With the growth of remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, teleconferencing and videoconferencing have blossomed as the default methods of keeping in touch with the office staff. Zoom and Skype have become household—and office—words. But the stay-at-home rules are changing, and people are returning, slowly, to their workplaces. Will that put an end to the growth of online conferencing?

According to Gartner, global end-user spending on cloud-based web conferencing solutions will grow 24.3% in 2020.  Workplace restrictions spurred by the coronavirus pandemic will expand the cloud conferencing user base throughout 2020, but growth will taper off in 2021 as the lasting effects of a remote workforce render conferencing services commonplace.

Putting number to it, Gartner sees end-user spending on cloud-based conferencing reaching $4.1 billion in 2020, up from $3.3 billion in 2019. It is the second-fastest growing category in the unified communications (UC) market, behind spending on cloud-based telephony, which is forecast to reach $16.8 billion in 2020.

As remote work initiatives spurred by the COVID-19 outbreak drive conferencing adoption and market growth, Gartner predicts that by 2024, in-person meetings will account for just 25% of enterprise meetings, a drop from 60% prior to the pandemic, driven by adoption of remote/telecommuting work and changing workforce demographics. As a result, there is a higher demand for convenient access to videoconferencing and other collaboration tools.

Cloud telephony will experience a boost once its benefits are recognized, namely the ease at which it can accommodate a changing workforce, update and extend existing features, and integrate with adjacent applications. With these in mind, Gartner predicts the cloud telephony market to grow 8.9% in 2020 and 17.8% in 2021.

Want to tweet about this article? Use hashtags #IoT #sustainability #AI #5G #cloud #edge #futureofwork #infrastructure #digitaltransformation #COVID19 #videoconferencing #remotework #teleconferencing