By enabling the free flow of information and data worldwide, the internet has made today’s digital workplace possible. Now companies of any size can have employees and offices across the globe, from a solitary telecommuter in rural US to a building filled with workers in urban Hong Kong—and everywhere in between. And all of these people want the freedom to work anywhere, any time, and on any device they choose.
Enter cloud unified communications (UC).
Cloud UC solutions allow companies to put their people at the center by integrating multiple communications and collaboration modes into a single user experience. After deploying these solutions, most companies have discovered that cloud UC also improves employee productivity, shortens response times, and reduces operational costs.
But when it comes to globally dispersed workforces, UC solutions can also present new challenges for CIOs in terms of resources, security, and budgets. These challenges include:
1. Consumerization of IT
For many people today, the line between work and home has blurred, with employees often using the same devices and applications in both their personal and professional lives. Because of this trend, it’s critical for IT to supply people with the same tools they use in their personal lives—from office equipment to software—in order to attract and retain talent.
2. BYOD best practices
Bring your own device (BYOD) has become the new reality in companies worldwide. IT departments can choose to embrace these outside applications and devices or risk the rise of “shadow IT” within their organizations that encourages the building and use of unauthorized systems and solutions. Both scenarios present their own unique set of security challenges.
3. Cost of enterprise mobility
With employees working in countries across the globe, multinational companies often find themselves struggling to support their dispersed workforces. And this challenge becomes especially apparent when it comes to the tangible costs incurred when using multiple providers to replicate mobile, voice, data, and other communications services for their personnel worldwide.
4. Fostering collaboration
While cloud UC solutions alone do not magically bring dispersed teams closer together, they can bring a greater feeling of connection to individual members. For example, when employees see other colleagues signed on to the same cloud UC solution, people know they can reach out and collaborate with others as needed. Before choosing a team collaboration solution, it’s important to understand how employees currently interact and then choose tools that will enhance their collaboration activities.
To learn more about the impact of delivering a modern communications experience on a global scale, download the complimentary IHS Research report.
Originally published Nov 27, 2017, updated Aug 10, 2020