1. Enterprises are moving to the cloud
According to IDG, 70 percent of enterprises host at least one application in the cloud, and that number is only expected to increase. For those uncertain about the cloud, unified communications tools like videoconferencing are a great place to start. Cloud computing can reduce hefty costs of infrastructure (both implementation and ongoing maintenance), scale up or down with a company as its needs change, and reduce the need for a dedicated support staff. Cloud-based tools can also improve collaboration among team members. In fact, one survey by Cloud Security Alliance revealed that 79 percent of companies regularly receive employee requests for cloud services, especially around collaboration and file sharing.
2. We’re more mobile than ever
Employees are more mobile than ever. We use our phones and tablets to do everything from order a taxi to adjust the air conditioning. Let’s face it…many of us attached at the hip to our phones. Moving forward, phones will help us manage our entire digital meeting lives, as well. These devices are already being used as remote controls to adjust call settings, mute participants, share screens, and more, helping people stay connected from anywhere. But what if they could take away the stress of running from meeting to meeting, not knowing the dial-in number for your next call, or having look up a PIN code? In the future, companies will see a much more streamlined approach to online meetings, and mobile devices play a critical role in that shift.
3. Our communication tools are converging
We like things that are simple. Why use five platforms to communicate with coworkers when one or two will suffice? This mentality is driving a huge shift in collaboration platforms, with the worlds of videoconferencing, webconferencing and chat converging to better connect workers. To succeed, collaboration platforms must not only deliver the functionality that employees need, but also the modern, intuitive interface they expect.
4. Office spaces are adapting to new working styles with huddle rooms
Today, more than 50 percent of the U.S. workforce has the option to telework, and 20-25 percent telework on a regular basis. No longer tied to their desks, employees are working from anywhere – the home office, the coffee shop, airport, or hotel room. Because of this fluctuating time in the office, many companies are adopting a more open, flexible environment with smaller conference rooms for focused work and meetings. These spaces can serve as quiet spaces for concentration, or “huddle rooms” for small groups to meet. As a result, video is extending from traditional large conference rooms to the huddle room to improve collaboration between teams.
5. More companies are testing out live streaming
Video has become pervasive in our culture today. By 2021, a whopping 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic is expected to come from video, and 13 percent from live video, in particular. Platforms like Facebook Live and Periscope are bringing video to the masses and helping individuals reach a broader audience, and we’re seeing that same trend infiltrate businesses. Fifteen years ago, a company needed to hire a full-scale TV production company to live stream video. Today? All you need is a phone or a webcam. Enterprises are trying out new ways to live stream their meetings, whether for trainings, all-hands, or webinars, and we’ll see the use cases for streaming only continue into 2018.
6. Browsers are king
Workers today, especially millennials, use their web browsers to do almost everything – from collaborating on a Google slide deck to working on a Trello board. Enterprises should consider how their technologies enable this browser-based behavior and whether or not tools are supported by various browsers. Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) is quickly becoming a major pathway to helping people collaborate. In fact, the WebRTC market is expected to grow at more than a 40 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between now and 2023.
7. Growth of videoconferencing endpoints.
Despite the shift to the cloud, videoconferencing endpoint sales are alive and well as enterprises seek high-quality video solutions. These endpoints from vendors like Cisco, Polycom, and Huawei continue to be a staple in conference rooms around the world, and companies can derive even more value and ROI by connecting them a cloud videoconferencing service. This brings the endpoints into your existing unified communications technology stack so your workers can talk to anyone, on any device, at any time.
As your company evaluates plans for 2018, consider how these trends will affect your technology investments and how you need to adjust.
Guest Blog by Tom-Erik Lia, CEO and cofounder of Videxio
Tom-Erik Lia is CEO and cofounder of Videxio, a cloud video and collaboration provider that makes business communication easy, fun, and productive. Its video meeting and calling service seamlessly connects devices and users through the cloud for professional videoconferencing. Built on a dedicated global network, Videxio is interoperable with endpoints, extends the reach of Skype for Business, and offers live streaming and recording.