Unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) solutions are exploding in popularity, both domestically and globally. According to Cision, the UCaaS market is poised to reach $79.3 billion in value by the end of 2024. That represents a vigorous 29.4% compound annual growth rate from 2016 to 2024.
A combination of factors contribute to the growth of UCaaS solutions, but one could boil most down to a simple case of a new technology outpacing traditional solutions. With that in mind, here's what UCaaS growth means for you.
The Problem With Legacy UCC
The rise of UCaaS solutions stems from the unsustainable nature of in-house unified communications and collaboration (UCC) deployments. From an operations perspective, management and integration top the list of the potential headache-inducing qualities of in-house UCC.
While some would point to the "unified" aspects of UCC as evidence enough of its ability to streamline management, this vision is perhaps a bit narrow. When it comes to communication and collaboration today, agility, flexibility, and accessibility take center stage. In a self-managed UCC solution, that means adding networking infrastructure, mobile apps, client relationship management (CRM) integration, and many other management aspects into your already crammed schedule — not to mention reconciling scalability and the inevitable slew of feature requests that come down the pipe.
Cost is another major reason for on-premises UCC's lack of sustainability. IT's "can-do" attitude has been a staple from the get-go. But as rewarding as it can be to put a little sweat equity into UCC infrastructure, this often leads to systems that are eventually inefficient, ineffective, or particularly difficult to manage and scale. You end up with wasted hours maintaining these systems, higher expenditures associated with implementing and updating them, or lost opportunities settling for less-than-ideal communications. You can seldom consider them cost-effective endeavors.
Operational and cost inefficiencies eventually catch up with even the most thoughtful in-house UCC deployments.
Communication and Collaboration Done Better
In-house UCC solutions were never long-term solutions. Operational and cost inefficiencies eventually catch up with even the most thoughtful deployments. But UCaaS addresses both of these inefficiencies by being better equipped to capitalize on increased cloud spending and the enterprise shift toward mobility; Forrester predicts that the global public cloud market will surpass $200 billion in 2019, according to InformationWeek.
As enterprise communications follow suit, UCaaS is the logical replacement, as it provides much-needed upgrades over legacy systems. For example, with UCaaS, you no longer need to maintain separate platforms for your messaging, chat, conferencing, or contact centers. Instead, all these communication and collaboration pieces come packaged together under a single umbrella.
In practice, this makes management and maintenance of communication infrastructure far more streamlined. It also better aligns with mobile operations strategies. That same UCaaS platform at your desk also works on your smartphone, tablet, and laptop. You might also find yourself with more resources to devote to communication and collaboration given the shift in IT spending toward cloud communications initiatives. Heck, by consolidating vendors, you'll see a lower total cost of ownership as you reduce capital expenses.
What's more, a cloud-based communications system lets you integrate your business communications with core business applications like your CRM and office productivity suite, elevating employee efficiency and improving the customer experience. You can even boost customer engagement with communications APIs — all without having to reinvent the wheel at a steep price point or missing out on a chance to establish a competitive position in the market. These are just a few ways in which UCaaS gives you a dynamic, resilient, and future-proofed communications platform that powers growth.
UCaaS Market Growth
The UCaaS market is ultimately enjoying sustained growth for many reasons, including:
- Adoption of enterprise mobility on the back of better network infrastructure
- Proliferation of BYOD strategies
- Growth in public cloud spending
- Growing realization that it's difficult to innovate without effective communication and collaboration
That last point sums up the beauty of the cloud-based communications that are propelling UCaaS: putting effective communication tools in the hands of any user, anywhere, anytime. Moving your communication and collaboration infrastructure to a unified, cloud-based platform makes for a more flexible environment. Coupled with integration for CRMs, productivity suites, customer engagement tools, and even IT management platforms, you'll be able to unify more than just communication.