The face of communication and collaboration in the workplace is changing – fast. There are a million different tech solutions available to make communication easier and more efficient. But once you start employing multiple tools into your workday, efficiency and productivity inevitably begin to wane.
So, what are we supposed to do? According to Mila D'Antonio, principal analyst from Ovum, the solution is simple. “A more cohesive and collaborative approach to UCC will work to democratize data, create business agility, and ultimately create operational efficiencies," says D'Antonio. Essentially, better communication and collaboration is all about simplicity.
Here are some ways UCC tools can lead to higher business success in 2020:
Gen Z, or digital natives, are about to drastically change the face of the modern workforce, and businesses need to be prepared to make some adjustments. In fact, 93% of IT leaders agree that digital natives have different needs and expectations in the workplace than current employees. They've lived in the digital space their entire lives, so they expect tech-enabled workplaces and more flexibility in their work styles.
To help facilitate the transition into a new generation, 54% of C-Suite IT leaders are increasing availability of collaboration software to employees to accommodate the growing digital native workforce.
If you think you have time before Gen Z starts filling up your cubicles, it's expected that digital natives will comprise 36% of the workforce by the end 2020.
2. Improve efficiency
We're always looking for new ways to increase productivity in the workplace, and usually the best solution is scaling down. As of now, 39% of IT leaders have more than four tools for their communications and collaboration needs. 8% reported having seven or more tools.
With so many different points of contact within teams and organizations, businesses will inevitably have efficiency and communication issues. In fact, less than 1 in 3 employees feel like their leaders communicate efficiently. It's probably because they're using four different communication tools.
As businesses move toward single UCC solutions, two of the biggest benefits expected are improved team productivity (49%) and easier management and administration (42%).
3. Lower costs
What's more cost effective, four different comms and collab tools or one UCC tool used by everyone in your organization? By finding the right UCC solution for your business, you can considerably cut business spending.
If one of your goals for 2020 is to cut spending, consolidating your communication tools is a great place to start. Those who used a single vendor, spent from 25% to 41% less on ongoing operational costs than those with multiple vendors. And 60% of organizations using a UCC solution expect positive ROI within one year.
4. Accommodate remote employees and freelancers
Currently, 70% of full-time professionals work remotely at least one day a week, and 53% work remotely for at least half the week. And remember, digital natives are about to make up 36% of the workforce. They expect more work flexibility and real-time feedback, which will require businesses to employ new and robust comms and collab tools to accommodate them.
If you're worried about what an increase in remote employees will mean for productivity, check out these data points: 75% of workers said they experience greater productivity at home. They said they encounter fewer distractions (74%), less stress from commuting (71%), and fewer office politics (65%).
Some of your most valuable resources work outside your office. So, provide the tools they need to continue to be an involved and integral member of your team.
5. Improve customer experience
A Walker study found that by the end of 2020, customer experience will be more important than price and product as the key brand differentiator. And while customer service training may be the obvious solution for a better customer experience, sometimes you need to look within your organization first.
If your internal operations are running like a well-oiled machine, your customer experience will reflect that. Improve communication within and between teams and departments, and you'll create a better experience for your customers.
Employing unified communications and collaboration tools is an essential step toward a more tech-enabled workplace. As Gen Z brings new life and expectations to our organizations, we need to become more flexible and open. Investing in the right tools will be crucial to business success in 2020.
For more insights, check out our website and click below to read the full research report from Ovum!