Blog | 2016 Predictions Redux, and Foreshadowing 2017
Posted by Teresa Almodovar on January 13, 2017 10:58 am
2016 Predictions Redux, and Foreshadowing 2017
Kira Makagon: Executive Vice President, Innovation at RingCentral
As the last New Year turned, I offered these predictions for the cloud in 2016. Now, as this next New Year manifests, it’s a great time to check in and see what has evolved in these areas over this past year.
First, I predicted that cloud vendors will become go-to communications solutions providers. In November, RingCentral partnered with No Jitter on their “The State of Cloud Communications” Industry Insights report. Some highlights from that report included growth of 8% in use of cloud PBX systems alongside growth of 8% in the use of mobile apps for cloud communications and collaboration services. If you’re curious about these findings, you can download the full whitepaper from No Jitter here. With unified communications end-user spending projected to grow from $37.2 billion in 2016 to $42.1 billion in 2020 (in US dollars) according to Gartner, I feel like this prediction of cloud vendors becoming the go-to communications solutions providers is on point.
I also envisioned that cloud applications would untether corporate workers from their desktop phones. With the launch of RingCentral’s Global Office platform early in the year, we helped to catapult this prediction to fruition all over the world. Global Office offers an entirely new, groundbreaking solution that utilizes the full power of our Global Connect Network to enable a truly local experience with a global cloud solution. So much for legacy phone systems! Our customers now have markedly more flexibility. Distributed enterprises have a tremendous demand for unified cloud-based communications solutions to efficiently connect their global workforce, and we’ve provided that through existing mobile technology here and abroad. More and more companies will grow like we have in this arena. The days of being tethered to a desk are coming to an end. As I wrote about in this open letter to leaders of modern workplaces, the future of work is found in mobile, scalable, flexible working arrangements.
Alongside the growth of cloud communications solutions, I foresaw the proliferation of collaboration tools and suggested that they may become as essential as the cloud for business communications. This will continue to be an area of significant growth in 2017. With the acquisition of Glip, RingCentral banked on it! The benefits of applications like Glip are many, including enhanced productivity and efficiency by improved team communications, reduced e-mail traffic, task management, shared calendaring, and so much more. When you combine the benefits of a collaboration tool like Glip with those of cloud communications tools, you untether the rest of the way not just from your desk but also from your desktop computer, enabling your workforce to function from whatever mobile device they choose and from wherever they are. I remain convinced that cloud communications and collaboration applications will become more and more central to the flexible way we’ll be doing business in the future.
Also for 2016, I concluded that analytics drawn from cloud app data would become part of everyday business. Big data, alongside fast data, is booming. This is a key area I will be continuing to watch in 2017, just like I will continue to have an eye on the area of cloud security solutions that I also predicted would expand. Early in the year, CRN gave us this list of 20 cloud security vendors to watch. Cloud security will continue to be an area of ongoing growth as well as scrutiny, and it will be interesting to see how these companies change in the coming year.
Looking ahead to 2017, I offered a prediction for The Enterprisers Project on the future of the workplace. As I offered there, “Workplaces being defined by four walls is a thing of the past. Moving forward, employees will gravitate to a ‘hub workplace’ design. We will see a proliferation of technologies designed for the new workplace that exponentially increase collaboration capacity amongst workers to optimize productivity, accelerate innovation and foster a community. I predict further into the the future functional workspace environments will also be about using artificial intelligence such as smart workflow automation and hands free interactions, some enabled by virtual reality that has been developed to amplify workers’ drive, inspiration and productivity, bringing it to a whole new level.” It is my belief that the future of the workplace can be found in the very tools that my company offers, making me all the more excited to embark on another New Year as RingCentral's EVP of Innovation.