Most of today’s organizations are using the cloud to achieve the flexibility and innovation necessary to meet the demands of a hybrid workforce. Doing so comes with its own set of challenges. IT teams are scrambling to keep up with the number of new devices while enabling communication between business units and maintaining a strong security posture. That’s where a CCSP (Cloud Communications Service Provider) can be a major asset for organizations that want to move fast in the cloud.
What is a Cloud Communications Service Provider?
It It probably seems odd to think the cloud was once thought of as a passing fad, especially considering the volume of organizations that lean on the cloud for nearly every facet of their operations. And this is exactly why so many organizations look to the expertise of CCSPs to efficiently navigate and control the communications for their cloud environments.
A refresh: Cloud communications are internet-based voice and data communications. The telecommunications applications and switching are hosted by a third-party outside of the organization and accessed through the public Internet. A CCSP leverages the cloud for faster delivery of secure telecom services to organizations.
Cloud-based services offered by CCSPs enhance and extend crucial cloud frameworks, allowing organizations to transform work and collaboration for employees. A CCSP can help an organization efficiently support the three major types of employees in today’s workforce: The Road Warrior, the Home Office Worker and the In-Office Worker.
The Road Warrior: Always on the go and spends as much time on their phone as their computer.
The Home Office Worker: Completes the entirety of their work from home.
The In-Office Worker: The traditional office employee, with access to the tools and technology of standard office spaces.
The rapid transition to hybrid work has been littered with challenges for both IT teams and employees. But a CCSP empowers the entire organization to meet the security, networking, and communication challenges of hybrid work with a level of consistency and efficiency not previously required in pre-pandemic work environments.
History of CCSPs
Early adopters of cloud communications were largely misunderstood, but its days of being discounted as a mere buzzword are behind us. Digital transformation has been gathering steam; there was a 10% increase in cloud service planning in 2019. Then, in the first quarter of 2020, cloud spending rose 37% to $29 billion. Now, 29% of organizations have concrete plans to deploy operations in the cloud requiring good cloud communications.
Enter: CCSPs. They have emerged to support organizations navigating the transition to a cloud-based environment.
Four Reasons Why Working with a CCSP can benefit your organization:
1. Meet the Demands of a Hybrid Workforce
Hybrid work requires organizations to adopt technologies that support working from multiple locations. At the top of this list are new communications and network connectivity services; employees who work in different locations are demanding more support in these areas.
For example, consider home office workers who spend their entire work week at home. As remote work becomes more sophisticated, many home office workers are finding their home set-ups are falling short. In Microsoft’s recent global survey, over 40% reported a lack of home office essentials, such as laptops, monitors, and even office phones. Missing the mark in these areas means team members can’t reliably collaborate online across time zones, leading to stalled projects, reduced productivity, and employee burnout.
Worth noting is that employees who are disillusioned with their work environments are a contributing factor to the high number of resignations in the U.S. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows resignation rates reached an all-time high in the summer of 2021. This “Great Resignation” is causing organizations to rethink employee engagement. After all, when it comes to engaging employees, all roads lead back to clear communication.
How CCSPs Can Help: Getting employees the tools they need
By leveraging a CCSP, organizations can simplify their process to deploy and manage the hardware required to facilitate work-from-everywhere employees with always-on connectivity. By incorporating voice, video, messaging, digital collaboration and meetings into one platform with Unified Communications (UC) solutions, it enables organizations to gain greater visibility and reporting to understand actual performance. An added bonus: CCSPs can oversee setting up and managing wireless or wired internet, public, private, or hybrid networking, including security technologies.
2. Manage an Abundance of New Devices
Through 2024, Gartner predicts remote workers will use at least four different device types for remote work, up from three devices in 2019. With new devices comes a ballooning need to manage those devices, which is a source of stress for many IT professionals who are at or nearing burnout.
Even before the pandemic and the rise of hybrid work, the tech sector had the highest turnover rate, at 13.2%. Now, PWC data shows more than nine in 10 executives in technology, media, and telecom are seeing higher-than-usual attrition in their ranks. IT support turnover is costly to organizations, so business leaders are finding themselves in a tug-of-war between supporting the device needs and the IT capacity to do so.
Road Warriors have some of the most extensive device needs because they are constantly on their laptops and phones, using them interchangeably to work wherever they are. To maintain the standards Road Warriors demand, organizations need to procure and manage many devices.
