As consumers began using smartphones, tablets and other gadgets in their everyday lives, the migration of these platforms to the private sector slowly became inevitable. Whether a company tolerates the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend, which allows employees to use personal mobile tools for work-related tasks, or executives decide to provide workers with corporate-liable devices, the undeniable adoption of a mobile strategy is at hand.
In addition to disrupting normal operations, the advent of mobility has also shaken up the traditional business phone system landscape. Employees now require organizations to support anytime anywhere access to the network. If decision-makers refuse this capability, individuals will simply circumvent policies and use mobile devices anyway.
For this reason, among others, the VoIP phone service has also evolved, as providers were forced to either keep up with the mobile movement or risk being left behind, according to a report by Smart Business Network Online.
"People want their voice to follow their devices," telecom expert Alex Desberg said, according to SBN Online. "To meet this demand, VoIP providers are looking at assimilating voice and video, integrating tablets with phone systems and running different types of voice applications."
The evolution of IP telephony
VoIP has changed since its emergence in the private sector about seven years ago, the news source said. These transformations have driven more companies of all sizes to embrace the technology in an effort to boost productivity and reduce costs. As VoIP was adopted on a larger scale, it matured and became even easier to deploy, maintain and operate.
In regard to consumerization, VoIP needed to evolve quickly to stay relevant. As individuals began using smartphones and tablets for more business-related tasks, providers incorporated mobility into their networks and gave users the ability to leverage a multitude of next-generation solutions, like video conferencing and other unified communications applications.
A separate study of roughly 300 enterprise IT decision-makers by Webtorials revealed that VoIP services are approaching maturity, as approximately two-thirds of respondents reported either "significant use" or "extensive use" of the technology. While saving money is often a top priority, executives said the increasing functionality of VoIP is beginning to take precedence.
"Large enterprises continue to seek more and more efficient and flexible communications network foundation as a way to reduce complexity and cost, while increasing capability," telecom expert Wes Durow said.
Disaster recovery functions driving VoIP adoption
After witnessing the impact Hurricane Sandy had on the business world as a whole, many decision-makers have prioritized updating their disaster recovery plans. In the past, the phone was only a minor inclusion into the strategies, as land line services were most likely down in the wake of an emergency. VoIP, on the other hand, can keep communications alive after an event.
If communications are down for a prolonged period of time, the company will suffer more serious losses than many executives think. If decision-makers take the VoIP service route, however, they can opt for hosted solutions that are managed off-site by the provider, SBN Online noted. As a result, companies can get their phone systems up and running much more quickly after a disaster, enabling individuals who are working from home or elsewhere outside the office to stay connected with colleagues and partners.
As VoIP technologies continue to evolve, the increased functionality of the tools will likely encourage more companies to adopt the services. This will become more important in the coming years, as consumerization transforms the workplace and natural disasters lurk on the horizon.