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Cloud migration stays steady, video communications adoption grows but raises concerns

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Video conferencing - part of many unified communications solutions - deployment has risen, according a survey by a leading networking company.

The annual State of the Network global survey found that current enterprise video conferencing has reached a implementation rate of about 55 percent, with an increase to 70 percent anticipated by the end of 2012. About two-thirds of the respondents to the survey said they have adopted video in multiple areas of their organizations, including employee PCs, conference rooms and telepresence systems.

Additionally, the number of businesses migrating to the cloud has remained about the same, at 60 percent. However, private cloud adoption and software-as-a-service (SaaS) has increased by 10 percent since last year, and many respondents expect to be running about 30 percent of systems in the cloud within the next 12 months, including voice over IP and hosted PBX systems. Many organizations have reported it being easier to implement applications in the cloud than in previous legacy systems.

While many businesses are increasing cloud communications and collaboration systems, concerns and issues have been frequently addressed.

"While IT teams embrace cloud services and video conferencing as a way to increase cost savings and business flexibility, these technologies introduce new components and environments which make ensuring positive end-user experience all the more challenging," said Brad Reinboldt, of Network Instruments. "The reported lack of monitoring tools, quality metrics and visibility create serious obstacles that prevent IT from effectively managing performance and jeopardize costly technology investments."

Approximately 74 percent of respondents said their main concern with cloud adoption is security, while bandwidth usage was also a major issue. Problems with video conferencing deployment centered around adequate training for professionals and system users. About 53 percent stated that user knowledge was hindering successful adoption, and 47 percent of organizations said they worried about proper bandwidth monitoring.

Ultimately, cloud solutions are ranked as less of a headache than virtualization, mobility and 10Gb networking, according to the survey, with only unified communications and a move to IPv6 being less stressful. With cloud VoIP solutions, companies pay for the amount of service they use, so minimizing costs is easier, as long as the organization accurately controls the system, and bandwidth management will play a large role in increased adoption of communications technology.