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Global Trends in Cloud Communications and Collaboration Adoption

Today’s connected global organizations need much more from their communications solutions than just dialtone capabilities. To satisfy modern workforce demands, companies are increasingly adopting collaborative communications solutions that bring together all the critical components of enterprise communications—including voice, team messaging, video conferencing, and contact center—into a single, user-friendly solution. The end goal is to enable mobile, distributed teams to communicate and collaborate in their mode of choice, on any device, from wherever they may be. Only cloud can deliver on these expectations.

In February 2017, IHS Markit conducted a Unified Communication (UC) Strategies and Vendor Leadership North American Enterprise survey of IT decision-makers at 207 companies. The findings are included in a new IHS Markit report on the trends and growing needs for global cloud unified communications (UC) and collaboration. According to the survey, there are three key factors that are driving the rise and growing impact of these solutions.

1. Critical business needs

For the 2017 IHS Markit report, companies were asked to rate the most critical drivers of cloud UC and collaboration adoption.

As the chart reveals, improving employee productivity and response time came out on top. By providing employees with the tools that allow them to communicate more effectively, today’s UC solutions help create more efficient, agile, and productive organizations. Even greater benefits can be realized when businesses integrate communications tools with their business applications. And because open cloud platforms offer more flexibility than on premises-based solutions, businesses can easily scale, centralize management, and deploy new features, applications, and integrations quickly across their global organizations.

2. Expanding cloud UC capabilities

In the not-too-distant past, businesses relied on cloud UC solutions solely for their voice and messaging capabilities. But today, video conferencing and team collaboration have become increasingly critical for businesses to collaborate efficiently with colleagues, partners, and customers.

IHS Markit asked businesses which components make up their current solution. The survey findings reveal that voice, email, messaging, and collaboration (in the form of video and web conferencing) have been widely implemented to meet today’s fast-paced, “always connected” communications demands.

3. Critical UC components

IHS Markit asked businesses which capabilities were the most critical drivers in cloud UC adoption. The #1 answer, provided by 80% of respondents, was unified messaging.

Unified messaging has historically included only connected email and voicemail messaging streams. But enterprise IM has evolved into a single platform that encompasses instant messaging, chat, text messaging, email, and voice messaging that can also be integrated into other cloud applications.

After unified messaging, 78% of respondents listed integration as a critical component for bridging their communications tools with day-to-day business applications. The ability to integrate unified messaging into other popular cloud applications streamlines workflows, reduces human error, and improves efficiencies across the enterprise.

The third key driver was collaboration tools, a broad category that includes instant messaging, conferencing, document sharing, and other capabilities.

Combining these three critical components provides organizations with a powerful boost in consistency and productivity across the country or across the world.

To learn more about the impact of delivering a modern communications experience on a global scale, download the complimentary IHS Markit report.