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Business Communication Trends for 2016

Communication trends keep evolving with each passing year. Companies that want to stay relevant are forced to jump on this bandwagon in order to stay ahead of the pack. That being said, knowing which types of technologies and trends to adopt is just as important as the evolution itself. In this post, we’ll take a look at what’s hot in communication trends in 2016 that you can take up with a limited budget as well as infrastructure.

 Communication Convergence

Gone are the days when the typical image of a high-functioning executive is that of a person making 3 calls at a time while sending a fax and responding to an email. These days, everything fits into one device which can perform multiple tasks. This is also known as the unified communications model which has been heralded by developments in technology, especially in the mobile and internet world. Unified communications makes collaboration, multi-tasking and office and personnel management as easy as pushing a button. This frees up your time to attend to more pressing business matters and boosts your productivity in ways that people could only dream of a decade or so ago. 

These days, everything fits into one device which can perform multiple tasks

Decentralized Working Styles 

With everything moving to the cloud, employees now have the option to work from wherever they want. This has freed up whole companies with regard to budgets and human resource management and made it possible for them to expand their presence in other states and countries without having to worry about things like office space, time zones and even the cost of hiring top talent. All employees have to do is check in via a work portal, complete tasks, upload finished projects in a convenient manner thanks to specialized e-working tools such as VoIP phones and their related infrastructure. 

Mobile Becoming a Big Player

Hand-held devices have changed in terms of processing power and what they can do since the 90’s. These days, it’s possible to carry out work-related tasks on your phone or tablet, hold a conference call meeting in seconds and send out word regarding upcoming work training seminars in a heartbeat. The mobile phone is king, and it can be likened to your own virtual assistant these days thanks to the different productivity tools it provides you easy access to. Mobile is also a big player when it comes to how millennials work and live, and putting this kind of technology in their hands is more likely to make them be more productive since it’s a platform they understand on an intimate level. 

Enterprise Security is Getting More Sophisticated

Given the fact that a lot of business applications and data are shared virtually and on the cloud these days, companies are beginning to worry about how safe their data is. This collective concern is something that security experts are becoming increasingly sensitive to and are offering solutions for in an intuitive manner. In 2016, a holistic view of security is being adopted where communication security risks are seen from a human error perspective as well as hardware and software loophole perspective. 

Security systems are evolving to predict some of the common human errors in security and are seeking to correct these such as in the case of a phone disabling its screen when inside an individual’s pocket so the person doesn’t inadvertently dial a number and requiring biometric identification by way of iris and fingerprint scanning. Lastly, the devices we use in business communication are now becoming self-monitoring in an effort to catch any security holes in real time and then fixing them before they turn into real crises. 

Smart API’s Give Your Customers and Employees a Voice and Power

No man is an island, and no business is self-sufficient. It takes a plethora of voices to take a company to the next level, and thanks to application programming interfaces or API’s, it is now possible to take collaboration to a whole new level. Basically, an API is an interface which allows you to work closely with a software tool by feeding it information and letting it figure out the best solution to your current problem. For instance, if you’re a store which collects data from every dress or clothing purchase, you can have a portal that every customer can access which is personalized with their data. From the portal, they can choose certain fashion trends that they would like to see in the store as well as purchase, as well as whole looks. This gives them the power to purchase exactly what they want, in keeping with their past purchases. 

With regard to how API’s help employees, a company can have a portal where workers can pull up customer information fast and liaise with other departments even when on the move. These systems can also help them determine how long it will take to finish a certain task (a good example here would be a pizza delivery guy looking at an API which lists the best and most trusted routes for deliveries to certain neighborhoods based on the data provided by other employees), boosting their efficiency in the long run.

Bandwidth Hunger Takes Center Stage 

Given the reliance of applications and devices which need a steady internet connection to function as well as increased internet traffic, expect to see faster speeds offered by ISP’s this year and every year going forward. Many companies are also realizing that they will have to set aside a sizable budget for good internet connections to make sure their communication infrastructure works seamlessly. That being said, thanks to competition, you’ll most likely see decent packages and hopefully a dip in prices in the coming years as more businesses adopt the cloud way of operations as well as take up technologies like VoIP. 

Conclusion 

At the end of the day, the traditional model of business communication is rapidly being replaced by devices connected to a super brain called the Internet of Things which can anticipate and solve business problems faster than you can pick up an analog phone to call the IT department for a solution. The question remains, are you ready for this new wave?