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Companies recognizing new cloud opportunities

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As the cloud continues to gain momentum in the private sector, decision-makers are becoming increasingly familiar with the technology and recognizing the benefits the technology provides beyond the conventional financial advantages. While a major value proposition of the cloud is its ability to reduce costs through the pay-as-you-go pricing model, this is not its only appeal.

A recent study by IDC highlighted how CIOs and other decision-makers are now associating the cloud with less-known capabilities, such as the ability to improve flexibility and agility. These benefits come forth even more aggressively when organizations deploy hosted PBX solutions for communication, as this technology can improve operations throughout the entire organization.

IDC said recognizing the cloud's potential to reach beyond IT will be critical for businesses survival in today's highly competitive landscape. This is especially true as decision-makers continue to implement bring your own device and other critical mobile strategies that appeal to consumers and employees everywhere.

In the coming years, executives will increasingly focus on "outsourcing 3.0" strategies, which support hosting a range of applications in public cloud environments. This means cloud PBX systems and other mission-critical tools will be migrated to the hosted environments.

"Cloud service future ubiquity will mean that it will permeate the sourcing strategies of CIOs and business unit managers alike," said Raj Mudaliar, senior analyst IT services at IDC. "The use of externally sourced businesses and IT services from 'the cloud' will form the basis of an outsourcing 3.0 period and will provide an extensive portfolio of services from which innovative solutions will be constructed from."

The benefits of converging cloud and communications

Decision-makers are becoming more comfortable with the cloud, adopting the cloud for a wider range of applications. A report by Dimensional Research revealed that 92 percent of IT executives believe the adoption of cloud services is good for business because of the technology's ability to improve cost savings and flexibility.

IDC also highlighted that many companies are beginning to recognize the benefits associated with using hybrid cloud services, which combine both premise-based and hosted technologies simultaneously. A separate report by Gartner highlighted similar findings, noting that hybrid IT is the future, allowing companies to use cloud-based business phone systems, while keeping other sensitive application in-house so IT decision-makers can manage them more efficiently.

Gartner noted that the ongoing proliferation of cloud services will ultimately change how companies perform everyday operations, as the hosted environments enable executives to distribute solutions more freely without impairing operations or jeopardizing security. Decision-makers are also opting for cloud-based communications because the hosted environment provides employees with access to advanced phone system features.

In the coming years, companies should consider replacing their old phone system with more innovative hosted offerings. Doing so will not only introduce new financial opportunities, but will also support long-term innovation and growth, as cloud-based communication technologies are highly flexible and scalable, capable of adding or removing phone lines without impairing bandwidth, creating bottlenecks or introducing other problems that could contribute to poor performance.

The virtual PBX can also support the growing remote workforce more easily than some traditional phone systems. This is important today because employees are no longer confined to the conventional office building to perform corporate tasks. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets has enabled individuals to work from virtually anywhere at any time.

By adopting a cloud-based phone system, organizations can stay one step ahead of rival firms and support long-term growth without impairing day-to-day operations.