Global Investment Priorities in the Communication and Collaboration Space: Frost & Sullivan

Global Investment Priorities in the Communication and Collaboration Space_ Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Communications and Collaboration Investment Priorities, finds that addressing COVID-19-related challenges is the main business goal for organisations in 2021, followed by improving customer experience (CX) and operational efficiencies. The ubiquitous rise in remote work and the shift to virtual customer engagement due to elevated employee and customer safety concerns during the pandemic have also spurred digital transformations across industries and geographies. The call for business continuity has highlighted the need for robust collaboration-driven tools such as video conferencing, team spaces, and broader unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) suites.

‘COVID-19 has expedited technology investments for multiple businesses. Adapting to new work modes and increasing digital customer engagement represent key digital transformation objectives driven by the pandemic,’ said Elka Popova, Information & Communication Technology Principal Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. ‘An anticipated increase of IT/telecom budgets in 2021 by 27 per cent on average indicates that vendors and service providers must be prepared to meet specific customer requirements to capitalise on the opportunity and business use cases.’

Also Read: Top Five Challenges Enterprises Will Face in 2021

Popova added, ‘Technology developers and service providers must deliver solutions that align with current business priorities and create possibilities to address future technology requirements. This could involve offering flexible pricing options, which are particularly important during COVID-19 and the economic downturn, or creative bundles with value-added services, such as security or connectivity, that can enable differentiation in the long term as well.’

Key study findings include:

  • 43 per cent of organisations felt that managing COVID-19 challenges far outranks other business goals in 2021, followed by improving the customer experience (32 per cent) and delivering operational efficiencies (28 per cent).
  • COVID-19 accelerated technology investments for more (46 per cent) businesses than it slowed down (28 per cent). Cloud applications (29 per cent) will be the main focus for post-pandemic investments, but in the next two years, cybersecurity (50 per cent) will represent a key technology focal area.

  • More businesses have moved enterprise telephony (39 per cent) and video conferencing (54 per cent) workloads to the cloud, in line with explosive growth in cloud communications and collaboration services during the pandemic.

  • Investments in advanced collaboration tools such as team messaging, video conferencing, webinars and UC soft clients will have been made by a vast majority (80 per cent or more) of businesses by 2022. Benefits include improved customer experience, information management, team collaboration and remote work (all at 27 per cent).

  • Companies are largely making investments in AI because of its ability to improve the quality of products (33 per cent) and gain a competitive edge (28 per cent).

  • In the selection and implementation of mobile applications for workers, businesses favor software vendors (34 per cent) to carriers (24 per cent), systems integrators (22 per cent) and mobile device manufacturers (17 per cent).

  • Over half of respondents felt security (60 per cent) and reliability (59 per cent) were most important when evaluating a communications and collaboration solution provider. For more than one-half of respondents, provider customer care is also essential.

  • Communications and Collaboration Investment Priorities is the latest addition to Frost & Sullivan’s Information & Communication Technology research and analyses available through the Frost & Sullivan Leadership Council, which helps organisations identify a continuous flow of growth opportunities to succeed in an unpredictable future. The research was conducted with 1,129 decision-makers across four regions.