The time for unified communications adoption is now

Some companies fear UC adoption, but the majority foresee big productivity gains.

The unified communications market is evolving at a rapid pace. Vendors are starting to adapt to a mobile-first world in which employees want to work from anywhere. For example, business VoIP has gone mobile thanks to the concept of the wireless VoIP phone, which is essentially a smartphone with a VoIP softphone application installed.

Capabilities such as these are adding steam to the bring-your-own-device movement, which allows employees to turn personal devices into work computers. Throw cloud computing into the mix, and it becomes clear that UC is an extremely powerful, yet incredibly flexible, business tool.

Many businesses are missing out

The benefits of UC encompass everything from enhanced mobility for employees, to productivity gains, to reduced travel costs and even more green business practices. And yet, 26 percent of IT decision makers and 39 percent of business decision makers have expressed fear when it comes to UC migration, according to a recent study by Osterman Research. The study also found that one in six companies are reticent to adopt a UC solution because they have yet to see a return on investment from their traditional telephony and communication deployments.

Wariness is to be expected from businesses that have been let down by vendors in the past; however, there reaches a point when every company must assess the benefits they might be missing out on by being too slow to adopt new technologies.

At what point do businesses risk becoming laggards, and losing a competitive advantage? Incidentally, Osterman's research also found that 71 percent of respondents saw "enormous" benefits that would come from adopting UC. In other words, the consensus appears to be that UC does, in fact, boast great potential to boost business productivity.   

Strong communication and collaboration tools are invaluable to businesses.Strong communication and collaboration tools are invaluable to businesses.

A market that shows no signs of abating

"There is no such thing as a healthy fear of UC."

Regardless of how businesses view UC, recent reports suggest that the market is primed for immense growth that will be driven in large part by cloud UC. Likewise, the VoIP market is projected to grow through 2020. Not surprisingly, mobile UC will play a big role in this growth, as more companies begin to assess the value of mobile VoIP in a mobile-first world.

Given that a clear majority of respondents cited in Osterman's research already see the benefits of VoIP, it would appear that there is no such thing as a healthy fear of UC. By all measures, the technology is beneficial to business collaboration.

All said and done, business communication technology is essentially what allows companies of all sizes to function in today's business climate. Consumers expect to have their queries and complaints responded to instantaneously. Business clients want the option to hop on an audio conference or video chat with a company should an urgent matter arise. Employees want to put their talents to use at companies that accommodate their desires to work from home, and more frequently, on devices of their choosing.

It all boils down to the fact that companies with strong communication and collaboration infrastructure in place are better armed for the current business climate. The time for UC adoption is now.