It happened more quickly than experts could have ever predicted: the adoption of cloud computing and new technologies. The year 2020 taught us that, while migrating telephony to the cloud decreases costs and increases efficiencies, it also builds a foundation on which to grow revenue.

In Mitel's latest EU Cloud Survey, European IT executives said gaining the agility to grow their company is the top benefit of moving to the cloud. This response has more than doubled, from 16% in 2018’s survey to 35% in 2019. Companies realize the cloud enables them to do more with less and extend their reach. Further, it makes it easier for them to adopt next-gen technologies that free resources for investment in other growth areas.

For sure, businesses have spent the past year ramping up their digital transformations. In a 2020 survey by Dell Technologies, 80% of respondents said they fast-tracked some of their digital transformations while 41% have sped up all or most of their programs. Their priorities, they said, are on strengthening remote working capabilities, reinventing digital customer service and employee experience and using data in new ways.

Meanwhile, a survey by McKinsey found that CEOs have made agility and growth their top priorities. The survey of CIOs said corporate leaders want the flexibility to respond to customer needs and get product to market faster (71%) as well as accelerate revenue (88%).

Whether you're a digital leader, follower or laggard, the path is clear. The cloud can significantly strengthen your ability to compete.

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Respond Faster

How much harder is it to develop new products to meet rapidly changing customer needs when all the parties involved work with different communications systems? With cloud-based communications, everyone can collaborate in a shared workspace. And no matter the device, the platform is consistent. Videoconferencing, email, SMS, file-sharing and telephony all happen from a virtual desktop. In that environment, product designers, vendors, suppliers, distribution and marketing can collaborate quickly to meet changing customer behaviors and capture sales.

Extend your reach

When the pandemic forced many businesses to close their physical offices, employees started to remote work full time. Companies adopted web-based technologies to connect workers and, as a result, extended their reach.

With the rapid jump to cloud communications, geography no longer figures so highly in business planning. Partners are global. Customers are global. Even small businesses can serve customers in new geographic locations. Unified communications allows businesses of all sizes to connect with partners and customers no matter where they're located.

Do more with less

Integrated cloud solutions―private, public or a hybrid―enable contact center agents to easily access key customer information. For example, consider the company's CRM system. It doesn't matter where a service representative is sitting, whether at home, at the office or in a country halfway around the world. With a fully integrated communications system, information from multiple channels and parts of the organization are available at the touch of a key.

Customers can reach agents via phone, chat, email or social media. And in a shared web-based workspace, employees can collaborate to resolve customer requests faster and more easily. All of this increases the quality of customer service and ensures the agility―and revenue―that executives seek.

By adopting cloud applications, many businesses reduce their operating costs. For example, with more remote work taking place, companies save significant money on office space, employee travel and in-person marketing, like sales conferences. With the shift to the cloud, companies spend less on software and hardware, only paying for what they actually use.

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This frees funds to shift to other opportunities, such as hiring the best talent. Because of the efficiency and reach of cloud communications, businesses can more easily find talent globally. Collaboration tools make working across geographic and time boundaries more simple. And because any worker―not just full-time employees―can access the organization's communications via the web, employers can mine talent across the employment continuum, from full-time staff to contractors.

Perhaps more intangible, but equally powerful, is the time and effort saved. With this new source of energy, your workforce can shift their attention to innovation, finding new business opportunities, solving problems and building the skills you'll need going forward.

Adopt next-gen technologies

Cloud communications also levels the playing field among companies of different sizes. Previously, only large firms could afford sophisticated software. But by moving to the cloud, small businesses can access next-gen technology without investing huge amounts of money. They can easily download new applications, working with their cloud partner to develop customized and cost-effective solutions.

For example, speech analytics. This artificial intelligence tool interprets language, looking for key words and routing messages to the right people. Even issues like privacy, security and compliance are easier to manage. Cloud-native applications kept up to date by the vendor save time and effort for businesses.

While the pandemic has disrupted our world, it has also brought important benefits to the forefront. The accelerated adoption of cloud communications has put growth and revenue opportunities within reach of all businesses.

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