European research from Nuvias UC suggests:
- 73% of UK respondents think there will be a cultural divide as a result of hybrid working
- Over half of UK respondents spent more on UC in the past 18 months than planned
- More than half believe modern UC can help improve work-life balance for employees
Cwmbran, UK: 02/02/2022: 09.00 GMT – Nuvias UC, the Unified Communications business of the Nuvias Group, a leading high value, solutions-led distributor, has announced findings from its latest European research, revealing the biggest challenges and opportunities in the UC market for 2022:
IT decision-makers across the UK, Benelux, Sweden, France, Spain and Italy, expect:
- UC spending to increase as businesses continue their digital transformation strategies post-pandemic
- Better work-life balance amongst employees and improved business continuity due to modern UC
- Hybrid ways of working to create a cultural divide between ‘in’ and ‘out’ office workers
UC spending is on the rise
The pandemic forced businesses to change and accelerate their digital transformation strategies to cope with a world of remote work, with expenditure on UC technologies rocketing to meet demands. So much so, that in the past 18 months, 67% of UK IT decision-makers said their spending on unified communications was more than planned for. This was higher than the European average of almost two-thirds (63%).
But 18 months on, there is no sign of UC spending slowing down. In fact, almost half of UK respondents (47%) said their predicted spending in the next 12 months is more than previously planned for.
For some, this trend is due to businesses regretting their lack of investment in UC throughout the pandemic. In total, almost a quarter of UK IT decision-makers (22%) said not investing enough in the first place is their biggest regret about their digital transformation during COVID-19. This was most significant in Spain (31%) and least significant in Sweden (19%). Moving forward, for most businesses, UC spending likely remains a key priority as they further embrace a hybrid way of working.
Confident, but cautious on post-pandemic work
UK IT decision-makers (98%) are confident in their readiness to support the hybrid workforce, with a further 89% saying their collaboration tools had a positive impact on how their employees coped with the transition to remote working. But businesses still recognise the challenges that lie ahead when it comes to communication and integration in a post-pandemic era.
The adoption of hybrid ways of working requires organisations to build a flexible UC infrastructure that can simultaneously accommodate remote and in-office operations. This requires IT decision-makers to further assess their UC offering. Two in five European respondents (42%), for example, think users within their business would like better integration tools or communication tools that work easily on any device, with 43% of UK respondents agreeing with the statement.
Yet the effects of the hybrid model reach beyond technical logistics, according to the research. Of those who have adopted hybrid working in the last 18 months, a staggering 73% of UK IT decision-makers think there will be some cultural divide between ‘in’ and ‘out’ office workers, either big or small. The only notable difference is in Italy, where 39% feel there will be no divide at all. A further half (53%) of respondents in the UK think cliques will form as a result, with Spain peaking at 58%.
If businesses can mitigate these cultural barriers, there is a strong consensus that UC has an integral role in business morality – the application of moral standards in the professional environment – and continuity. In fact, over half of UK respondents (55%) believe that modern UC can help improve work-life balance for employees, and a further 45% feel it can help improve business continuity. The UK believed this the most, with European IT decision-makers averaging at 41% when it came to UC helping improve business continuity.
IT complexities remain a big bugbear
The research found that although IT decision-makers plan to continue spending on UC, there remains a significant need for technical expertise as UC solutions become more complex. In fact, over half (55%) of UK respondents turn to IT consultants for advice on their UC challenges – with Italy doing so the most (62%) and France the least (48%). And half of UK IT decision-makers (50%) turn to IT resellers for technical expertise.
This comes as no surprise considering 37% of European respondents have experienced a lack of IT / technical skills within their IT team in the last 18 months. The UK felt this more than the European average at 41%, with Sweden and Spain feeling this the most (42%) and Italy the least (29%). The post-pandemic world of work will bring along a host of unique challenges for IT decision-makers, with another wave of the pandemic seen as one of the biggest challenges (45%) that both IT teams and IT resellers in the UK will have to navigate in the next 12 months.
Jeremy Keefe, CEO at Nuvias UC comments, “With respondents citing technical complexity (38%) as one of the biggest barriers to making a unified communications deployment successful, there is a clear opportunity for IT resellers to optimise on post-pandemic demand through taking a consultancy-led approach and establishing themselves as the technical experts on all things UC. Building close relationships with these experts will separate the leaders from the laggards when it comes to businesses achieving seamless communication and collaboration in a post-pandemic era.”
In partnership with Sapio Research, Nuvias UC polled 1508 European IT decision makers in October 2021 – including those in managerial, directorial, and c-suite positions – to understand their evaluation of trends, challenges and opportunities in the UC market and the impact of UC for businesses-at-large. Countries surveyed include the UK, Benelux, Sweden, France, Spain and Italy.
About Nuvias UC
Nuvias UC focuses on enabling innovative Unified Comms, Collaboration and Cloud-based UC services and solutions. As the fastest growing pan European UC distributor, they make it easy for their partners to meet the needs of their customers by enabling the onboarding, deployment and support of UC products, services, and solutions from top-class vendors. You can find more information about Nuvias UC at: www.nuvias-uc.com
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