By Kira Makagon of RingCentral
As EVP of Innovation for RingCentral, I look forward to each new year with predictions for growth and change in the technology landscape. As I look toward 2016, I believe the year ahead to be even more “the year of the cloud” than 2015 was. Cloud communications solutions will offer more efficiency, flexibility, and data, especially as collaboration tools become an increasing part of how we do business. Cloud security solutions will become increasingly important to keep pace with this growth. Here are my specific predictions for the coming year:
(Photo courtesy of Kira Makagon)
Cloud vendors will become the go-to communications solutions providers.
Fortune 500 companies will start truly migrating away from on-premise solutions and toward cloud vendors for all things communications. Just as corporate America has embraced cloud CRM platforms like Salesforce, cloud PBX and cloud contact centers will move upstream in the coming year. Moving communications solutions to the cloud is more economical for companies, saving time, space, and human resources. This move also offers companies more opportunities for new, additional and flexible communications solutions that can improve the way they do business, such as apps and collaboration tools.
Cloud applications will untether corporate workers from their desktop phones.
Along with the move toward cloud vendors for communications, corporations will enhance their traditional phone systems with cloud applications that run equally as well on mobile phones as they do on desktops, enabling users to have untethered and rich experiences regardless of their location or device. Such cloud business apps will become more widely available and more highly functional, allowing more users to do more work from their mobile devices.
Analytics drawn from cloud app data will become part of everyday business.
Cloud apps produce lots of data. Integrating big data analytics into cloud solutions for companies will become commonplace. Unlike past outsourcing of big data analytics, these analytics will become more easily accessible and an essential part of every business’s cloud solutions. This will empower a lot of just-in-time, actionable business insights.
Cloud security solutions will become paramount.
While some argue that the cloud always has been more secure than enterprise data centers, as more and more business is conducted in the cloud, it will be critical for cloud security solutions to improve and to gain significant ground. Especially with more IoT devices coming online this year, there are more points of exposure. In fact, Gartner predicts that by the year 2020, the IoT will include 26 billion units, and I don’t know that the tech industry has caught up with how to protect myriad IoT devices and their data in variable environments. The cloud security arena truly must boom in 2016.
Collaboration tools will become as essential as the cloud for business communications.
Alongside further migration toward cloud communications solutions, collaboration tools will become more essential to business communications as users seek to streamline work and to improve their efficiency. E-mail will be reserved for formal purposes, while team projects and person-to-person conversations will be managed through collaboration tools like Glip, Slack, and Hipchat.
Kira Makagon, RingCentral’s Executive Vice President of Innovation, leads global product strategy, product management, engineering, operations, and IT. Over her extensive tech sector career, she has built multiple breakthrough industry solutions and companies, garnering a reputation as a leader in both software development and business management.
The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest post are those of the authors alone and do not represent those of CBS Small Business Pulse or the CBS Corporation. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are verified solely by the authors.