Cloud communications services are hot and getting hotter. According toTransparency Market Research Enterprise, adoption of cloud communications is expected to reach nearly $38 billion by 2022 — a compound annual growth rate of more than 23 percent.
It’s not surprising news. Companies are hungry for cloud-based communications. If you’ve been on the fence about offering these increasingly high-demand services, there’s never been a better time to make your move.
Cloud Benefits Drive Demand
Driving much of the demand for cloud communications services is the fact that many organizations have already experienced the benefits of cloud computing in other areas of their businesses. They’re using cloud-based document and file management systems from Box, Dropbox, Google and Microsoft. They’re employing Salesforce and similar systems for sales and customer relationship management. Finance and human resources applications are being handled with SAP, Workday, Oracle and others.
Through the use of these cloud-based services, organizations have reduced capital expenses and the need for additional IT personnel, while taking advantage of the predictable per-user monthly fees associated with cloud-delivered services.
We’re not just talking about a handful of companies. Cloud access security brokerBitglass reported in its 2015 Cloud Adoption Report that almost half of global businesses now use a cloud-based productivity suite. These organizations know what the cloud can do, and they’re ready to leverage it for their communications services too.
The Millennial Factor
Millennials, those born from the early 1980s to around 2000, are also driving increased demand for cloud communications services. Now the largest generation in America, millennials expect mobility, efficiency, collaboration and flexibility to be standard attributes of the workplace. They grew up using mobile devices, and expect these to be standard communications tools at home, at the office and in the field. They want their communications fast and efficient and the experience consistent no matter what service, technology or device they use. Companies that can’t meet the expectations of millennials won’t keep them on the job long — if they can recruit them at all.
It’s not that millennials expect communications technologies to make their lives easier. They’re concerned about their productivity. In a study conducted by Nimble Storage, in conjunction with Oxford Economics, 77 percent of millennials stated that "sub-optimal application performance" affects their ability to achieve their personal best, compared to half of baby boomers. Millennials were also more likely than Baby Boomers to notice multiple delays each day when using business applications.
It’s also not just about keeping millennials happy. By making communications more efficient and faster, cloud-based communication services have the potential to make employees across all age groups and departments happier and more productive. That’s very good for business overall.
Here’s something else to consider: a growing number of organizations not only want unified communications solutions. They want them from a single supplier. Interoperability has been a problem when using multiple vendors. These companies want to reduce complexity by working with fewer vendors, and ensure that solutions can work together without enormous consulting costs and overhead.
In astudy conducted by Nemertes Research, analysts interviewed 50 senior-level IT leaders, representing 45 organizations across a range of industries. Most employed 2,500 or more people. As of 2016, nearly half of those organizations will have consolidated to a single unified communications vendor. Respondents to the survey stated their companies were moving towards a single vendor as a way to lower costs and stop paying for redundant services. They also wanted to simplify the user experience so users won’t need to open multiple applications to meet their communications needs.
The Market is There
The demand for cloud communications services is strong and, if analysts’ predictions are right, will only continue to get stronger. Many of the prospective purchasers of cloud-based communications already recognize the benefits the cloud offers. It’s up to you to show them how they can realize these same benefits in their communications services.