Extracting value from your IT and comms infrastructures

Over the past decade, cultural and technological trends have changed the way we work significantly.

With movements such as BYOD and flexible working, employees have come to enjoy and expect greater control over their work/life balance.

Employers have had to adapt and accept that productivity is not necessarily confined to a desk – as such, adopting technology that enables a more mobile workforce has become a business necessity.

To best accommodate these changes in work style, businesses are required to learn how to extract the maximum value from their IT infrastructure.

The key to success is ensuring that IT is more closely aligned to the business which results in real measurable benefits such as improved profitability, better cost management, first mover advantage, market responsiveness and agility. All of which serve to improve an enterprise’s bottom line.

>See also: Top 5 communications trends on the IT agenda in 2016

To achieve these benefits, organisations should look to evaluate their current IT infrastructure in an effort to bridge the gap between new and maturing technologies.

Examining old and new ways of working and new consumer behaviour poses one of the biggest challenges to enterprises.

Flexible infrastructure

A key challenge is deciding on the infrastructure and architecture – do they want to exist solely on premise or in the cloud, or perhaps a bit of both and adopt a hybrid infrastructure.

All three options come with their own pros and cons. It’s up to business leaders, including IT, to decide on the enterprises’ direction.

Another key challenge for certain businesses is how to respond to seasonal changes in their traffic.

A retail enterprise will look to alleviate heavy traffic during events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The challenge is making sure your network infrastructure can respond to the demand, with minimal disturbance or downtime.

>See also: 11 trends that will dominate cyber security in 2016

Another pain point that is very topical is ensuring all of your data is backed up and stored securely.

Despite Brexit, if the UK hopes to continue it’s trading with Europe, any business which transfers or handles the personal data of customers will be required it will be required to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

It’s more than just IT

Extracting the most value out of your IT infrastructure goes beyond typical “IT” – computers, networks, applications – another factor that can influence enterprises’ bottom line is telephony.

Any enterprise that is reliant on telephony for the success of its day-to-day activities should actively look to re-evaluate their current telephony infrastructure.

Despite many industries looking to go “fully” digital – utilising the web and email – phone contact still remains a very common way for enterprises to communicate with partners and customers.

As such, improving telephony productivity has the potential to deliver business uplift.

When moving telecoms to the cloud, enterprises can benefit from a number of intelligent features that allow for easy management of numbers and inbound call routing.

This makes it possible to allocate unique telephone numbers to departments, where numbers can be delivered to the right teams as necessary.

>See also: The evolution of enterprise communications

Customer service can be strengthened with out-of-hours call answering messages, with personalised messages which all serves to improve customer satisfaction.

Modern telephony solutions also allow businesses to measure incoming calls in a number of different ways.

Businesses can report on the geographic region of calls, as well as what marketing efforts calls are coming from, and adjust their advertising strategies accordingly.

Peak periods can also be tracked so companies can adjust their staffing plans accordingly and ensure customer service is always delivered to the highest standard.

Streamlining telephony also allows businesses to create truly measurable metrics and tangible goals.

Whilst this was possible with legacy systems, it often required the addition of a call centre server. Data was then compiled in into comma-separated values files which require a lot of technical expertise to analyse and draw conclusions.

Cloud based telephony offers simpler options to provide business leaders with bespoke reports which detail, for example, ‘Who’s answering the most inbound calls’ and ‘what teams are achieving the best results’.

These can be used to improve employee engagement and productivity as well as supporting new business efforts by showing prospective customers the company’s dedication and ability.

Any company whose day-to-day activities rely on constant communication through telephony can benefit from re-evaluating their current IT infrastructure.

Once implemented, cloud based telephony has a number of benefits which can enable business leaders to improve on their ROI and bottom line.

Sourced by Cem Ahmet, managing director, Gamma

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...