Shannon Ferley
Shannon Ferley Head: Communications

Communications are an essential tool in connecting and building communities. As the pace of technological change picks up, the way we choose to communicate evolves.

Woman working on a laptop

Organisations that do not anticipate this change or refuse to reinvent themselves will quickly be consigned to the technological and financial scrapheap.

Gone are the days where the sole purpose of communications was to provide antiquated PSTN, SIP trunking or video conference services. In this blog, we will look at a few of the sunrise opportunities for communications with these technological changes in mind.

Real-time communications

The introduction of cutting-edge technologies such as AI, ML and blockchain means that communication services will no longer be broadcast or used in traditional models. WebRTC and video conferencing are perfect rudimentary examples.

Machine learning is being adopted by organisations to optimise bandwidth utilisation and in real-time communications like WebRTC, making services like remote customer support less complex. We have seen the impact of artificial intelligence in more multifaceted environments like healthcare and the legal sector. Enter IBM’s Watson. Watson is capable of interrogating databases and uses deep learning to help doctors diagnose patients quicker. Patients who cannot travel to the doctor's rooms for a consultation can now consult remotely through a secure video conference connection on their smartphone or tablet.

In another case, a law firm in Ohio in the US uses Watson to mine data from about 1 billion text documents, analyse the information and provide precise responses to complicated questions in fewer than three seconds.

The rise of the digital organisation

With every change in technology comes a change in the way we communicate, interact with each other and most importantly, the way in which we work.

If you rewind to 1997, you will find that working hours were strictly from 8am to 5pm and employees had to physically report for duty at their place of work. If an employee was absent from work, it was assumed that no work was being done. This was true to a large extent, primarily because we did not have access to the tools that allowed us to work remotely.

We saw the introduction of secure, high-speed data connections and the rise of the digital era in 2000. Organisations have since moved towards digitisation and work is being done outside traditional business hours. The same work can also be done remotely from any location, removing the need for a fixed physical workspace.

This has become more pronounced with the entrance of millennials into the modern workforce. They do not want to be confined by traditional structures, prefer flexibility and the freedom to work in an environment that encourages them to express themselves openly. A 2015 study found that 97% of millennials want flexibility in their work hours, with 44% saying that it was compulsory.

In 2017, 42% of organisations in South Africa had employees working full-time from home. For this reason, it is important that communication services are delivered to users in a way in which they want to consume them. An accelerated move to collaborate with partners and the ability to communicate across a range of platforms has become critical for success.

Internet Solutions is well-positioned to become the market leader in a rapidly growing and evolving telecommunications industry. We understand that the future of communications is an art and not a science.