As businesses plan for 2020 and beyond, collaboration tools are a major focus for unified communications and collaboration (UCC) deployments, with 73% of survey respondents expecting spending to increase. However, it’s not just about finding a collaboration platform, it’s about finding one that meets the needs of a changing workforce that is seeing an increase in the number of employees working remotely, and digital natives entering the workforce as full-time employees. In fact, the survey found that 93% of respondents agreed that digital natives have different needs and expectations in the workplace, and over half of CIOs (56%) are looking to grow their collaborative software offering to meet that demand.
Digital Natives Need to Be Front and Center of Planning:
According to the survey, C-Suite IT leaders prioritised these items as steps they’re taking in anticipation of the growing digital native workforce:
- Increasing availability of collaboration software to employees (54%)
- Encouraging remote and flexible work options (49%)
- Ensuring UCC tools are up to date (48%)
- Aiming to hire and retain digital talent (47%)
- Seeking a best-in-class user experience (45%)
IT Leaders Need to Provide for Today and Future Proof For What’s To Come:
IT leaders play a more strategic role than ever before. They need to consider whether or not to adopt new technology, and accommodate and support a diverse and dispersed workforce, all while keeping costs down and showing ROI for their decisions. For example:
- 66% of CIOs consider communications and collaboration critical to the overall success of their business.
- 75% of CIOs in the US consider communications and collaboration critical to the overall success of their business.
- IT execs cited the primary reasons for successful user adoption of comms & collaboration tools in their organisation as:
- A clearly articulated digital transformation strategy (57%)
- The consolidation of the technologies / platform (49%)
- A move toward a more flexible way of working (45%)
- 39% of IT leaders surveyed report having more than four tools deployed for their comms and collab needs. 8% said they had seven or more tools.
- The top benefits expected from consolidation of disparate tools to a single UCC tool included:
oImproved team productivity (49%)
oLower costs (44%)
oEasier management and administration (42%)
- IT leaders are being tasked with driving strategic business goals such as:
- Driving operational efficiencies
- Improving the customer experience
- Reducing costs
AI Continues To Be Top of Mind:
AI capabilities are continuously improving in ways that help employees. In the coming year, more and more IT leaders will adopt AI technology for smarter, more efficient collaboration:
- 32% of respondents are leveraging AI technology today, and 49% are evaluating AI technology and have identified use-cases and rollout plans.
- When evaluating AI, the top three places IT leaders are considering implementing AI for collaboration tools are:
- Personal digital assistants (59%)
- Improved analytics for informed decision making (59%)
- Intelligent, automated transcription services (54%)
- Companies with a global presence are 11% more interested in investing in AI and digital assistants than those with only a United States based presence.
“Today’s CIOs and IT leaders need to play a more strategic role than ever before. They’ve got a new seat at the table and are expected to drive overall business strategy. The very nature of the way people work is changing and that change needs to be supported through great technology that is simple to use, easy to adopt and painless to manage,” said Mark Strassman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of UCC at LogMeIn. “IT leaders need to find technology partners that are meeting demands of the modern workforce. They need to support digital natives and remote employees to optimize today, modernize for tomorrow and set their employees and business up for long-term success.”