Modern Business Communication: The 4 Levels of Communications Maturity, Part 2

Modern business communication solutions are critical to the success of any organization, and you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone that disagrees. But that said, not everyone views this topic in the same light. We can categorize these perspectives into four general levels of communications maturity:

  • Communications Unaware (level 1)
  • Communications Skeptics (level 2)
  • Communications Respectors (level 3)
  • Communications Powerbrokers (level 4)

Part one of this series covered how to recognize the symptoms of a communications-unaware organization and how to take actionable steps to reach the next level. Part two will take a good look at the second level on this communications maturity scale: communications skeptics.

Co-workers discuss the benefits of modern business communication.
Many organizations still qualify as communications skeptics. Learn what your business would have to do to start reaping the benefits of modern business communication.

Communications Skeptics: Diagnosing the Symptoms

So, what defines a communications skeptic? Much like the most basic level — communications unaware — these organizations don't take advantage of a variety of communications technologies. However, they differ from the unaware because they understand the inherent shortcomings of relying on traditional voice telephony.

Those that find themselves knee-deep in web and videoconferencing without an eye toward more unified and comprehensive communication solutions likely fall into this second level of communications maturity.

Here's a quick checklist to evaluate which side of the fence you fall on:

  • Do you host your communications technology onsite?
  • Do web and video conferencing comprise the bulk of your collaboration strategy?
  • Have you yet to complete — or even begin — any form of digital transformation?
  • Is CPaaS a foreign concept?

If you find yourself answering 'yes' more often than 'no' to the above questions, congratulations, you're a communications skeptic. But don't lose heart! You can easily make the jump to level three and even level four.

Now is the time to take the steps necessary to reach the next levels of communications maturity.

Understanding the Problem

Surprisingly enough, more organizations fall into this category than any of the other three, according to IDC's research. The reason is actually pretty clear. These folks rely on a select few legacy technologies to accomplish their communications goals. Although those goals are often being met, their key performance indicators are just comfortable enough to discourage change.

In other words, the old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is the subconscious mantra of communication skeptics. The problem is, their communications strategy is limiting these organizations' true potential, even though it's not truly broken.

When it comes to customer service and satisfaction, complacency can end up costing more than you might think. Contrast this lackadaisical communication attitude with the results of organizations that view communications as a driver of business success and you begin to see the whole picture.

According to the aforementioned IDC report, communications power brokers — those with the highest communications technology maturity — have realized a reduction in the time it takes to resolve customer service events by 36.5 percent. In addition, these powerbrokers saw 34.4 percent improvement in cost reduction compared to just 15.5 percent for communications skeptics.

Perhaps the biggest issue is a culture that doesn't truly see the correlation between communication technology and IT to business results. The current state of digital transformation is clear evidence of this.

Less than half of those organizations that fall in the communications skeptic bucket had even started a digital transformation process. Clearly, these organizations have a cultural disconnect that prevents them from seeing the importance of modern business communication and its underlying technology.

Baby Steps to Modern Business Communication

So, you've identified potential issues within your organization. Where do you go from here? Up, of course!

By finding solutions to the challenges keeping you in the communications skeptic realm, you'll soon find yourself collaborating more efficiently, reducing costs, and driving business success. Here are a few tips to make that happen:

  1. Understand the difference digital transformation can make.
  2. Recognize the role that complacency plays in your current maturity state and draft a plan to shift the culture.
  3. Look to the cloud: Find the right CPaaS solution for your organization that can bring your communication technology into the automated and streamlined world of cloud-based collaboration.

Being a communication skeptic isn't the end of the world. In fact, you're likely already doing some things right. That said, the grass really is greener on the other side in this case. Now is the time to take the steps necessary to reach the next levels of communications maturity.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series showcasing Communications Respectors. In the meantime, connect with a Vonage Business consultant to learn more about boosting company-wide collaboration.

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