Unified Communications Featured Article

Employees are the Biggest Hindrance to Widespread Unified Communications Adoption

September 22, 2015

The Unified Communications (UC) trend is sweeping the business world and bringing great benefits to companies operating in every industry. Businesses are now operating on a global scale and thrive on connected workplaces — where unlimited access to information regardless of time, place or device is of the utmost importance — but there are still several barriers that have hampered widespread adoption.

A recent survey from Arkadin entitled, “Arkadin Unified Communications Report: The Missing ‘U’ in UC” found that it’s the employees themselves that represent the biggest barrier to successful UC launches: 50 percent of respondents cited resistance to giving up established ways of working and 41 percent reported relinquishing existing technology tools as the primary challenges. The advantages UC brings to each employee and the business as a whole have of course been discussed at length, and 70 percent of respondents agree on its benefits, but these findings show that this information needs to be more clearly demonstrated at an employee level. Furthermore, UC solutions should take a more user-driven focus so that the improvements to productivity, support for mobile workforces and customer service are more readily apparent.

“It's gratifying that the large majority of organizations understands the productivity benefits associated with UC, however, unless they put the user at center stage and quickly and decisively communicate the benefits they won't reap these advantages,” said Hugues Treguier, Director of UC at Arkadin. “A distressingly low (12 percent) of companies are doing this today which suggests the need for a radical change in how the industry approaches UC.”

This is a great example of how a business initiative can look great on paper, but without grassroots support it will have trouble getting off the ground. Decision makers can therefore turn inward and prioritize internal communications regarding UC’s advantages in order to overcome the resistance to change that plagues employees of so many organizations, instead empowering them to embrace new developments and recognize how it will improve the overall quality of their employment and resultantly their output.

Of course, there will always be other companies that are farther behind and have yet to recognize the worth of UC and how it can bestow a wide range of advantages almost immediately. High implementation costs were a driving factor of this resistance, but with the permeation of cloud-based solutions this is no longer an excuse and businesses now have the choice between swimming toward user-focused UC initiatives or sinking into inefficiency and eventually inadequacy.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino