- With hybrid work right around the corner, on-premises systems have become a liability for businesses looking to grow
- Cloud communications offer the scalability, flexibility, and cost advantages to support tomorrow’s workplace
- Learn more in our latest webinar: Cloud Communications: Now or Never
Through most of the last decade, cloud adoption grew at a steady rate. That all changed when the pandemic struck. Businesses that were cloud-first had the agility to adapt in time, while those that lagged behind had a tougher time stabilizing.
The same principle applies to communications too. Businesses with on-premises systems lacked the flexibility to pivot to remote work when they needed to. The result? Less collaboration, more silos, and staggering recovery.
Cloud investments surged and will keep surging
Around the world and across sectors, businesses are significantly shifting their IT spend into cloud delivery models. Touting the cost efficiency, scalability, and on-demand availability of cloud services, Gartner estimates that worldwide spending on cloud services will grow to $304.9 billion in 2021, an 18.4% increase over 2020 investment levels.
By 2025, it’s anticipated that the cloud market will skyrocket to $832.1 billion.
It’s no coincidence that this investment surge comes on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year’s lockdowns, travel restrictions, and other disruptions illuminated many of the inherent vulnerabilities businesses face when they rely on old models for critical services—especially where communications are concerned.
But just because the worst is behind us doesn’t mean organizations can afford to rest on their laurels where cloud communications are concerned. Indeed, as the anticipated cloud spending spree suggests, the risks of leaving the adoption of cloud services on the backburner are simply too high.
As we inch toward the inevitable hybrid future of work, having the right communications will be a key differentiator. That means finally moving communications to the cloud. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Only 5% of companies are fully bringing back the office
Vaccines are rolling out across the world, but that doesn’t mean work is returning to normal. Many organizations are still in a state of flux, continuing to nail down plans and timing for returning to the office.
That said, for many organizations a full return is unlikely. Just 5% of companies say they’ll fully bring back office-based work even after the pandemic. For most organizations, the future is looking increasingly flexible. Many employees will be able to work either remotely or on a hybrid basis, performing some parts of their jobs from home and working from the office on an as-needed basis. And just like the old days, those workers will need access to tools like messaging, video, phone, and fax.
The first step to enabling new work-from-anywhere policies is ensuring that all of these business-critical tools work from anywhere too. From the ability to support devices that meet the needs of each individual user to connecting call centers and physical office locations, only the cloud can meet all of the requirements of a hybrid workforce with one single solution.
2. Cloud offers mobility without compromising on quality
Whether people are working from the office, from home, or out on the road, a bad connection makes collaboration near impossible these days. Troubleshooting on-premises solutions is often a headache due to limitations in visibility (especially as more IT teams work remotely) and challenges associated with outdated systems. Layering on a patchwork of solutions in order to support greater worker mobility can make quality and reliability challenges even worse.
But with the end-to-end network visibility that only the cloud can offer, IT is equipped to monitor the performance of communications tools, troubleshoot issues, and even turn on new users and features from anywhere. If a call is dropped or an employee reports poor call quality, IT can access call logs and other data to resolve the issue, even if the employee is at a different location.
Furthermore, this ability to glean usage data and other insights provides additional advantages. For example, away from the office, data from cloud communications can reveal employee patterns such as taking calls late at night—and opportunities to implement measures to reduce the risk of employee burnout.
3. Prepared for future crises
Cyberattacks. Extreme weather. Just because we’re coming out of one crisis doesn’t mean we’re not vulnerable to another. If anything, as unexpected events like the recent power outages in Texas highlight, business continuity planning is a strategic exercise that organizations can’t afford to overlook.
The nature of cloud communications makes businesses more resilient to disruption. Unlike on-premises communications, cloud communications are housed and managed remotely. They’re not subject to the regional physical vulnerabilities of any one location and don’t need to be physically managed. This means that if your business faces an unexpected crisis, you retain the ability to respond quickly and flexibly—turning on emergency messaging or rerouting calls to other offices—in order to maintain operations and reduce the fallout.
Businesses can’t afford to delay
The case for moving to the cloud keeps growing clearer. But some organizations still have concerns that can stand in the way of embracing cloud communications, even as the need becomes ever more critical. IT resources, the need to train employees on a new platform, and other barriers can all seem daunting.
Watch RingCentral’s new on-demand webinar, Cloud Communications: Now or Never, to learn why businesses cannot afford to continue to lean on legacy, on-premises PBX any longer. You’ll also hear from IT leaders about the operational improvements and other benefits of switching to the cloud—and learn how turning on cloud communications, even for large distributed teams, can be much faster and simpler than you might expect.
Originally published Mar 18, 2021, updated Jan 18, 2023