Traditionally, a phone system was a long-term investment in expensive, on-premises equipment. Because the mere suggestion of repeating that expense is enough to make any business owner shudder, organizations would hang onto their phone system for as long as possible and squeeze every drop of value out of it.

Today’s cloud-based communications solutions make it possible to eliminate that enormous capital expense and implement a more modern, flexible system. However, many organizations remain stuck in a mindset that’s older than the phone system. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The problem is, outdated communications technology is woefully inefficient. According to an independent study commissioned by Mitel, organizations could recover more than $10,000 per employee per year by implementing more efficient communications technology and processes.

While employees spend more than half of the average workday communicating and collaborating, researchers found that, on average 13 percent of the workday is wasted due to inefficient communications. That lost productivity comes with a $10,000 annual price tag per employee.

In addition, 47 percent of respondents reported that friction between employees and/or departments was a direct result of inefficient communications and collaboration. Another 24 percent said customer satisfaction suffered. The effect on internal and external relationships likely resulted in lost sales, lost customers and missed opportunities.

Phone and email remain the most widely used communications and collaboration tools (97 percent each), while 53 percent of respondents still believe face-to-face communication is most effective. However, workers want to use more modern tools, especially shared workspaces (45 percent), chat/messaging (51 percent) and video (39 percent). Not surprisingly, three-quarters believe they could be more productive if their organization made better use of technology.

Although technology is key, culture and processes must change for organizations to take full advantage of technological improvements and maximize utilization. Nearly one-third of organizations do not provide sufficient training and one-quarter are resistant to change. If you don’t embrace new communications tools and show employees how to use them, you can’t expect to see much of a return on your investment.

Improving productivity, customer service and your bottom line with cloud-based communications requires you to do more than choose the right solution and write a check. You have to update your processes to leverage modern tools and features and build a collaborative culture in which employees see the value of innovative technology.

To maximize ROI and avoid the pitfalls that cause technology to be perceived as complex and burdensome, new tools and services must be integrated with key business processes and workflows. IPC’s consultants can show you how communication and data synchronization across multiple business applications and systems make workflows more efficient. We can then help you choose the right cloud-based communications solution and integrate it into your workflows and processes to reduce complexity, increase flexibility and enable seamless collaboration.

Don’t let an outdated communications platform negatively impact productivity and turn off customers. Let us help you implement a cloud-based solution and update business processes in a way that meets employee and customer expectations and boosts your bottom line.