Every business has to communicate and collaborate.
The question is:
- Are you doing it well enough?
- And what’s the cost if you don’t?
Physical presence is increasingly rare.
We live and work through our devices–from home, on the go, and in the office.
Change is constant.
Connecting workers, customers, and partners helps companies be productive and grow.
…And as we’ve all witnessed recently, it’s also essential for business continuity. Despite all this, thousands of companies around the world are still using communications technology from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.
Old PBX equipment, desk phones, and conferencing equipment designed for bygone days: they’re expensive to maintain, haven’t kept pace with a mobile-enabled world, and are no help when physical presence is impossible.
The truth is, they’re not just slowing your company down; they’re probably eating away at your bottom line.
Legacy communications tech isn’t like an old database or software platform. It’s equipment. And equipment is costly.
The Cloud is the
Whether it’s workforce trends or global health crises, business will always face storm clouds. But clouds can come with silver linings. And in this case, the silver lining is the cloud.
A manageable communications surface area that propels growth
When it comes to physical communications infrastructure, we think in terms of the ‘surface area’ IT has to manage: multiple hardware-based communications systems, multiple locations, maintenance regimes and specialists, carrier and vendor contracts, security, and more. In the case of a very large company, this surface area can become essentially unmanageable.
Surface Area: Hardware Systems
Surface Area: Location Management
Surface Area: Security
Regardless of an organization’s size, the time IT puts into managing this surface area is time not spent propelling growth. And that’s a concern that drives at the heart of profitability.
Physical communications infrastructure tends to come with a lopsided cost model as well: big upfront capital expenditures alongside a monthly support contract. While monthly fees may be relatively low with this model, significant upgrades mean big outlays of cash.
Maintaining this physical infrastructure is complex and expensive. The technical resource load falls squarely on the shoulders of IT. You also carry the space, power, cooling, and other infrastructure costs associated with these physical assets.
Managing the licensing and update schedule and other vendor lifecycle issues for multiple on-premises solutions can be like trying to harness an octopus—from 24/7 monitoring, triage and troubleshooting to server-side updates, client-side updates, hardware updates. We haven’t even gotten to security yet.
Cloud solutions disrupt this outdated model with flexible, manageable pricing and delivery. You essentially outsource the associated operations, updates, maintenance, and even innovation to experts with deep experience in the delivery of communications services.
This capacity lowers your overall investment while also enabling better communications, faster time-to-innovation, and greater productivity. If you work with one unified provider, you get an even bigger boost because there is only one invoice and vendor to manage.
Consolidating your communications infrastructure in the cloud—especially with a single vendor—will drive cost savings. Not only do you stop maintaining technology that doesn’t serve your needs, the nature of cloud technology itself allows you to do more for your money. In essence, you get more product for your investment. You also get predictable and visible costs, and control—all things that tend to make a CFO happy.
A connected workforce that is engaged and productive
A company can pay a hefty price for not investing in unity for its workforce, and can also miss out on important opportunities. As Deloitte reports in Global Human Capital Trends, companies that thrive do so on the wings of an engaged workforce:
“MIT research shows that enterprises with top-quartile employee experience achieve twice the innovation, double the customer satisfaction, and 25 percent higher profits than organizations with a bottom-quartile employee experience.”
Recent global trends have shifted Finance’s focus from budgeting to the financial impact of migrating people into a new mobile normal. If it’s too slow, this migration can become costly. What if your on-premises system can’t maintain business continuity right now because it’s taking months to upgrade or deploy? What’s the cost of each transaction when the team no longer works in the same physical space with consistent technology?
Resilience, security and control in a changing risk
Tectonic shifts in the way you do business introduce fissures across your risk landscape. In addition to dealing with internet-based threats, you also have to maintain compliance in an environment where you don’t always have the visibility and control of a shared physical space.
Stories about data security breaches like the Equifax scandal of 2017, now part of IT security lore, are Finance’s own personal horror genre. The Equifax breach is estimated to have cost the company around $700 million USD. But there’s also the massive hit they took to their valuation and the incalculable loss of market faith.
In addition, breaches like the one that affected Marriott Hotels in 2018 show that risk can also lie dormant in legacy acquisitions. That company suffered big losses ($200 million USD in damages, plus lost loyalty) when it acquired Starwood Hotels and found out too late that it should have upgraded Starwood’s legacy systems.
Cloud-based communications services help you scale security in a way that on-premises capacity cannot. Cloud services providers' entire business model rides on the strength of their security and their ability to operate reliably at massive scale.