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Cloud-based solutions becoming more popular with governments worldwide

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KPMG, an audit, tax and advisor services company in the United States, recently released a survey that found that cloud solutions, such as hosted PBX, are growing as a cost savings option for government executives around the globe. In conjunction with Forbes Insights, around 430 public sector government executives and 800 private sector executives were polled from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the U.K. and the United States. Over half of the government respondents work on the national level, 25 percent in regional offices and 22 at the local level.

The survey found that about 12 percent of executives have dedicated over 10 percent of their IT budget to the cloud. Based on the responses, it is expected that the 12 percent will increase to 28 percent by the end of the year. Currently, Australia, Italy and Denmark lead cloud deployment worldwide with nearly one-third of respondents moving to cloud-based systems.

According to the survey, 25 percent of those that have not dedicated larger parts of their IT budgets to cloud initiatives say that they would have to be able to reduce their budgets by about 10 percent, while an additional 20 percent say that the savings would have to meet at least 25 percent of their current spending.

Specifically in the United States, IT professionals in the government believe that moving just 25 percent of systems to the cloud would reduce the current budget by about 6 percent, approximately $5 billion.

One way to mitigate security concerns but still begin a shift to the cloud is to implement cloud-based communications. Managed VoIP is a lower-case, convenient way to save significantly on telephone costs, and can also improve service on a government call center, as well as productivity of agents.

By deploying a service in the cloud, such as a business phone system, an organization can remove high costs of physical equipment, especially repair and maintenance, and replace it with many benefits. Hosted VoIP is known to have high audio quality and other improved services normally only found in expensive, high-end phone systems.

One common solution implemented in the cloud is unified communications. UC offers a number of collaboration tools not available with many physical systems, such as live chat, video conferencing and presence.