Unified Communications Support Modern Developments
The consumerization of IT has been both a blessing and a curse for enterprises. On one hand, having employees that are skilled in operating advanced hardware and programs can be a vital asset and breed innovation around the company. Conversely, workers have become accustomed to performing their own operations on mobile devices and setting their own rules of use. In short, they are going to do what makes the most sense to them productivity-wise.
This has created significant complications in the workplace with rogue IT. Tech workers have traditionally served as a sort of gatekeeper for machines and software. They generally set the rules because they know best - and they are the experts, after all. But since smartphones and tablets are so user-friendly and easy to operate, the barriers that once kept general staffers reigned in have been rendered irrelevant.
Saying No Is Not Enough
Team members are going to download whatever apps they see as being useful. Many times, this means installing software obtained for free through consumer outlets. On the outside, this may seem like a cost-effective way to support employee initiatives. In reality, it is putting organizations at risk. Security should be a number one priority for every business out there, and the design of free apps can sometimes contain erroneous coding that indiscriminately leaks information. Worse yet, these programs are sometimes just a cover for malware and other criminal endeavors. Introducing sensitive data into these environments can be disastrous.
In spite of all this rapidly becoming common knowledge, employees are likely to choose convenience over security. Regardless of the task in question, if there is a program that at least presents the illusion of productivity, then workers will probably at least try to use it. This is especially true for communications applications. There are a number of different channels that need to be accessed over the course of a business day - email, voice, IM and even social media are all vital connections that see increasing use as time moves forward. Workers are tired of having to navigate several different platforms and devices in order to stay connected, and would rather leverage unified communications solutions that simplify and streamline their processes.
Embracing The Modern Workforce
But rather than trying to get staffers to abide by outdated regulations, organizations need to beat them at their own game, so to speak. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to have modern communications assets, but businesses need to be the ones getting behind them. Finding a uniform solution that is approved by the company is an incredible way to bring workers into the 21st century. According to ITProPortal contributors Andrew Horne and Elena Chobanova, allowing the business to lead IT developments is common sense and advantageous in nature.
"Rather than a threat, business-led IT should be seen as positive development and a novel solution to longstanding CIO concerns such as underinvestment in technology and a lack of appreciation among business leaders for the impact that technology can have on productivity and business growth," Horne and Chobanova wrote. "If spent wisely, these investments can give a competitive advantage to a specific part of the business, whether finance, marketing or sales."
Benefits Of Company-Sponsored UC
The advantages to investing in a unified communications system are many. As previously stated, they can help to prevent rogue IT operations that lead to data loss and security breaches. Additionally, having multiple UC platforms in any given office can completely defeat the point of having them in the first place. There is a certain level of collaboration potential that must be present in unified communications solutions for them to be effective - namely with the workforce embracing mobility in such strong ways.
According to Fast Company contributor Laura Vanderkam, remote work is apparently "the wave of the future." Thanks to the cloud, it is now possible to work from anywhere with an Internet connection. With seemingly every employee now coming equipped with a smartphone and a laptop, the definition of the workplace is changing - namely amongst millennials.
Having the option to work from home is quickly becoming a necessity in many industries. Data-driven desk jobs are easily performed from coffee shops and living rooms. There is a younger generation of employees that is incredibly skilled in the operation of modern assets. This is so much so that case that companies are finding less concern in letting their workers have more say in where they clock in.
But in order for these initiatives to be successful, it will be important for UC networks to be placed in the cloud. This will allow stratified team members to communicate and collaborate as if they were in the same room, or at the very least a few desks away. Cloud unified communications can provide the immersive remote experience that today's staffers need in order to feel supported.
Supporting New Necessities
The importance of unified communications cannot be overstated these days. With the abilities of the modern workforce constantly evolving, it will be important to keep up. A failure to support new technologies and needs in the enterprise is counterproductive. Sticking with old ways can lead staffers to take matters into their own hands, but allowing them freedom of choice can be just as detrimental to the business.
It is important to establish a dialog with staffers about what they want and how they would like to use it. More often than not, this will result in the development of a cloud UC initiative.