Ten years seems like a long time, especially in the world of technology. Concepts like wearable technology, RFID and geofencing have already shown what the future could look like, but how does that translate to the office?
The Enterprise Connect event in Orlando Florida held in March 2018 provided some interesting perspectives from both exhibitors and attendees. We look to one of imei’s new converged communications partners - Mitel – for their overview on trends and key takeaways, providing some food for thought on the future of business communications.
The future of business communications
What does the future of business communications look like in 2025? Mitel took that question to attendees at this year’s Enterprise Connect event, and asked them to predict how businesses and employees will interact ten years from now. They also asked several prominent communications leaders to share their visions before the event. And finally, asked Mitel VP of Sales Engineering Josh Haslett to chart the future of business communications from an internal perspective.
Among these predictions and insights, one thing was made clear: The customer will have increasingly more control in how business communications are adopted.
What the office will look like in 2025
Will the business worker of the future still work at a desk, with a standard desktop or laptop? Maybe, but the physical manifestation of the “office” is slowing transitioning to a fluid system of activity-based communications.
“It’s a shift of culture and technology,” said Haslett. “In the future, work is not a place, but rather something you do. We have thought that desktop devices would eventually fade away, but our users still demand some physical integration of the office with remote technology.”
Even the PSTN-dialling system, the backbone of personal and business communications for over two centuries, could be phased out in the future. IP communications analyst/consultant Jon Arnold feels that PSTN is nearing the end of its lifespan.
In 2025, “desk phones will be gone, and probably PSTN-based dialling,” said Arnold. “Voice will simply be embedded in every form of connectivity and serve as one of many modes that give sustenance to the Internet of Everything, the uber-force we will all come to embrace.”
Your physical office might still be around in ten years, but the very nature of business communications could change dramatically.
Mobility becomes integral
Enterprise mobility drives everything in the future, according to our predictors. For some of them, wearable technology signals the first stage in an evolution toward on-person, location-based awareness. For others, smartphones will still reign supreme and be the main personal/business devices for most organisations.
“I see a huge change in how conversations, collaboration and video end points emerge by 2025,” said Bill Miller, Vice President at Fiber Mountain. “Consider mobile devices will be your primary calling and collaboration tool, be audio and video end points, and will have built-in functions where video calls and conferencing will be the normal communications in virtual reality style conference rooms and offices.”
Haslett refers to this phenomenon as the seamless integration of customer devices with standard business workflows. The customer has all the control in this scenario.
“End-users will want seamless communications stitched into their workflows,” said Haslett. “The end-users will choose the client they want to use, and I think vendors have to meet them in that space.”
There is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” office anymore, and that reality will become more prevalent over the next ten years.
Enterprises relinquishing control
Data security is still a top issue for many enterprise CEOs and CIOs, especially as their networks begin to handle more devices and inputs, and even more so as the laws on data breach reporting are tightened to protect user data and privacy. With BYOD firmly rooted in the business mindset, enterprises must now decide whether to tighten control of their systems or adapt to the new mobile-driven landscape.
“Enterprises need to find a way to protect company information, but they must also release the expectation of complete control,” said Haslett.
Achieving this goal requires a fundamental shift in the optimization of information. When customers have complete control over their devices, enterprises must juggle organizational goals with user experience.
“The future of business communications is what I call ‘Optimized Communications’,” said Blair Pleasant, President and Principal Analyst at COMMfusion.
“Communications and interactions are optimized for the organisation as well as for the users (both internal and external to the organisation) allowing user choice in terms of device, channel or mode, location, and consumption model.”
Enterprrise predictions and insights
Check out some more predictions straight from the Enterprise Connect event:
In 2025, we will collaborate using virtual/augmented reality. Immersion will be more than today’s telepresence.” – Ben Fineman
The phone is still around, but becomes a centrepoint for controlling our office environment.” – Jason Cottrell
By 2025, more holo-lens, and artificial intelligence takes over video.” – Joe Merrill
imei has close to 20 years’ experience in mobility fleet and device management, and with the acquisition of BTAS and expertise in unified communications, imei now offers whole-of-business converged communications solutions that integrate secure mobile functionality with enterprise-wide communications. Talk to us about the future of your business communications – call 1300 65 77 99 or email us here.
This post with thanks to Mitel, specialists in unified communications technologies. You can also find out more about Mitel here https://mitel.com.au/