The beginning of the year is a time of beginnings and endings. 2018 will no doubt be exciting and innovative enterprise technology trends to look forward to. But there are also certain technologies lingering from the past that no longer meet the needs of enterprises — and are better left behind. With that in mind, here are five technologies that enterprises will say farewell to in 2018.
1. Stand-alone, Isolated Technologies
Not so long ago, it was fairly standard for an enterprise technology platform to be entirely stand-alone, an island unto itself. But this model no longer works for today's enterprises, which need to move data seamlessly and securely between various technologies if they are to deliver the kinds of innovative, forward-thinking products, services, and experiences their customers expect today.
This is why enterprises are increasingly selecting technology platforms that play well with others, offering APIs that link their applications together. For example, many unified communications platforms now integrate with business applications, including office productivity suites, the call center, and CRM. Some enterprises even take advantage of customized integrations that fulfill specific business needs. Doing so unlocks greater business productivity, supports collaboration within the workplace, and allows enterprises to operate with greater agility.
2. Inflexible Technologies
One of the most significant enterprise technology trends today is the concept of digital transformation. Whether their aim is to increase productivity or identify new lines of business opportunity, enterprises are fully embracing all the strategic business advantages that enterprise technology offers. Organizations that are digitally transforming themselves to become more future-ready are finding that they simply can't afford to use inflexible technologies anymore.
Platforms that don't scale, for example, will make it challenging for dynamic organizations to keep the pace they need to stay competitive. Similarly, technologies that deliver limited data insights will block businesses from discovering how to boost their bottom line through customer service enhancements or product improvements. Platforms that don't support collaboration will keep businesses from realizing the full benefit of their employees' talent. Rather than business enablers, these technologies are now business inhibitors — it's time to say farewell to them.
As enterprises contemplate their digital strategies for 2018, many of them will be moving away from technologies that don't integrate, aren't flexible, don't deliver QoS or meaningful ROI, and cannot take advantage of the cloud.
3. Enterprise Technology Trends That Don't Deliver QoS
With competitors nipping at their heels and customers demanding a peerless customer experience, enterprises require technology that is robust, fully managed, and equipped with an enterprise-grade backbone. If contact center agents consistently experience jitter or dropped calls during their conversations with customers, that will reflect poorly on the business, tarnishing the brand and leading to a loss in sales.
With customer service an increasingly important differentiator in the market, no enterprise can tolerate unreliable communications. That's why large businesses are increasingly selecting communications technologies that guarantee quality of service (QOS) — a standard of network performance that ensures a consistently high quality of communications across the board.
4. Tech That Doesn't Deliver ROI
Enterprises know they must make the most of their technology spend, finding efficiencies where they can and doing more with less. That's why, in 2018, they will avoid investing in technologies that do not deliver solid ROI. For example, platforms that don't allow flexible and scalable pricing may be cost-prohibitive, demanding a large upfront capital investment in infrastructure. In such cases, it can take quite a while to achieve the intended ROI.
Similarly, some businesses that need to improve their network performance may assume they have to invest in costly dedicated circuits when they might be able to use more innovative, less expensive software-based solutions like SD-WAN instead. Likewise, stand-alone platforms that stubbornly refuse to integrate with other technologies may result in lost ROI, too, since they deny enterprises the opportunity to achieve the greatest productivity from their existing technology investments.
5. Legacy On-site Platforms
Businesses that want to quickly adapt to changing market conditions are increasingly investing in cloud-based platforms. Cloud technologies have provided tremendous business value, offering an array of benefits such as remote access for telecommuting staff, mobile access for all employees through BYOD programs, and resilient connectivity during a disaster or severe weather event.
By contrast, technology platforms that do not take advantage of the cloud often cannot support these business priorities as easily, cost-effectively, or flexibly as their cloud counterparts. They may not provide integration without expensive customizations, and they often require significant administrative support, which ultimately results in a diminished ROI for the enterprise. This is why companies should opt for the cloud in 2018.
A new year invites us to look at what the future holds, both in our personal lives and in business. As enterprises contemplate their digital strategies for 2018, many of them will be moving away from technologies that don't integrate, aren't flexible, don't deliver QoS or meaningful ROI, and cannot take advantage of the cloud. Rather, they'll be moving toward enterprise technologies that provide the kind of strategic advantages required for business success in 2018 and beyond.
Contact Vonage Business to learn more about how cloud-based communications can help your enterprise achieve its goals in 2018.