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Cloud Becoming An Essential UC Component

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There are some trends in technology that prove to be incredibly influential. Computers, for example, did not always have wireless Internet capabilities, but now it would almost be unheard of not to include them. It is an expectation that computers can connect wirelessly to the Internet - just like it is expected that unified communications suites be available in the cloud.

Mobility defines modern technology. Something's usefulness depends generally on how functional it is from remote locations. Now that the workforce is dispersing and people are handling more of their responsibilities from home, professionals are starting to demand that they have the tools that will keep them connected when they are not physically in the office. Regardless of how it is implemented, the cloud has proven to be an asset that satisfies these evolving needs.

"Increasingly, businesses of all sizes are learning about the benefits of cloud computing and cloud applications and services," stated TMCnet contributor Laura Stotler. "But this isn't just idle talk; companies are actually migrating to the cloud at record rates and enterprise cloud application deployment is on a major upswing."

More businesses are starting to realize two things: They need a unified communications network, and that it must be in the cloud. Cloud communications are starting to become the new standard for enterprise telecom and collaboration, no matter how it might end up being deployed. Some organizations may be able to upgrade their legacy systems in order to effectively launch cloud UC. But for those companies that are in dire need of new circuits, replacing them physically is not advised. Instead, turn to a hosted communications solution.

Hosted Cloud A 'Game-Changing Technology'

Modern IT departments are very busy. There are an incredible number of things that need to be done on a daily basis to keep the company's tech up and moving forward for the good of the organization. Increasingly, some pros might not even be able to accomplish everything that they need to - namely with more businesses looking to develop cloud initiatives. 

This is why building and maintaining these systems in-house can end up being a nightmare. It is one thing if the staff is in place and existing networks can handle the upgrades needed, but if a whole new infrastructure needs to be implemented, then a company is going to find itself falling behind the curve. Enter hosted UC.

According to CorporateTechDecisions contributor Dan Newman, there has been some pushback from IT departments regarding the outsourcing of cloud-based systems. This unwillingness to relinquish control, however, is a leftover sentiment from outgoing IT culture. But the evolution of the technology and the improvement of hosting services has helped to make these transitions a little smoother.

"Cloud was long seen as a less secure and less reliable to go about information technologies," Newman wrote. "With equipment hosted elsewhere, the lack of control for many IT leaders was unacceptable, but with top down pushes for cost cutting and the growth of cloud as a viable business model, there is a growing consensus among IT that it is here to stay. For UC, the cloud now offers everything on-site solutions could offer and more. ... The great thing about cloud for UC is that upgrades and growth are often included and don't require much in the way of technical resources on the user side."

These changing perceptions are starting to fuel further hosted cloud service adoptions in enterprises around the world.

Hosted Cloud Deployments Set For Wide Adoptions

It should come as no surprise that the cloud is doing well. It seems to have almost been tailor-made for business users. As more organizations successfully embrace the cloud, their peers and competitors are taking note and following suit. This may be one of the reasons that recent research points to 2015 as an important year for the cloud.

A study conducted by Equinix found that 77 percent of businesses will be leveraging a variety of cloud services for daily operations. Seventy-four percent of organizations also believe that budget allotments for cloud services will see an increase in 2015, ITProPortal reported.

Similarly, the market for unified communications-as-a-service is experiencing positive predictions. By 2018, Wainhouse Research anticipates UCaaS will be a $5.3 billion industry

"Where there was once VoIP, there is now a host of Internet-based solutions that power the communications needs of business owners both big and small," TMCnet contributor Michelle Amodio wrote. "We've seen unified communications become commonplace for those businesses whose needs focused on collaboration and applications, and from there we've seen the evolution of ... UCaaS."

Cloud Unified Communications Demand Hosting

The importance of unified communications cannot be understated. Now that so many professionals possess advanced IT tools, making investments that capitalize off this development is natural and encouraged. Workers prefer to use their smartphones - that should be obvious by now. Finding ways to get these devices connected to the company network from remote locations is commonly accepted as one of the most ideal ways to do this, regardless of an organization's size or scope. The cloud, after all, is considered somewhat of an equalizer.

This is why Newman believes providers of these services have to be invested in "pushing the envelope."

"[This] means building tools and applications to extend your UC service beyond the traditional voice, video, instant message and presence that comprise UC today," Newman wrote. "It means spotting the trends and implementing them into your suite of products.  With technology evolving swiftly, the trends can seem to come and go quickly, but right now there are five that are shaping the unified communications space."

Modern professionals expect their employers to be tuned-into their needs for mobility. Collaboration is no longer something that happens exclusively in person, but in the cloud. Unified communications networks have to deployed with this in mind. As smartphones and tablets continue to become the de facto endpoint of choice for enterprise staff members, UC solutions will keep moving toward the cloud. More often than not, they will be of the hosted variety.