Jul 15

Cloud assets becoming status quo for enterprise


The cloud should be old news by now. But while it's true that public awareness of the cloud may have reached something resembling saturation point, that doesn't mean it has become something to avoid. The conversation may be changing to some degree, but this is only reinforcing the idea that the cloud should be a given part of any organization's daily operations.

According to The Guardian, accounting software company Xero believes that the state of modern business demands cloud functionality. The focus is no longer on the technology itself, but where it can take the companies that implement it.

"At this crucial point in the 21st century, the digital revolution is not about apps and software being hosted in the cloud," Xero stated. "That's the mechanism, but it's not the revolutionary aspect. What creates this new shift in models is the additional benefit that the cloud engine offers. You can be quicker, more powerful, have more capacity and be more efficient – in exactly the same way that steam did. And, here's the revolutionary part: cloud creates benefits and opportunities that simply weren't possible before now. And in doing so, it changes everything."

One such opportunity comes in the form of cloud communications. The cloud is popular because of its ability to be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection. Leveraging things like business phone systems in cloud-based environments means that employees are connected to critical networks at all times. This is the kind of productivity that businesses are going to need in the very near future.

Increasing number of businesses cite cloud success
The cloud - both literally and figuratively - is everywhere these days, especially in the enterprise. This may have something to do with all of the benefits that cloud is capable of providing. This is particularly true in terms of the competitive advantage that more businesses are experiencing when they have the cloud in place. According to a recent study conducted by Frost & Sullivan,81 percent of companies believe that the cloud plays a significant role in their success over competitors.

"The pace of transformation in U.S. industry is accelerating," said Frost & Sullivan vice president Lynda Stadtmueller in a release. "Widespread cloud adoption has helped U/S/ companies stay ahead of competition and make the most of the new business models that emerged as a result of the digital revolution. Coupled with shifting economic conditions, the need to constantly innovate and to accelerate time to value, organizations simply need to be more efficient and adaptable in order to survive."

One of the best ways to stay out in front with the cloud is to implement cloud communications. Whether VoIP is obtained through SIP trunk-enabled legacy systems or an off-site provider is selected, more companies are realizing that the agility of the cloud is seemingly tailor-made for telecom. Now that so many workers are enabled by their personal mobile devices, the idea of allowing remote access is appealing for a number of different reasons.

For one, younger professionals especially are looking for jobs that will allow them to work from home when they so desire. Another great reason for cloud communications to be utilized is related to expanding businesses and companies with traveling employees. Being able to instantly connect new offices from across the country or allow staffers to remain connected on the road can save time and money while increasing productivity and reducing downtime. This is the kind of thinking that will be important for the modern business to engage in. The cloud is not an endgame - it's a means of establishing and fulfilling new goals.

"With the Web becoming a way of life around the world, commercially the cloud as a mechanism is no longer the primary focus," stated Xero. "Rather, what's important is the benefit that digital can bring. In this respect, it's not about the engine, it's about all the new places that engine can take you."

Cloud proving to be revolutionary
The consumerization of IT has empowered millions of professionals. The average skill level for operating and maintaining tech has never been higher. Enterprises should be focusing on how to embrace changing opinions, attitudes and capabilities for the good of the company. Part of this may mean making significant investments in things like cloud business phone systems.

"What's needed is the ability to step outside your business and think about the new opportunities that are available to you as a cloud-enabled business," Xero stated. "For a start, you can be completely mobile and work from anywhere. That ability in itself raises many new ways of working with your customers, flexing your work/life balance and creating teams of people who aren't tied to one specific location."