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Why Digital Transformation is Competitive Advantage for Collaboration

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 14:15
Digital Transformation Competitive Advantage

The Importance of Private, Reliable, Secure Business Communications

In our previous installment of this blog series we answered “Why Secure, Private, Reliable Business Communications Are Essential.” This week, we explore Digital Transformation and how it gives businesses a competitive advantage for collaboration.

Part 2: The Case for Private, Reliable, Secure Business Communications as Competitive Advantage

At the end of last year, Paul Michelman, Editor in Chief of the MITSloan Management Review, posted a set of 12 commitments for 2017. His list of promises, he wrote, “will guide the way I make decisions, engage with others, and keep my focus on the things that matter most.”

Topping Michelman’s list was the pledge below:

“I will engage a broad set of stakeholders in considering important decisions. Once those decisions have been made, I will own them personally.”
-Paul Michelman

We feel Michelman’s first resolution is an excellent starting point for any collaborative leader at any time of year. But we also believe in today’s rapidly evolving digital environment, it’s a vow that would be difficult for any leader at any level to keep without an excellent Unified Communications (UC) platform.

So, to help Michelman, and other collaborative communicators like him, we developed our “Business Communications Essentials for Digital Transformation” white paper, a comprehensive work we are sharing with our blog readers in a 9-part series, “The Importance of Private, Reliable, Secure Business Communications.”

Survey Shows High Adoption, Low Integration of UC Technologies

When we polled 250 IT managers to learn which UC technologies their organizations provide to employees and what their company’s leadership expected those solutions to deliver, our researchers discovered a contradiction,

While about two of every three organizations surveyed have UC tools beyond basic email and voice solutions, many offices don’t integrate the two – despite nearly six in 10 respondents claiming their “primary motivation” for buying UC tech is “to increase productivity.”

The reason for this contradiction could be budget. When available funding increases, so does an organization’s commitment to digital communications. Half the companies in our study with annual technology budgets between $25,000 and $100,000 had implemented UC tools beyond the basics. But when yearly tech spending climbs above $5 million, the proportion of companies giving staff a suite of UC solutions beyond just email and voice jumps over 90 percent.

Do Organizations Suffer from Tactical Myopia Regarding UC?

Our findings suggest a lot of organizations may see conferencing and collaboration technologies only as ways to cut costs, such as travel expenses. Yes, operational efficiency remains an important value proposition for UC solutions. But globalization should elevate enterprise executives to a higher perspective: Digital transformation is a worldwide phenomenon, opening international business opportunities.

The global market for audio conferencing alone crested $5 billion two years ago according to the consultancy firm Ovum, culminating a half a billion dollars in growth during a 5-year span. Ovum analysts predict this growth trend will continue, paced by multiple emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and Central and South America. If they’re correct, a rising number of multinational corporations – and hundreds of smaller organizations with similar ambitions – will extend their reach into new and existing world markets. Just because they can.

Collaboration Technology Enables Businesses to Transcend Physical Borders

“CEOs now understand that digital business is substantial enough to warrant them leading it personally.”
- Mark Raskino, Vice President and Gartner Fellow, interview by CIO.com

Why? Because to corporate leadership, business growth and customer relationships are competitive issues now and operational matters later. This means solutions once viewed as tactical tools in the eyes of C suite executives are looking more and more like strategic devices.

More than half of senior execs cited "growth" as their top priority. Raskino’s firm, Gartner, queried 400 senior execs from billion-dollar enterprises with worldwide operations about their “top five strategic” priorities. More than half replied “growth” is their priority, and a third responded that the “customer” is a close second.

So, to these leaders, the crux of communications is not just “how do we do it” but “how do we do it faster and better than our competitors.” And with businesses of all kinds in the throes of digital transformation on a global scale, these questions are best answered by conferencing and collaboration solutions.

This is Part two of our 9-part series. Check out the rest of the series.

Business Communications Essentials

Amplify Business Disruption