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Phone services fall early in the cloud adoption cycle

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As more businesses work to implement cloud computing solutions in a diverse range of enterprise environments, trends are emerging to show which systems organizations tend to be moved to the cloud first. While data backup and recovery technologies are often the first that go to the cloud, businesses tend to follow that investment by turning to cloud-based business phone services and collaboration systems, according to a recent eWeek report.

Once companies gain some comfort in the cloud through backup and recovery, they often move quickly to find other systems that they can outsource to the cloud. In many instances, communications infrastructure, such as unified communications or PBX technologies, are the next to be sent to the cloud, the report said.

Industry expert Pete Zarras told eWeek that these second-level cloud investments are often in areas that are mission critical, but do not put companies at a strategic risk. Essentially, organizations are willing to leverage the cloud's benefits, despite the risks, for essential systems as long as they do not risk data loss incidents that could create major problems. Communications infrastructure is among the technologies that fall into the critical, but not necessarily strategic, category.

"We see that the quickest path to the cloud is through systems that are more critical in nature but not necessarily strategic, where you can maintain the same or better levels of performance while reducing cost," Zarras told the news source.

Scott Crosby, another expert in cloud trends, explained to eWeek that communications services are among the easier solutions to move to the cloud because they alleviate premise-based hardware burdens, reducing costs and IT maintenance functions.

"Another [popular avenue to the cloud], from the productivity perspective, is the phone system, what we call ‘virtual voice’ in which you don’t have a phone switch or PBX in your building. It’s in the cloud," Crosby told the news source.

The cost reduction associated with moving hardware off-site is not the only benefit of a cloud PBX and telephony service. Outsourcing business phone services to a cloud PBX vendor also gives businesses to reroute their incoming calls to remote locations or third-party call centers in the event of a disaster. This allows companies to keep their customer-facing communication channels active if the headquarters goes down due to natural disaster or another similar event.