How CCSPs Can Help: Modernize your Device Strategy
A CCSP can help you create and manage a device strategy that meets today’s needs. For example, to handle the device overload, a CCSP can help you move to a Device-as-a-Service model i.e. procure laptops, desktops, tablets, and other secure devices to improve employee productivity. And because there’s always going to be technical questions from employees, a CCSP can also activate end-user help desk options for those employees.
They can also integrate the company’s collaboration stack, enabling your Road Warrior, Home Office Worker and In-Office Worker to seamlessly work together on supported devices.
Approaching the challenge in this way reduces the pressure on tech teams to procure and manage all the devices needed in today’s work environments, and frees them up to tackle more specialized tasks within the organization.
3. Establish a Proactive Security Posture
It has become increasingly difficult to protect communications across your architecture and ensure compliance with security regulations. The cloud is full of threats. Security teams are constantly alerted for data threats, network threats, and cloud-specific threats. Organizations that fail to implement cloud security best practices put themselves at risk. IBM data shows organizations with a weak security architecture lead to 33 billion records exposed in 2018 and 2019.
The situation gets even more complicated when you consider the divergent work styles of today’s employees. The three major types of employees today — Road Warriors, Home Office Workers and In-Office Workers — all have significant (and sometimes varying) security needs. For example, while In-Office Workers might have more traditional security needs, Home Office Workers and Road Warriors might need to increase their security posture due to their disparate connectivity options and the security threats that potentially exist in those environments.
How CCSPs Can Help: Security solutions for everyone
CCSPs help organizations establish a proactive security posture that meets the needs of everyone — from Road Warrior to Home Office Worker to those in the office. They achieve this with integrated offerings, services, and self-service analytics. Mainly, security for these use cases starts with standard secure internet connectivity, regularly updated endpoint devices regardless of location, and for Home Office Workers, adopting a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) framework to secure the home networks.
With this groundwork, organizations can quickly respond to any threats, protect internal and external communications, and meet compliance regulations. Using an integrated administration platform, organizations gain a unified view into the entire cloud communications infrastructure with advanced security analytics, reporting, and proactive alerts.
The bottom line: To establish a secure posture, organizations must have visibility into their integrated environments so they can consistently analyze performance metrics and spot any security gaps that may exist.
4. Accurately Forecast Costs and ROI
Workplace and technology costs have been unpredictable due to many COVID-related pivots since March 2020. There is now a greater need for precise accounting and a stronger connection between spending and ROI. Volatility will be the norm throughout 2022.
These pressures make the workplace fraught with job insecurity for many C-suite leaders. According to research by AlixPartners, a jaw-dropping 72% of CEOs are concerned about losing their jobs — a worry that’s fueled in part by disruptions in their industries.
This anxiety will translate into increased scrutiny at all levels, and a need to accurately forecast costs and ROI. Expect pressure to predict everything from sales figures to standardizing the cost of a home office work force.
Because of this, IT teams will need to directly engage the C-suite on their plans and progress. This could include daily or weekly reporting that’s translated into terms everyone in the C-suite understands. IT teams need to be armed with the data to justify their spending decisions.
How CCSPs Can Help: Planning ahead, accurately
There is a way to accurately map out predicted costs for communicating and maintaining secure cloud communications in hybrid workplaces. Depending on the level of managed services provided, and the complexity and size of the infrastructure, CCSPs can deliver a lower cost of ownership.
When devices and connectivity solutions are managed through cloud-based platforms, it enables easier maintenance without service disruption. With a bird’s eye view of which devices need upgrades and maintenance, organizations can stay ahead of issues and avoid money-wasting disruptions. Planning for device upgrades based on existing performance can ensure teams have the plans in place to efficiently navigate changes in the work environment. This has a direct impact on employee productivity and business outcomes.
Benefits of a CCSP
Navigating current changes to the workforce is complex and unprecedented. Instead of creating clunky, in-house solutions that place an even higher burden on IT teams (without fully meeting the needs of employees), a CCSP provides an organization with the tools and a team of experts that are ready to implement today’s best practices and keep your organization moving forward.
A CCSP, like NWN Carousel, can do the heavy lifting so business unit leaders can focus on the most important aspects of their jobs. Plus, a CCSP can help organizations create more efficient tech-related plans and streamline processes to reduce the complexities of the current environment. This ultimately helps organizations function more effectively.
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