Unified communications remains a top priority for companies, especially those who are striving to create a people-centric workspace. More companies are seeking ways to integrate technology into their office spaces and combine the physical and digital aspects of the office. This comes as more employees are demanding a workspace that caters to the “always on” philosophy that now permeates society.
As companies implement unified communications into their workplaces, many of the resources for communicating at work will become cloud-based. This shift will provide more challenges for the facilities management industry, as they adapt to the rapid change.
A report by PwC further reinforces this, suggesting that by 2020 not only will most companies adopt a digitally-based unified communications platform, but we might also see a “cloud first” universe – whereby most services will be automated digitally and remotely. For the facilities management sector, that would enable firms to provide a real-time seamless service to businesses and allow for smarter communications in the workplace. The report also mentions the inevitable rise of the smartphone in business – suggesting the extinction of the ‘classic’ desk phone, replaced by devices that offer seamless integration and content sharing between the smartphone and the PC or laptop.
We are already seeing these changes occur in the workplace with more employees turning to their smartphones to conduct their business. Conversely, as the technologies involved in the modern workplace multiply and present a more complex management task, the users of such technologies expect a smoother and easier experience. The challenge for business leaders is to effectively manage these cloud and smartphone-based resources to ensure that they are frictionless for users and fully utilised for maximum efficiency.
The rapidly changing trends and habits of the workforce will certainly cause the facilities management sector to not just look at buildings but at all aspects of technology, to support businesses trying to offer an integrated digital experience to their workforce.