Last year, we put together a list of trends we expected to see in business communications during 2015. Well, it’s time to look back and see how we did.
1 – Mobility Becomes Ubiquitous
We figured that the twin trends of remote work and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), would compel communications professional to make mobility a central part of their strategy. There was certainly a lot of progress in this area, but we’re not as far along as we thought we would be. Business professionals still often publish separate desk and mobile numbers and SMS has yet to be fully integrated. The momentum continues to pick up, so stay tuned in 2016.
2 – Security is Better Understood and Protected
As we predicted hardware manufacturers, software developers, and businesses are coming together to eliminate weak points that might allow bad actors unauthorized entry into communications systems. This will be a never ending war, but each time a battle is entered and a solution is uncovered, the security community gains valuable insight into how to keep every system secure.
3 – SIP Momentum Continues
This prediction wasn’t much of a stretch. The lower costs and greater flexibility offered by SIP did indeed draw more businesses to the approach in 2015. We don’t have the exact numbers yet, but Infonetics has already projected that the VoIP and unified communications (UC) services market will grow to $88 billion by 2018.
4 – Video Has a Breakthrough
I can’t call this one a slam dunk. Video adoption for business communications continues to lag. However, we are seeing some niche areas, like telemedicine, where it has taken off like a rocket.
5 – Voice and Application Integration Gains Traction
Last year we said, “More IP PBX and hosted PBX solutions will offer integration with business applications. Some integration has been available for a while, but the shift of almost all business applications to the cloud will make integration more feasible and more consistently expected.” This has certainly been the case, even if it isn’t readily apparent. Behind the scenes, applications and voice continue to converge, in some cases becoming indistinguishable.
I’d say we did fairly well. In general, momentum continues to shift toward cloud-based, mobile and integrated communications experiences. These aren’t trends. They are a reflection of changes in the way people live and work. It’s pretty easy to predict that technology will continue to strive to keep up.