27 July 2015
We are living and working in a time of almost perpetual technological change and development. What was once the only communications technology option is becoming obsolete.
Even worse, that technology option may be prohibiting growth for ambitious companies. A modern, flexible communications solution is a tool that can help businesses grow – and become agile in the process.
Businesses today face a choice when it comes to communications technology. Stick with the traditional model, involving on-site infrastructure and ISDN, or move to a cloud hosted system to connect remote or travelling employees with the central office.
The choice is specifically about technology. But it can have a profound impact on growth potential. Old communications models are restrictive by their nature. They operate through fixed lines, so expansion is limited. And they are expensive, with costs attached to ISDN lines, annual licensing and maintenance fees. Inflexibility and unnecessary financial outlay are the enemies of growth. So it is only natural that an ambitious business should look to avoid what has become legacy technology.
In stark contrast, a cloud-hosted system not only supports the growth of a business but facilitates it. A cloud system will allow the addition of new users and lines simply, with no need to think about the literal addition of new infrastructure on site. It has no scalability limits. So as a company changes, its communications system can change with it. And, perhaps most importantly, it can connect remote, travelling or flexible-hours employees to an office and to each other with greater ease than the traditional model.
Flexible working is no longer a concept to think about and prepare for. It is here. Recent Europe-wide legislation has ensured that all employees now have the right to request to work flexibly, and employers are encouraged to respond to those requests reasonably. One of the key factors in how businesses will grow in the future is how they embrace flexible working and manage a globally disparate, agile workforce.
Soon enough, talented employees will be able to choose who they work for from a range of companies around the world. None of them need to be local. In order to attract the best staff and then get the best out of them, businesses will need communications systems that ably facilitate flexible working. An on-site model simply cannot adequately do this. Yes, remote staff will be able to use the phone and internet, provided they are not in a black spot. But they will not be linked into a central system. Rather, they will be operating as independent off shoots from it.
Compare that with what a cloud-hosted system can offer and the benefits of the modern solution become clear. Cloud hosting means that employees can be fully connected through Wi-Fi or mobile data wherever they are. For the employer this means the ability to monitor productivity and better access staff whenever they need to. For the employee it means uninterrupted access to essential files, applications and contacts – the tools they need to do their job to the best of their ability.
There are many factors that go into determining how businesses can grow and how quickly. Not all of them can be controlled. In the choice over which communications technology system to work with, a business can make a crucial decision about what kind of company it wants to be and take an active role in creating an environment that enables growth.
27 July 2015 | Cem Ahmet
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.