IDC recently released a report with some astonishing figures on mobile workers, forecasting more than 1 billion worldwide by the end of 2010. But wait – Google took it one further, with the director of its European operations stating that desktop PCs will be "irrelevant in three years" (reported here in Read, Write, Web). And, as the same report identifies, this sentiment aligns with what Google’s CEO discussed in his keynote at Mobile World Congress, when he made it clear that a primary focus for Google going forward will be on the mobile market.
While three years seems dramatically soon for desktop PCs to disappear, it’s clear that we have reached a tipping point of sorts for advanced communications technology tools and services. There is no denying the impact VoIP has had on this explosion and its role in providing seamless, hassle-free remote access. Many work places have implemented enhanced, formal telecommuting policies and are encouraging employees to take advantage of them. A central part of this equation is unified communications.
We’ve been singing the praises of UC for quite some time, drawing attention to the practical applications and ROI of its integration aspects. For BroadSoft employees, UC was a lifeline during the recent Snowmageddon of 2010, allowing us to maintain productivity and not skip a beat over several days in which none, or few, of us were able to commute into the "office."
As the world gets flatter and the demand to work remotely increases, we can expect to see a number of trends on the rise (besides more workers going mobile and the end of dinosaur PC’s under cubicle desks), including more businesses turning to SIP Trunking and dramatic increases in hosted UC deployments. A CDW survey, reported by TMCnet supports this, showing that many companies have already experienced increased ROI from UC.
The bottom line to all of this is that in the not too distant future, we can expect almost all businesses to offer telecommuting options, often supported by hosted UC tools and services, just as today they provide employees computers and internet access.3