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Private sector begins embracing post-digital mantra

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The private sector is moving into a new era in which business operations are carried out in digital form. Instead of using traditional land line phone systems, for example, decision-makers are embracing hosted PBX, mobile technologies and other next-generation services that provide firms with new opportunities. While this transition has been going on for some time, this year will see more executives take the time to plan initiatives carefully so innovative solutions can be wholly incorporated instead of tacked on to the organization.

A recent report by Deloitte Consulting highlighted this occurrence and dubbed it as the "post-digital" age in which companies implement two strategies: "disruptor" technologies that introduce new opportunities and business models and "enabler" tools that have been adopted in the past and require a second look due to recent industry developments.

Similar to what happened in the post-industrial era, enterprises are not disregarding digitization but are embracing it with a new enthusiasm. This is creating new chances for firms to boost sales effectiveness, create long-term growth strategies and and support an ever-increasing remote workforce.

"What really stands out this year is the accelerated pace at which core trends like mobile, social, cloud, analytics and cyber are converging and being applied to create immediate, competitive impact," said Bill Briggs, deputy CTO at Deloitte Digital. "All industries are affected and are taking advantage of these forces to incrementally improve their existing processes and offerings and fundamentally reshape their operating models, business models and marketplaces."

The changing communication setting

Deloitte noted CIOs will be the primary catalysts behind this ongoing transformation, driving the demand for mobile communications and other advanced strategies to enhance collaboration in and outside the office. In many cases, decision-makers are beginning to recognize the benefits of replacing an old phone system with something edgy and innovative.

A separate study of more than 1,000 companies by ReRez Research revealed the ongoing transition to IP phone systems, as executives understand using the technologies can improve security, functionality and overall efficiency in the workplace. The survey also found that many companies are taking a hybrid approach to communication, as roughly 91 percent of respondents said they use a legacy PBX and IP services simultaneously.

There are many reasons businesses are making the switch to IP, including the fact that the workforce is expanding beyond the realms of the traditional office space. This means companies need to use a phone system that supports access from multiple endpoints, regardless of location. In fact, the study found that roughly 39 percent of all connections were dedicated to remote branches, while 33 percent were allocated to mobile devices. Further, the majority of enterprises had only 20 percent of endpoints at headquarters locations.

"Enterprise communications is in transition - from PBX to IP and from premise to cloud," telecom expert Chris Hummel said.

Organizations that want to remain competitive in the coming years need to be on the forefront of change by adapting to their constantly-evolving surroundings. By planning ahead, decision-makers can make the switch from antiquated solutions to next-generation services without significant downtime or a lapse in operations.

"Companies are not just doing the same things differently, but doing different things. Companies can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines," Briggs asserted.

In order to remain relevant in an increasingly volatile business environment, executives need to prepare for ongoing changes taking place in the private sector. By understanding the tools and practices that employees demand, executives can take control to ensure their organization stays one step ahead of competitors.