Edited and prepared by Oscar Michel, Masters in Journalism, DCU,  title image from Pixabay 

Great guest post by Klaris Chua,  a digital content marketer who has written many pieces on startups and small business communications. She used to be a reporter for a business newspaper but the conventional path of a writer didn’t appeal to her. Link to Pixabay image here.

As you may know by now, the digital transformation is also creating a big impact on business communications. You may have heard about how it’s changing employee habits and perspectives in both large enterprises and small business ventures. You may even be a participant in this shift whether you’re communicating with co-workers internally or when talking to customers and prospects externally.

Here are five communications trends quickly reshaping how the modern workforce gets things done.

A Shift to the Cloud

Cloud communications is quickly becoming the default choice for companies looking to replace the expensive, premises-based systems of yesteryears. Businesses are seeing significant value from the implementation or adoption of cloud-based communications services due to reduced capital expenses, efficient operating expenses (pay-as-you-go pricing billed monthly), faster deployments, simplified experience for users or administrations, and greater flexibility among many other benefits. Likewise, those who are seeking completely new deployments are expressing a strong preference for cloud communications.

Despite fears about the public and private cloud not being fully secure, new technologies and protocols such as end-to-end encryption have allowed for more advanced and robust security features. Because of this, decision makers are also experiencing a shift in perception when it comes to the issue of security.

Mobility

Issuing smart phones and laptops for personnel who are always on the field has become increasingly popular among companies. Mobile applications have become the new norm, and the key sentiment is for employees to become always connected anytime, anywhere. With major developments such as 5G technology, communication and the exchange of information will become faster, with wider coverage and expanded capabilities.

Mobility will make businesses feel that they neither have to be constricted nor feel restricted by the four walls of the office and the nine-to-five daily grind. Teams can now work more independently, ramp up operations based on demands, and not stick to the old standards in performing tasks.

Collaboration

While instant messaging has been around for a while, employees are specifically turning their attention to dedicated workplace chat and collaboration tools. The endless possibilities they present such as video conferencing, document sharing, instant connectivity, and task management are probably why such solutions are quickly making their way into thousands of offices worldwide. These are the features lacking in the old school chat service that newer team collaboration tools are able to satisfy.

And since team collaboration tools are cloud-based and internet-powered, you can be productive no matter what device you log on. A chat thread with a teammate stays the same whether you’re using your mobile phone or laptop; you’ll be exactly where you left the conversation. Your production files are just a click away; you just need to scroll up and download the latest version based on your chat logs.

Business Integration

A lot of the modern business software being used today were designed to stand on their own. Typically, they could not share data or business rules with other systems so most organisations had to deal with fragmented or siloed information in their day-to-day operations. Eventually, the business world saw the need to connect various business applications so this led to the creation of application integration and automation services.

Today, some companies are already enjoying unrestricted sharing of data and business processes with their connected systems, which has resulted to greater productivity and efficiency within the workplace. A basic example would be connecting your CRM system to your communications platform. If your provider offers integration features, your employees who are tasked to handle customer service through common channels like voice, email, chat, or social media can just view client information on your CRM and click their phone numbers displayed on the interface and a calling app would fire up immediately.

Remote Internal Communications

As more and more professionals discover the wonders of remote-based jobs, communications providers are finding more exciting ways to connect these remote workers better. Voice calling services, video calling services, and even chat or team collaboration services are starting to highlight the productivity aspect within their products.

Popular tools such as Skype and Slack are continuously growing their share of users among remote teams and professionals. The added functionality of high-definition audio and video for Skype and the many add-ons developed for Slack are testament to how their respective user bases have grown over the last few years. Even technology giant Google has expanded its G Suite for Business to address the gap in the telecommuting sphere. Likewise, newer players like Trello, Basecamp, and Glip are starting to get their share of fans because of their unique features that help users facilitate remote work better.

In Summary

Business communications has remained fascinating and exciting, especially today when everything about technology moves so fast, it’s almost at a mind-boggling, dizzying pace. Clearly, productivity is still at the heart of it all. It’s good to witness firsthand how new solutions come and go, and it’s great to see how these developments are benefiting stakeholders, employees, and customers alike.


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