Future-proofing your business with technology is key to unlocking growth

By Dav Sandher, Head of Product, Virgin Media O2 Business

This year hasn’t been easy on business leaders. From rising energy costs and economic headwinds to issues attracting talent, there are several challenges impacting SMEs who form the backbone of our economy.

It has also had an adverse effect on technology investment. Digital transformation has fallen low on the list of priorities for many organisations. But holding onto legacy technology can limit efficiency, especially when it comes to communications tech.

2025 will come around quickly, and with it comes the big analogue switch-off, where the traditional copper-based telecoms networks will shut down. Therefore, it’s imperative that business leaders explore digital systems that are fit for the future.

For long-term growth, our Medium businesses: Fuelling the UK’s economic engine report found that 65% of leaders believe investing in technology is the best opportunity for their organisation to thrive. But, updating digital systems is complex, and technology is the main internal challenge for 33% of medium businesses.

It’s understandably challenging to abandon legacy technology. But rather than maintaining outdated hardware and a range of different digital applications, an easier and more efficient alternative can be found in Unified Communications (UC).

The right tech to save time

UC allows businesses to combine and manage all their communications in a single cloud-based platform. Instant messaging, calling, sharing files, and video conferencing can all be accessed from one device, and one application. Reducing the need to balance multiple platforms, a UC solution allows for both external parties and internal team members to collaborate, contribute, and communicate to the best of their ability, in real-time.

The singular platform UC offers can save up to 8 hours of wasted time per user per week, according to a report by Forrester. It saves time for employees and enables them to stay focused by reducing ‘context switching’ – the effect of losing focus as you switch between different applications.

Adapting to employee expectations

Employee productivity drives business growth, and this is impacted by the business technology they use day to day. As employees are spending only 25% of their working time in the office, remote working capabilities continue to be demanded from businesses that need to meet shifting staff expectations. Businesses need to consider that their staff are increasingly splitting their time working between the field, cafes, co-working spaces, and even abroad.

This is where UC comes in handy, enabling people to work from any device. Workers can continue to take calls, answer messages and even co-edit files, regardless of the device they are using, making the once digitally disconnected worker, more flexible and connected.

Reducing your costs in the long-term

Beyond allowing more flexible working options, UC can be adapted to reflect your business’s growth. During a period of business change, UC can scale your communications up or down seamlessly. Even if your business begins to run at a global scale, international calling plans can be easily added to your system, so your technology expands alongside your operations.

Streamlining your technology under one solution not only makes it easier to manage but can also reduce costs in the long-term. And with Virgin Media O2 Business, you can benefit from savings on your initial investment with discounted packages across software, hardware and calling plans, to make the migration as cost-effective as possible.

Relying on partners should be easy

For businesses that are heavily reliant on legacy technology, moving to a cloud-based system may be daunting. Support from IT suppliers is essential to ensure as smooth a transition as possible, and there should be no limit to the assistance offered to businesses.

At Virgin Media O2 Business, not only can we handle the planning, installation, training, and adoption of the migration, but the support continues well beyond the transition.

Utilising technology to enable business growth involves a supplier that understands your business ambitions and continually helps you get the most from your digital solutions, beyond initial installation.

Ultimately, partners should help keep the move simple and easy for your business, allowing you to stop juggling different platforms and digital solutions, and instead, focus on one clear digital system.

Know what you need to grow

There are numerous benefits which UC encourages:

  • Collaborative work
  • Improved customer relations
  • Reduced costs long term
  • Flexibility

However, adopting a UC system needs to come with the guaranteed and constant support of your IT partner. Through this partnership, SMEs can not only digitally transform, but realise the full advantages of future-proofing their business with UC. With the reduced costs and rise in employee efficiencies that a singular system brings, organisations can continue to strive for growth.