20 Jan UCaaS Predictions for 2022: What to Expect
UCaaS isn’t just an exciting new technology for the business landscape anymore – it’s a mandatory investment. With teams now working in distributed environments all over the world, UCaaS is the best way to ensure ongoing productivity and collaboration. The demand for UCaaS has grown so great; experts predict we’ll see a CAGR of around 13.4% between 2021 and 2028.
As we head into 2022, the demand for UCaaS will no doubt accelerate in a world of hybrid and remote working strategies, omnichannel communication and digital transformation. While it’s difficult to know for certain what any year might bring, some potential trends have already begun to make themselves evident.
Here’s what we predict we’ll be seeing more if during 2022 and beyond.
1. Consolidated Cloud Overtakes Everything
For years now, technology and communications experts have been discussing the rise of cloud technology as the ultimate solution for business continuity and flexibility. Though companies have been gradually steering away from expensive legacy systems for some time, this change is happening faster than ever since the pandemic hit.
Companies can’t afford to be locked out from their communication systems when professionals can’t visit the office. Unified Communications in 2022 will be delivered as-a-service, with more systems than ever moving into the cloud alongside it. Notably, this approach to cloud adoption may also lead to more consolidation between different cloud systems working together.
We’re already seeing a number of UCaaS providers offering contact centre as a service and “CPaaS” (Communication platform as a Service) technology alongside their UCaaS tools. This will create a more unified environment for tracking communications, and keeping teams aligned.
2. UCaaS Collaboration Tools as the Work Hub
With teams now working in a multitude of different environments, thanks to the rise of remote and hybrid work schedules, many UCaaS providers have begun implementing collaboration tools to centralise the workforce. These tools, which often feature messaging functionality for groups and individuals, video calling, and conferencing, provide a singular environment for the flow of data.
The UCaaS collaboration system, whether it’s a proprietary solution built by the communication vendor, or an integrated tool like Microsoft Teams, is becoming the central location for work and productivity among a lot of teams.
To ensure your employees can continue to work seamlessly together from any environment, make sur they have access to plenty of communication options within the UCaaS ecosystem. This means investing in not just file sharing and team chat, but SMS messaging, email, calling, and video conferencing solutions too. You’ll even need to think about how you can make it easier for employees to work together with presence tools and synced calendars.
3. Artificial Intelligence Grows
Artificial Intelligence capabilities have been making their way into various parts of the workplace lately. Everywhere you look, we have tools for things like virtual assistants, capable of seeking out crucial information on the behalf of teams and helping them complete tasks faster.
Your UCaaS AI system can offer team members self-service capabilities when they need help solving technology problems from a distance or provide live translation during meetings with staff from overseas. The same tools can even transcribe voice in real-time during a meeting, to make interactions more productive and efficient.
There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for how teams should be using artificial intelligence as we head into the future of UCaaS. It seems likely the majority of teams will focus on areas like:
- Productivity: Tools to help teams get work done faster.
- Security: AI systems capable of reducing threats and risks.
- Automation: Tools for completing repetitive tasks on the behalf of human professionals.
Ideally, these tools will feature machine learning capabilities, so they can continue to improve in efficiency and performance over time.
4. Security Requirements will Grow
Arguably, security isn’t a new concept for companies investing in communication and collaboration. However, it is something which requires further consideration and planning in 2022 and beyond. The rise of the pandemic and remote working has prompted an increase in new risks among teams. Phishing scams are up, and distributed workers are bringing challenges to the business landscape in the form of unsecured and dangerous connections.
Teams will need to ensure they’re investing in the right security and compliance tools within their UCaaS technology to protect their business long-term. This will be increasingly important as staff members continue to use their own devices and software in place of company-distributed tools.
A comprehensive security, privacy, and data management audit will be necessary for a lot of companies making the transition to new UCaaS solutions. Every time you implement a new tool, make sure you’re not risking your security standing.
5. Focus on User Experience will Increase
Finally, for years, companies have looked at things like “customer” experience as essential components of running a successful business. However, when choosing UCaaS and UC solutions, the focus has more often been on cost-savings and efficiencies than “user experience”.
If employees aren’t comfortable using the tools available to them, they won’t be able to deliver their best work. Companies throughout the pandemic discovered this on a massive scale as business users started turning to unapproved technology in place of clunky communication tools.
As the workplace continues to evolve, and employees become more specific about the kind of technology they want to use, the teams that stay ahead will be the ones who put employee experience first. Consider your staff’s needs carefully as you move into the future of communications.
What’s Next for UCaaS?
As mentioned above, Unified Communications as a Service is a fast-growing environment, with countless innovations occurring over the last few months alone. It’s difficult to know where this industry could take us, particularly in such an unpredictable market. However, based on what we’ve seen in the last year, it seems likely that the five points above will be key trends for business leaders and technology buyers.
Want help preparing for the latest trends of UCaaS in 2022? Contact UCAdvisor to plan your digital transformation strategy.