While it is strong for some services, communication-related applications still largely remain on-premise. Research from Avaya partner Six Degrees indicates that less than half of UK mid-sized businesses are using the cloud for their telephony.
This is surprising because the benefits of cloud computing apply to business communication services in just the same way they do to the most popular cloud applications, like webhosting, CRM and disaster recovery.
Traditionally many business applications like unified communication or video conferencing have been part of the large enterprise armoury, out of reach for the midmarket business with smaller budgets. However, thanks to tailored medium-sized solutions and flexible cloud delivery methods, this is now changing.
Why should midmarket and smaller business be interested? Well, for a start the cloud delivery model really is a playing-field-leveller as it makes software more affordable. Its on-demand model requires almost no setup or capital expense. Most smaller organisations are growing fast. By utilising cloud infrastructure, they don’t have to make the big capital leap of hardware upgrades as they expand. Not only do cloud services grow with them, the subscription is often much cheaper than traditional licenses. They also require less IT management and can be deployed very quickly, all of which enable midsized businesses to compete more effectively with larger companies.
However moving to the cloud is not necessarily such a straightforward decision. Companies often
have significant capital investments in existing solutions. Additionally, the data involved might need extra security levels or legislative compliance that rule out public cloud options. In some cases private cloud offers a smooth transition to hybrid, and then possibly fully public cloud, enabling them to experience some of the benefits of cloud computing without the potential risks.
The recently launched Avaya Midmarket Cloud Solutions are a good example of the staggered migratory approach that is available to businesses these days and makes the transition easier for many organisations. It offers two deployment options that provide unified communications and contact center clouds specifically designed for the midmarket. These options allow the movement to cloud at the business’ own pace. They enable the deployment of new capabilities based on business needs, while leveraging existing investments in call control, phones and more. Companies have more control over expenses and the rate at which full migration to cloud occurs, in addition to quickly bringing on new locations.
Cloud computing is already helping many medium-sized companies reduce cost and complexity in their IT departments while gaining the business flexibility and agility needed to grow and offer services that deepen their engagement with their customers. 2016 could be the year that many more embrace the opportunities it offers.