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How cloud communication technology will evolve in 2023

Damian Hanson

Cloud communication has not only become a critical tool for SMEs but for all businesses, writes Damian Hanson, co-founder and director of cloud-based phone platform CircleLoop. Here, he shares his top predictions for cloud communications for 2023 and why businesses should take note of the evolving tech.

We anticipate that cloud communication technology will continue to progress in 2023 and will be adopted by more SMEs across a range of industries. Start-ups in particular are increasingly relying on cloud-based technology to boost efficiency, cut costs, and foster better teamwork during challenging economic times.

We predict that more SMEs will implement cloud-based communication tools into their business to improve the working experience for both their employees and their customers, so lets look back and see how these tools were used in 2022.

An overview of cloud communications in 2022

According to Mintel, the market size for UK cloud computing was estimated at £41 billion in 2022. Businesses relied on cloud-based communication tools to support aspects of hybrid working, improve collaborative efforts with distributed teams and effectively streamline communication from an internal perspective.

The looming ‘Big Switch Off’ of ISDN and PSTN networks and greater advancement in cloud-based communication has seen more companies adopting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in 2022. With benefits such as CRM integration becoming more common as part of cloud-based business phone services, companies are opting to upgrade their communications with the cloud rather than simply replace.

83% of organisations indicated they had no visibility that their PSTN and ISDN services would be switched off in 2025, according to Spitfire Network Services ‘Switch On to the Switch Off’ survey.

There is more incentive for businesses to utilise cloud communications to get ahead of the competition when many SMEs are unaware of these significant upcoming changes.

Top five predictions for 2023

So what can we expect from cloud-based communications this year? Here are five of my top predictions:

1. 5G will continue to improve for business

5G implementation is currently well under way. Leveraging the need to shift and upgrade to online systems as mentioned above, SMEs can expect to benefit from greatly improved connection reliability and speeds from their cloud-based technology. Currently, 70% of businesses across the country are either utilising 5G or planning deployments.

As 5G expansion becomes more affordable and accessible in 2023 we can only expect a surge in the number of SMEs adopting technology supported by it. 5G is slowly becoming a formidable force, and many believe it will even outperform wi-fi in the future.

2. Businesses will look to become recession-proof

Businesses of all sizes are looking for strategies to withstand the current recession. In order to determine which markets and geographic areas are the most resilient to economic downturns for new firms, we analysed ONS business birth and death data from 2008 to 2013 in our recession-proof Index. Businesses will be considering many ways to recession-proof their business operations and streamline processes, many of which will turn to cloud-based technology for a flexible and cost-efficient solution.

3. Sustainability in business will put greater demand on cloud technology

The commitments made at COP27 made it clear that all businesses around the world need to consider and address the sustainability of their company and their supply-chain. The development of cloud-based technology has changed the business environment by minimising technology waste for SME enterprises and improving energy efficiency across the UK. As sustainable practices rise up the business agenda, we can expect demand for cloud-tech solutions to increase.

4. The rise in AI will boost the efficiency of cloud communication

With the assistance of AI, cloud computing will become more intuitive and effective for business use.

Rapidly developing cloud-based as-a-service platforms will give consumers access to machine learning features like AI-powered virtual assistants and chatbots like Chat GPT. These will assist companies in automating customer care and supporting speedier, 24/7 communication that are in demand today. This year we can expect companies capitalising on this technology in order to gain a competitive edge.

5. Increased integration of telephone and CRM systems

Every business knows that an efficient and well-oiled sales team produces greater results. What helps drive efficiency is data and insights from sales successes. This is something that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools offer in abundance and now, thanks to advancement in cloud- based business phone systems, your CRM is able to integrate directly with your VoIP calls – streamlining the process even further.

Businesses are quickly realising this is a must-have in challenging times when sales are harder to secure so we can predict a rise in these integrated services across 2023.

In 2022, cloud communication proved to be a useful resource for SMEs, and there’s no doubt that this trend will carry on in 2023. We anticipate that this year, the advantages of cloud-based services and the rapid modernisation of business will encourage even more leaders to turn to this ever-advancing technology.

Cloud communication has a promising future, and SMEs that adopt these new technologies will be well-positioned to compete in a market that is becoming more and more competitive.

Businesses will have more options to enhance internal and external communications and deliver better services to both their customers and employees as a result of the integration of AI, improved 5G networks, and greater business software functionality.

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