AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Spiceworks, the marketplace that connects the IT industry, today announced a new study, The Evolution of Workplace Communications, that examines internal and external communications trends in businesses across North America and Europe. The findings indicate many businesses are leveraging communications options with built-in encryption to discourage employees from using unapproved channels, including SMS text messaging. In fact, 69 percent of businesses surveyed reported their employees use unencrypted SMS texts to communicate internally among coworkers or externally with partners, clients, or customers.
As unencrypted SMS text messaging becomes more pervasive in the workplace, the results show 32 percent of businesses have adopted secure communications platforms, and an additional 12 percent of businesses are considering adopting them by 2021. Examples of secure communications platforms that enable end-to-end encryption include Signal, Wickr, and WhatsApp Business. Among the industries surveyed, healthcare organizations have the highest current adoption rate of secure communications platforms (60 percent), likely due to the sensitive nature of patient data and regulatory requirements.
Additionally, 67 percent of businesses now use real-time business chat apps, often equipped with built-in encryption, and an additional 10 percent of businesses are considering adopting them by 2021. In fact, 31 percent of businesses reported their employees prefer to use chat apps over email for internal communications.
Many employees feel overwhelmed by communications options in the workplace
In addition to secure communications platforms and business chat apps, the survey found businesses are using a mix of communications solutions to meet their needs today. For example, the vast majority of businesses use email and VoIP for internal and/or external communications, while more than half use web conferencing tools and analog voice, and nearly a quarter use unified communications solutions.
However, nearly one in four businesses reported their employees are overwhelmed by the number of communications solutions available to them. Most businesses use three to four different communications solutions, and 25 percent of respondents reported using five or more. Of note, 41 percent of businesses indicated they would prefer to use a provider that offers an all-encompassing suite of communications solutions instead of using multiple, piece-meal technologies.
"The abundance of communications options available to businesses and their employees can lead to end user confusion and the use of unapproved communications methods, such as unencrypted SMS text messaging," said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks. "To reduce the risk of sensitive data from being leaked or unintentionally exposed, it's critical for businesses to consolidate their communications options and enforce the use of channels that employ data encryption."
The Spiceworks survey was conducted in June 2019 and included 779 IT decision makers in Spiceworks. Respondents represent organizations in North America (75 percent) and Europe (25 percent) across a variety of company sizes, including 39 percent from small businesses (1 to 99 employees), 49 percent from mid-size businesses (100 to 999 employees), and 12 percent from enterprises (1,000+ employees). Respondents represent a variety of industries, including education, healthcare, nonprofits, government, finance, retail, construction, manufacturing, and IT services.
Spiceworks, part of Ziff Davis B2B, connects the technology industry to help technology buyers and sellers get their jobs done. The company helps people in the world's businesses to find, adopt, and manage the latest technologies while also helping IT brands build, market, and sell better products and services. For more information, visit www.spiceworks.com.
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