Communication is a cornerstone of corporate activities in any era or industry. Co-workers, partnering organizations and customers must be able to reach out and connect with one another in order to ensure smooth transactions and other business dealings. Although there is little doubting the importance of being able to communicate both internally and externally, many companies are still facing significant issues when it comes to this all-important function.
The problem's nothing new, either: A 2012 Forrester study underlined the obstacles that many firms deal with when it comes to communication, particularly with integrating and using new platforms to connect with stakeholders and consumers. In fact, Forrester found that, at the time, many organizations still used legacy communication technology for their main purposes.
"[A]ll are worried about smart devices, pervasive video and social media that give new power to customers — allowing them to interact easily with customer service agents, pass information electronically and complete business transactions on the run," Forrester stated. "[T]here is a disturbing communications gap that is getting worse by the day…[L]egacy systems that still dominate communications as a significant barrier to support modern communications."
While aging technology platforms are a serious hindrance, they aren't the only communication problem companies deal with.
Study shows common business communication pain points
According to Entrepreneur, there are several pain points that the majority of companies — from large enterprises to small- and mid-size organizations — face when it comes to their communications:
1. Waiting for the proper information to be communicated
2. Dealing with unwanted communications
3. Dealing with inefficient communications
4. Addressing barriers that hamper communications
5. Dealing with customer complaints
This study also found that the 70 percent of SMBs that experience these issues also see 17.5 hours of unproductive work time during the average week, translating to an approximate total loss of $26,041 each year. This time comes in direct connection with these pain points, illustrating the damaging effect insufficient communications have on a typical organization.
"SMBs need to enlist the most efficient and value-added technologies to enhance their business," noted a technology report from TDS. "Just because a communications system isn't 'broken' doesn't mean that it is working. Now is the time to look into leveraging resources with business communications technologies to gain increased productivity and create an integrated system for communication with employees, vendors, prospects and clients."
Addressing pain points through new technologies
As noted previously, many companies' communications are held back by legacy technology. Upgrading such solutions can be a crucial investment, but communication technologies rapidly shift, making it difficult to determine what your company might need. According to VMblog contributor Curtis Peterson, 2015 will bring a number of communication changes that businesses must be ready for, including:
• Reduced use of desktop and laptop computers
• Increased utilization of cloud-based applications
• Increased use of virtual meetings
• Company-provided mobile devices for employees
• Strengthened security for BYOD
• Reduced utilization of on-premise technologies
In this way, many corporate communications needs will revolve around ensuring staff mobility through hand-held devices and cloud applications.
"The cloud has more than changed business in 2015, it's completely restructured the way we work, access information and perform business tasks on a daily basis," Peterson wrote. "The growth of the Internet of Things and the rise of the mobile workforce will only continue to spur this rapid change."
In order to deal with these changes, companies should leverage the services of an industry-leading cloud and communications provider like Hostway today.