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On Being a Bold CIO: Building a Legacy Through UCaaS

Today’s CIOs often feel they need to be jacks of all trades given their broader range of responsibilities – operational issues; budgetary restraints; managing increasingly complex, hybrid office environments – to satisfy the shifting expectations of employees and customers. On top of this, the influence of a new generation in the workforce that has never known a world without the smartphone – the App Generation – is introducing new sets of challenges for CIOs as they prioritize the digital transformation of their organizations and acknowledge employees’ highly mobile lives.

While it is critical for IT leaders to embrace innovation, the growing laundry list of responsibilities often leaves little time for exploration. As I discussed in my last post, our recent CIO Outlook report found that IT departments currently spend 83 percent of their time managing IT and communications platforms, and resolving user issues. This leaves only a mere 11 percent of their time to spend on innovating infrastructure and operations.

With IT departments spread so thin, and expectations so great, how can CIOs make an impact?

Look to the Cloud

IT leaders need to be bold and look to new cloud-based business models to replace outdated legacy hardware and software solutions. Enterprise communications is one area where CIOs can make a big impact.

According to the CIO Outlook report, application sprawl is a widespread issue for today’s enterprises, with CIOs reporting a minimum of three communication tools used across multiple categories – from voice and video conferencing, to screen sharing, instant message, and office collaboration (file sharing).

Organizations have slowly moved away from on-premise systems to cloud-based solutions to cut costs on hardware, support, and maintenance. The cloud can still present its fair share of challenges, however, particularly when there is more than one communication tool to manage across an organization. Some are even defaulting to hybrid cloud approaches to bridge the gap between legacy environments and cloud offerings.

Embrace Unified Communications

With cloud-based UC, organizations can combine communication methods to encompass text, video-conference, and so on, but for remote offices or employees, organizations still face issues managing multiple providers in different locations.

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) offers an attractive solution to IT departments, with the promise of improving customer experience and enterprise communications, while also cutting costs.

A unified approach to communications allows for greater collaboration and ease of use for employees across an organization, without the need to bounce back and forth between different applications or solutions. And for the CIO, a unified approach can simplify billing processes, ultimately cut costs, and create a scalable solution that promotes a cohesive experience, with little ongoing maintenance for IT.

In juggling IT priorities, deciding to ditch legacy systems in favor of cloud-based communications is one way that CIOs can start to solidify their legacy when it comes to achieving digital transformation. In addition to giving organizations a competitive advantage, UCaaS can play a powerful role in fostering a culture of connectedness among employees, while also removing time spent on repeated maintenance to existing communication systems.

To learn more about the top IT concerns facing organizations today, read my guest blog on Sprint Business here.

 You can also learn more about UCaaS here

Keith Johnson, CPO

Keith Johnson, CPO

As Chief Product Officer, Keith leads the strategy and growth of Fuze’s product portfolio. He brings to the organization a tremendous amount of product development expertise, with nearly 20 years of related experience.

Prior to Fuze, Keith was co-founder and CEO of Parlai, a Boston-based startup focused on cloud-based email analytics. Before Parlai, he held the position of SVP of Engineering for 10 years at Endeca, one of the great Boston-based enterprise software success stories, where he led the teams that built the company’s pioneering customer experience management, enterprise search, and business intelligence applications.

After Endeca was acquired by Oracle, Keith became Group Vice President, Software Development and was given expanded responsibility over the Information Discovery, Oracle Web Center Sites, Oracle Secure Enterprise Search, and Oracle Language Technologies product lines.

Keith holds a BSE in Civil Engineering and Operations Research from Princeton University.

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