While on-premises IP telephony, in addition to unified communication and collaboration solutions, offer businesses innumerable benefits, the rising need for more flexible options will spur further demand for cloud-based configurations in the coming months and years.
In order to facilitate internal enterprise collaboration efforts and maintain quality conversations with customers and clients, many companies have turned to IP telephony and other UCC offerings, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan. In the past, many of these deployments have been on-premises, with the businesses needing to maintain on-site infrastructure to keep these communications systems running at all times.
However, as trends such as enterprise mobility and telecommuting become prevalent, enterprises are increasingly finding that they need more flexible solutions that can easily scale with changing demand. With the traditional office environment becoming less critical to business operations, organizations need their communication and collaboration workflows to better adapt to these paradigm shifts. As a result, a recent report from Frost & Sullivan predicted further growth for the hosted IP telephony and UCCaaS markets as flexibility becomes a more central concern to corporations everywhere.
“Businesses increasingly leverage communications and information technologies (IT) to improve business agility and more effectively meet shifting market and workforce requirements,” the report’s authors wrote. “Over the years, communications and IT budgets have grown considerably as businesses seek to enable higher employee productivity and superior customer service. However, economic uncertainty and accelerated technology development are compelling businesses to apply a more cautious approach to communications and IT investments. More specifically, customers are looking for flexible deployment models that reduce risk and upfront costs while providing faster access to advanced functionality.”
Overcoming lingering cloud fears
While increased flexibility and scalability have long been benefits of cloud-based solutions, lingering fears regarding security, availability and usability have historically prevented hosted offerings from fully permeating enterprise IT environments. Research firm Gartner in August reported that approximately 55 percent of organizations today are not using any cloud services at the moment.
However, the days of the cloud being solely defined by consumer-facing applications and insecure communications software have disappeared, as the market has matured greatly over the past few months and years in response to rising enterprise demand for flexible IT configurations. As lingering cloud fears dissipate, adoption rates should rise even further. According to Gartner, approximately 80 percent of the 651 organizations polled said they planned on using cloud services over the next 12 months.
“Given that the use of cloud services currently constitutes only a very small part of the vast enterprise IT market, strategic planners should not make the mistake of taking current cloud use cases to be predictors of future cloud use,” said Gartner’s Gregor Petri. “Cloud computing is set to have a considerable impact on business in the future which is reflected in the survey finding that around 60 percent of organizations plan increased investment over the next two years to five years, while only 6 percent plan to decrease investments in cloud services.”
Companies looking to become more flexible by implementing an enterprise-class cloud computing solution to meet its communication needs should turn to FlexITy, the only managed services provider in Canada that offers the full range of Cisco UCC suites. In addition, as one of the largest Canadian IT consulting services firms, FlexITy can help ensure that the hosted IP telephony or UCCaaS solution implemented today will assist a company’s flexibility initiatives now and years down the road.