Unified communications delivered in the cloud can help businesses of all sizes address many collaboration and communications challenges. Each day, more companies and government agencies are moving applications or IT infrastructure components to the cloud. And, as organisations realize the benefits of these services, the trend toward cloud services isn’t likely to slow down any time soon.
Cloud models are proving to be an ideal delivery model for communications. Several key factors, related to people, technology and finance, are driving the move to cloud-based communications.
One key factor is the increasing use of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones in the workplace – particularly among younger workers who expect to be able to perform many tasks from nearly any location.
The cloud supports mobility by improving access to data and applications from many locations. This cloud benefit helps companies provide mobile workers and geographically distributed staff with access to the same services they would have in the main office. As a result, salespeople, engineers, public service personnel and others who frequently work
outside the office can perform tasks and access data as if they were working at headquarters.
Regardless of where they work, employees are more productive when they can communicate by whichever methods they prefer (voice, instant messaging or email) – and many want to use devices they choose for themselves. In fact, this ﬂexibility is becoming a factor in companies’ ability to attract and retain staff.
First, organisations are facing the continually rising costs of operating corporate networks and IT infrastructure and ensuring availability. Using cloud services hosted by eComms allows businesses to eliminate some of their costly internal infrastructure, including servers and storage systems. Cloud services also reduce the technological and high staffing costs related to ongoing systems and networking support and maintenance.
In addition, cloud-based communications reduces the risk of obsolescence. Technology changes quickly, and by procuring it as a service a business can more easily evolve and
add on new services without being restrained by legacy capital equipment. The increasing rate of technology evolution requires that organisations be more agile in their technology deployment to avoid being left behind.
In terms of ensuring availability, the cloud provides a way for companies to continue providing services in the event of a business interruption such as relocating offices or a natural disaster.
Services delivered over the eComms cloud platform have geographically redundant data centers and a level of resiliency that is more extensive than typical businesses could build themselves. Another driver for communications in the cloud is the growing importance of mobile technology as a business asset. More companies are coming to rely on mobile applications to support day-today business functions. New smartphones and tablet devices are frequently introduced into the market with new features that can help users be more productive in the field.
Businesses are increasingly focused on return on investment and total cost of ownership for IT deployments. As IT faces pressure to do more with less and to show payback on every major technology initiative, the efficiencies made possible by cloud-based services allow enterprises to more cost-effectively deliver infrastructure and applications to users.
Cloud models basically extend businesses’ IT resources and skills, providing economies of scale by sharing resources and speeding to time value. The cloud also enables companies to move to an operating expenses model rather than a capital expenses one, helping CIOs to better deal with the economic pressures.
To remain competitive, companies need to run the most efficient, ﬂexible infrastructures possible. Cloud services support business agility by allowing organisations to quickly scale operations up or down as needed.
One of the key factors for business success today is the ﬂow of knowledge among employees, customers and business partners. Enterprises must be able to quickly transfer information, whether by voice, email, instant messaging, over the Web or through some other electronic medium.
Cloud-based models offer a compelling delivery mechanism for communications. IT decision makers should explore how their organisations can leverage communications in the cloud to help improve the business overall, while analyzing the return on investment possible with cloud-based communications solutions.
Solutions such as MiCloud from Mitel can help IT make the case for communications in the cloud. MiCloud provides the ﬂexibility to deliver UC collaboration tools and technologies through a mix of deployment models. As a result, organisations can evolve their cloud-communications approach over time, changing their cloud approach as needs and goals change.
By demonstrating how cloud-based communications can potentially reduce infrastructure and maintenance costs while increasing business agility, CIOs can win over senior business executives to the idea of the cloud as a delivery model for communications.
Have a chat with the eComms team to discuss how a cloud based Mitel phone system can assist your business.