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Internal cloud projects becoming popular

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The cloud computing market continues to grow stronger by the day as both small and medium-sized businesses, as well as major enterprises, adopt the technology to improve internal operations and enhance collaboration. In fact, many executives in the private sector are beginning to replace their old phone systems with hosted solutions, as the latter are more efficient, scalable and flexible - crucial characteristics in today's highly competitive corporate world.

A recent study by TheInfoPro, a service for 451 Research, found that 47 percent of companies have internal cloud projects planned for 2013. However, the survey also found that "cloud" initiatives have come to represent a wide variety of technological implementations, including virtualization projects, consolidation efforts and the deployment of hosted PBX solutions, among others.

Regardless of how the initiatives are classified, the growing awareness of the cloud suggests that the private sector is making major steps toward reinventing the workplace through the use of advanced technologies.

"The digital infrastructure of the future will provide CIOs with an assortment of service delivery venues, which will enable users to schedule or automate the delivery of workloads to the most suitable internal or external clouds depending on workload characteristics, [service-level agreements] and policy requirements," said Peter ffoulkes, cloud computing research director at TheInfoPro.

What does the future hold?

Despite the widespread recognition of the cloud, the majority of organizations are still in the early phases of deployment. The study found that 64 percent of respondents are still standardizing, consolidating and virtualizing resources so their overall transitions to the cloud can be more efficient.

Unfortunately, a major reason why so many firms are still in the beginning stages of adoption is because decision-makers are hitting a variety of roadblocks. Of the 47 percent of respondents who said they were encountering challenges, 34 percent said they ran into non-technical issues. These often surrounded individuals who are resistant to change and unsure of return on investment. Fortunately, cloud VoIP and other essential hosted systems can provide a number of unique benefits that should encourage executives to continue with deployment, despite unexpected hurdles.

"As IT organizations complete their infrastructure virtualization and automation projects and turn toward cloud initiatives, there will be significant upside opportunity for a veritable host of cloud service and cloud enabling technology vendors over the next two years," ffoulkes said.

Why use a cloud-based phone system?

A recent report by a business phone system quote provider revealed that having a hosted communications system will become more important in the coming years, especially as the mobile transformation continues and decision-makers are forced to support a remote workforce. By using a hosted PBX, organizations can provide employees with access to the network from virtually anywhere at any time, even if that individual is overseas or on the road.

Hosted phone systems are also extremely adaptable, the report said. This means the technology is extremely useful for organizations with long-term growth plans, as decision-makers can add or remove lines based on the fluctuating number of users. Because executives can add or remove endpoints with ease, cloud-based communications makes it easier for companies of all sizes to quickly evolve in response to internal or industry changes.

In the coming years, cloud services will continue to gain momentum, especially as the private sector looks to reinvent traditional solutions still mulling in existence around the office. By planning these implementations carefully, businesses may be able to avoid common obstacles associated with the cloud and embrace all of the technology's benefits that will give that firm them a competitive advantage.