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Use of the cloud and BYOD raises interest in unified communications

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IT professionals are recognizing the possibilities of the cloud. Whether used to access documents on mobile devices or to back up company data, the cloud is a major investment that every business should consider.

According to a recent study conducted by Savvis, 85 percent of companies are turning to a cloud service for big data analytics, storage and other applications, whereas two years ago only 39 percent of organizations had adopted the cloud, according to the survey. Sixty percent of respondents also said that outsourcing parts of a company's IT infrastructure will soon gain priority over placing data on location.

Three out of five IT professionals admitted they regret investing in an in-house IT infrastructure because they raise costs and waste resources, according to the survey. This confession reaffirms the industry's growing acceptance of cloud-based platforms.

Unified communications use rises

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement has introduced companies to a new business practice offered by the cloud. Employees can open work documents on their mobile devices from anywhere, at any time.

The integration of the cloud and BYOD within companies have improved unified communications (UC), which is the ability to connect through multiple channels in one place. UC offers an interface that makes it simpler to correspond through multiple devices, according to a report by Heavy Reading IP Services Insider.

Denise Culver, research analyst for Heavy Reading, said that utilizing BYOD can lead to a higher adoption rate of UC services, which can feature applications on laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Employees also see the value of UC in terms of customer relationship management. Having access to multiple devices for consumer communication can maximize the efficiency and productivity of employees' phone calls, IM conversations and email messages. Integrating UC in the infrastructure of a business can improve employee response times and allows them to easily connect with each other and consumers.

"UC is in a unique position to take advantage of the cloud," said Culver.

It offers businesses a simple solution to manage employee communications and interactions with consumers.

Although some companies are wary of placing sensitive information into the cloud, new reports claim that as long as the proper security measures are in place, it is safe to use. As a result, businesses are re-examining cloud platforms as a unified communications tool.