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2016 Predictions: The Risky Business Behind Reliance on Hardware Heavyweights

January 29, 2016 by Michelle Tremblay

Earlier this week, we published a blog on the rise of the UC lightweights—software-based solutions that offer greater flexibility for companies invested in improvements to workplace collaboration and productivity. But what vulnerabilities will companies face if they choose to stay with legacy providers instead of opting for fresh options through software-based systems? As part two in this series on 2016 market predictions, we’ll explore the flip side of the lightweights vs. heavyweights match: the risks associated with reliance on hardware-based systems alone.

Sting Like a Bee?

When we borrowed Muhammad Ali’s advice—to “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” —we interpreted the advantages that software-based unified communications provide for the workplace of 2016 and beyond. Opportunities to float above the competition are climbing, in many ways empowered by new options available in the cloud.

But what about the sting? Much like in boxing, companies that can’t get out of the heavyweight ring will be forced to play defense as their systems become antiquated, exposing risks along the way. Here are just a few of the ways that having hardware-based systems can get in the way of business advancement:

1) Restricted access to content. Without the perks of the cloud, collaboration efforts can easily be thwarted, making work not only more difficult, but less effective. For managers and leadership, having archaic systems in place means less readily available insight into what your employee base is doing—meaning time lost to make adjustments that can make a real impact.

2) Increased risk of downtime. On-premise offerings that aren’t also available in the cloud present vulnerabilities that could affect company uptime. By leveraging the cloud, redundancies can help business run smoothly no matter what complications may arise on the ground.

3) Cumbersome physical assets. Maintenance alone can be a costly and resource-intensive process for hardware-based systems, making them inconvenient for the IT teams and often irritating to the empowered modern employee. What’s more freeing than cutting the cord? Many people today will agree that getting away from the clutter and restraints of too much hardware is a welcome development for all.

Company culture is rooted in the way employees communicate—so much so that disruptions in this space can create foundational issues in workplace environment and job satisfaction. The pain will be felt by companies that don’t embrace unified communications strategies that work for them and with them, enabling teams to get past the logistics and on to meaningful collaboration.

Moving on to software-based UC systems will pack a punch for your operations, knocking out walls to reach improved productivity so that you’re on top of your game and ahead of the competition.

Lightweight Champions Rise Above

How can the UCaaS industry continue to shape the modern workforce? By first being responsive to the needs of the modern employee, who is first and foremost a consumer of modern technology and secondarily a member of the contemporary workforce. When companies can tie together user preferences through the right unified communications technologies—allowing work to occur when, where, and how it makes sense to the end user—quality of work will improve and business will flourish. That’s the type of winning combination even Muhammad Ali would have appreciated. This and more is in store for companies and workers alike in 2016 who are willing to bet on the lightweights of the future.

Michelle Tremblay
Michelle Tremblay

Marketer by trade and grammar geek by nature, Michelle is lucky enough to apply her love for language within a fast-growing technology market. Thriving most when behind the scenes, she creates, edits, and organizes content at Fuze (formerly ThinkingPhones) for various global communications. Michelle is a New Hampshire native and current resident of Somerville, MA who enjoys hockey, indie rock music, strong coffee, yoga, and thrift shopping.

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