor Casey Houser.
These are things that will have to be carefully considered. Because no two companies are alike, the needs of individual organizations are going to vary dramatically in many cases. This prevents cloud UC from being a one-size-fits-all kind of solution, but also means that it can be adapted to address the nuances of specific businesses.
Disruption Is Good
It is true that the cloud is a disruptive technology. While that may sound like it carries a negative connotation, it is actually seen as being positive by the people who experience it. The word "disruptive," in this sense, really just means that things are changing for the better. Every day, more companies are being shaken up by cloud communications, and a vast majority of them believe they are better for being disrupted.
As such, organizations that have yet to pursue cloud communications in some regard are setting themselves up for disaster down the road. With so many employees seeing how the cloud can benefit their personal lives, the businesses for which they work have to make sure that modern systems are in place that support new working styles. While these kinds of deployments need careful considerations in order to be successful, they have to be explored by any enterprise looking to lead the pack in its respective sector.