Never mind the hype. UC is 13x bigger than blockchain
Is anything in tech sexier than blockchain right now?
Probably not. Everyone’s interested in distributed ledgers and their potential to reinvent money, share ownership and tuna fishing (seriously, Google it).
In fact, at the end of last year, analyst Gartner said blockchain had been the most searched-for term on its site since January 2017.
Unified communications – and its newest incarnation cloud-based UC – can’t compete with this degree of hype.
UC won’t change the fundamentals of the internet or tuna (that we know of). But it can transform the way enterprises communicate and collaborate. It already does, for thousands of companies all over the world.
That’s why, today, the worldwide market for UC is 13 times bigger than blockchain. Yes THIRTEEN TIMES.
Here are the numbers to back it up.
According to Tractica, the enterprise blockchain market hit $4.6 billion in 2018. By contrast, the global unified communications market was worth $61.9 billion (source: Transparency).
What’s more, Tractica projects that enterprise blockchain could generate $20.3 billion by 2025. That’s still just a third of UC’s worth today.
Of course, this is all just speculation. As we say, very much depends on whether blockchain can deliver on its promise.
For the moment, however, that’s all blockchain is: promise. This is important to remember for the hard-pressed IT manager weighing up where to focus his or her time and budget.
The signs are that they know this. While Gartner reported that blockchain is its most searched-for term, it has also noted that “only one per cent of CIOs indicated any kind of blockchain adoption within their organisations”.
There’s more evidence of the gap between speculation and substance in Gartner’s famous hype cycle.
This is a neat graphical tool the analyst frequently uses to illustrate the path taken by new technologies on the journey from conception to mainstream adoption.
The five stages are:
1. Innovation Trigger: A breakthrough that kicks things off.
2. Peak of Inflated Expectations: When the hype starts to fade.
3. Trough of Disillusionment: Cynicism sets in. Only a few pioneers keep going.
4. Slope of Enlightenment: The tech becomes established. People start to see the benefits.
5. Plateau of Productivity: Goes mainstream.
They may read like obscure prog rock albums, but these phrases represent a neat shortcut to understanding what’s real and what’s hype.
In Gartner’s ‘Hype Cycle for Emerging Tech 2018’ graphic, note the position of blockchain. It’s languishing in the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations’. Oh dear.
By contrast, in Gartner’s ‘Hype Cycle for Midsize Enterprises 2018’, cloud UC is poised at the very edge of ‘enlightenment’ and about to go mainstream.
In other words, UCaaS is here now. If you’re not considering it yet, you should be.
To re-cap the arguments, UCaaS brings all the benefits of unified comms without needing to invest in equipment or on-site maintenance teams. It guarantees on-going updates to the newest technology and replaces daunting CAPEX spending with manageable recurring OPEX.
Today, around half of businesses that have UC use an on-prem version. The rest use cloud or a hybrid solution.
UCaaS is clearly the tech of today and tomorrow. And it’s not just for large enterprises. It’s easily within reach of the mid-size company.
So by all means, read up on blockchain and its potential. But bear in mind it has not even made it to the Trough of Disillusionment yet.