Between evolving customer expectations, expanding employee needs and non-stop technological advances, businesses are facing change at a breakneck pace. These unrelenting pressures are leaving many business leaders exhausted and burnt out.
Of course every organization (and executive) is different, but there are a number of business challenges that seem to be cutting across industries. And while most of these challenges were around long before the pandemic, COVID-19 seems to have added fuel to this simmering fire.
So let’s talk about what they are, and the steps you can take to combat them.
1. Fragmented workflows and organizational silos
When the pandemic first erupted, IT teams all over the world sprung into action to find solutions that would help their organizations transition to remote work. And just like that, the adoption of digital communication and collaboration tools skyrocketed. Despite best intentions though, these solutions were a stopgap; they weren’t meant to shoulder the burden of corporate communication in the long-run.
Now, many professionals are juggling too many applications, platforms and tools. Conversations and content are scattered across multiple locations. Your employees spend so much time trying to find what they’re looking for that they end up distracted, frustrated and unproductive. (Not to mention the number of vendors and support resources your IT team now has to keep up with.)
To streamline your internal communication and collaboration (especially in hybrid work models), you need a unified communications solution that houses all of your communication channels in one place. Imagine a single app for calling, chatting, video conferencing and virtual collaboration. That’s what you get with UC solutions like TelNet UC with Webex or Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams.
All of your work, conversations and contacts are in one place, so you can stay connected from anywhere, on any device. Things will run more smoothly for the organization at large when everyone has access to what they need at all times.
2. Brand management and perceptions
Any business leader worth their salt knows the importance of branding today. It’s not just the color palette and tagline associated with your company’s name — it’s the perception of their relationship and experience with your organization. Every interaction they have with you (from your website to your customer service line) impacts their impression of your brand. One of the biggest threats to a brand’s reputation is a lack of consistency. And consistency went out the window (along with hand shaking and in-person events) last year when everyone was urged to work from home.
If your organization was still running on a legacy, on-premise phone system during that transition, you lost out big time when customers called and couldn’t get ahold of you. You couldn’t pick up the phone if you weren’t at the office. And even if you had your voicemail being forwarded to your cell phone, now you’re calling people back with a personal number? (Side note: people don’t answer their phone if they don’t recognize the number.)
A cloud-based phone system with a mobile app allows you to maintain professionalism — no matter where you are — so you can protect your business reputation and identity. All of your business numbers become mobilized; you can answer work calls from your laptop, desktop, deskphone or mobile phone. Really, it’s that simple.
Customers won’t get confused by a variety of numbers, and you can rest assured that you’re not missing important calls when you’re out of the office. That’s the magic of unified communications.
3. Increasing competition and profit concerns
It’s Finance 101: keep your costs down to ensure your profit stays up. If your expenses are outpacing your income, you’ve got a problem. Sadly, we saw a lot of that in 2020, as commerce dried up and businesses shuttered. The reality is that none of us can see the future, so we can’t always predict revenue. Costs, on the other hand, are something we can control.
Organizations that are still holding onto their legacy technology must be overlooking a huge downside: the unpredictability of hardware costs. Think about all of the maintenance, upgrades, replacements… They add up. And they usually pop up when you’re least expecting it. (Kind of like when your car breaks down on the freeway unexpectedly.)
Cloud-based, SaaS solutions remove all of that uncertainty and unpredictability. You get a monthly, per-user invoice that you can prepare for in advance. You don’t have to worry about replacing or fixing hardware, because you won’t have an on-premise PBX to manage. And you don’t have to pay someone to be on staff just in case it goes sideways.
The financial benefits of cloud-based communication solutions cannot be understated. You’re reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO), reducing your capital expenditure (CapEx) and controlling your operating expenditure (OpEx). Plus, you get a single statement from a single provider. (Trust us, it’ll make your finance team swoon.)
4. Low productivity, engagement and retention
Isolation and loneliness became symptoms of the WFH movement as people lost the sense of belonging and camaraderie they’d shared while in the office together. Employee productivity, engagement and retention took a nosedive. Have you ever stopped to consider how much this kind of turnover actually affects your business?
When an employee leaves your organization, they’re taking their knowledge, skills and talents with them. And backfilling their position takes time away from everyone left in their wake as positions are posted, candidates are reviewed and new-hire training ensues.
Cloud collaboration tools can actually have a significant impact in this department. Not only do they keep teammates connected and communicating throughout the day, but they also make people’s jobs easier. Employees are more satisfied all around.
The truth of the matter is that employees are your primary stakeholders. Their satisfaction, productivity and dedication to your organization matters more to the bottom line than anything else. Make sure you’re equipping them with the proper tools to stay connected and productive, whether they’re working in the office, at home or on the go.
5. Dispersed, mobile and hybrid workforces
The season of WFH may be receding, but many are unwilling to let go of the newfound flexibility they’ve discovered. In order to meet these new demands, organizations must find ways to implement hybrid models, where everyone on the team is included, regardless of whether they’re in the office or not.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy task. Making the hybrid model work requires intentionality. You need the right plan, the right people and the right tools. It involves making educated decisions and adjusting based on employee feedback.
One thing is for sure: the only way to make hybrid work is to have the tools to keep your employees connected. Organizations around the world are adopting cloud-based collaboration platforms that allow teams to make calls, exchange chats and host virtual meetings in real-time.
Making sure you have the right tools for the job is going to be critical moving forward. And never has it been more important than now. As we move into the next era of work, where teams demand flexibility and inclusion, organizational success will depend on how well you can support their ability to collaborate.
It’s time to adopt the cloud
Whether your biggest business concerns are organizational, financial or human-centric, a cloud-based phone system can resolve them. Here at TelNet, we’ve got a variety of cloud-based solutions that will save you money, engage your teams and make your business more effective. Reach out to us and we’ll get a specialist looking over your case today!