Why Cloud-Based Communications Took Off During the Pandemic
During the pandemic, businesses turned to the cloud to empower employees to stay connected and productive while working from wherever. Moving forward, the cloud communications industry is expected to continue experiencing explosive growth, which is why defining its impact during COVID and diving into the why behind this technology mega trend is so important.
A Look at the Data on the Growth of Cloud Communications
Many businesses were already using the cloud and cloud-based communications tools before the pandemic was announced and companies had to tell their employees to work from home.
In 2019, the telecom cloud market was already massive, with a value of $21.93 billion and expected growth of about 20 percent over the following five years.
Since 2020, the growth projection has become steeper. Between 2021 and 2027, analysts predict that the cloud communications platform market will grow at a CAGR of 24.8 percent.
According to research published in the Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report, nine in 10 companies have accelerated their cloud adoption in response to the pandemic. Let’s break down the reasons why this happened.
The Role of Cloud-Based Communications During the Pandemic
When employers had to shut the doors on in-person work, a lot of companies were faced with a major challenge. How could they continue operating with a fully remote workforce?
The solution: cloud-based communications. With cloud-based tools such as Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), video conferencing software, and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS), employees had the ability to complete a lot of the tasks they were doing in the office from home.
- Fielding calls from customers
- Having meetings
- Discussing issues with co-workers
- Sharing files
Customer service, collaboration, report analysis, managing the supply chain – with the cloud, none of these activities had to stop.
As many companies were already using the cloud for at least some parts of business operations, whether they had a cloud solution for their ERP, CRM, business productivity apps, or sales management, switching from on-premise to cloud-based communications tools brought everything together. With the right communications platforms, they could integrate with existing business applications, creating a seamless, easy-to-use, and powerful cloud-based technology stack, purpose-built to enable a work-from-wherever model.
The Advantages Companies Realized During the Pandemic from Cloud Communications
Cloud communications offered key benefits to businesses during the pandemic. This type of technology wasn’t just convenient and practical. For many, it was essential. The cloud made work possible within the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some of the advantages companies who used cloud-based communication tools saw:
Being able to switch from an all or partially in-office workforce to a work-from-wherever one – that requires a lot of latitude. Companies that relied on a traditional PBX phone system and software housed within on-premise servers when lockdown restrictions and recommendations were issued had to pivot quickly.
Switching to a cloud-based phone system and adopting UCaaS and other cloud-based communications tools allowed businesses to roll with the changes.
With cloud tools, your business doesn’t have to invest in hardware, maintain servers, or use IT resources to manage and update software. As calls are transmitted over the internet using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, you don’t have to pay for phone lines or extra charges for long-distance and international calling. Costs tend to be lower for businesses that switch to cloud phone systems.
Your cloud provider houses the software in secure, off-site servers, and they are responsible for the physical data center security as well as network security. As long as you choose a provider that offers comprehensive protection, you can focus your cybersecurity efforts on end-point management and employee training. Your cloud provider keeps your data secure from their end.
The cloud also enables easy scaling. This was critical in 2020, and still is right now. Depending on what industry your company is in, you may have had to cut back on your workforce due to a slowdown in business. Likewise, as the economy rebounds, many companies are now expanding.
With the cloud, adding employees to your communication tools and other cloud-based business apps is as simple as adding new users – or removing them if you are downsizing.
Cloud-Based Communications Has Opened the Door for a Hybrid Workforce
More resilience, increased agility, and everyday business benefits such as cost savings and ease of use – now that many companies have used the cloud, there’s no going back.
Nor do employees want to return to the office – 61 percent of white-collar workers say they want their employers to allow them to work remotely indefinitely, and a third have said they’re willing to quit if forced to come back.
As jarring as statistics like these would have seemed a couple of years ago, they’re not surprising now. Nor will delivering on these expectations be difficult for many companies. With the right cloud tools, your business can let employees work from wherever. People can come to the office for some tasks, and stay home, where they may be more productive, for others.
Is your business looking for ways to increase flexibility with cloud communications so you can thrive in the new normal? Reach out to the team at Intermedia. We have all the tools you need and the award-winning customer support team to make switching feel effortless.