All the evidence – and a huge volume of research – proves that the direction of business IT and enterprise communications is strongly towards the cloud. For large organisations, cloud is a strategic enabler and a cost-cutter, while for smaller businesses it is the great leveller, with its promise of giving SMEs access to enterprise-class services and scalability.
The applications, platforms and infrastructure that are available on demand within public and private clouds enable organisations to mix and match hosted solutions to meet their current and future needs, while seamlessly upgrading their systems. But getting there can be a challenge for any business that has legacy investments, which is why hybrid cloud opportunities are a key growth area, allowing IT professionals to maximise the value of the on-premise systems they trust.
Less well known is cloud services' potential to transform business-to-business and business-to-consumer communications, with Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) now a major hotspot, alongside a new breed of social and collaborative tools.
But cloud should never be seen as a technology solution to technology problems. Its real promise is to allow organisations to focus on business needs and get close to their customers and partners in a collaborative network of always-on comms. Cloud frees up IT professionals to do what they should be doing in 2017 – supporting a bold and imaginative business – and it helps businesses to speed up the exchange of new ideas.
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