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AdvantageOct 18, 2018 12:00:00 AM2 min read

Cloud Drivers: The Same Yet Different

Cloud communications has grown to the point where most companies are well aware of the features and benefits the technology has to offer. But now that the cloud has become a household name, businesses are becoming more selective in how they choose their services.

To date small businesses have emerged as top cloud adopters, while medium and large businesses, especially ones with an international presence have proven to be a harder sell.  The U.S., surprisingly, is second globally (behind the Netherlands) for Cloud market penetration at 12 percent.

According to Industry Analyst firm Nemertes, business needs and concerns have changed significantly since the cloud first emerged, meaning there are new market drivers to consider. They recently conducted a survey that found that Improved Agility for IT is now the top driver for cloud migration. This is an increase from 29 percent in 2017. Businesses today mostly seem to be concerned with rolling services out to market quickly and reliably, which is much more difficult when working with legacy back-end systems. 

Along with Agility, Nemerte’s study addressed some other perceived key drivers:

Lower Costs: Cost savings isn’t the big mover that it used to be in this space, but it’s still a top reason for migrating to the cloud.  CAPEX vs. OPEX, after all, was listed as the second-biggest driver in Nemertes’ study, while 33 percent of respondents cited cost as the primary factor for adopting cloud communications. 

Of course, financial considerations will vary depending on the size of the business. Small businesses may be more likely to cite cost savings as a top reason for migrating to the cloud. A large enterprise may be less concerned about pinching pennies. Every business has different financial goals, though.  Another survey indicated that 80 percent of SMBs would prefer to get a single bill for all of their communications — both cloud and traditional. So it’s worth talking to IT administrators about the financial benefits of consolidating their invoices.

Performance: Network reliability remains a huge concern for distributed businesses, especially multinationals. And for this reason, it’s a top driver of cloud migration. Across the board, IT administrators are looking to transition away from MPLS systems to streamline connectivity and improve performance.

Cloud services can be enhanced using software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN), which gives IT the ability to establish policies and regulate computing resources at any location. Using SD-WAN, it’s possible to ensure that all critical applications have the resources they need to operate efficiently and reliably.

Security: This can either be a top driver, or a top barrier to cloud adoption for a business depending on its size, market, and location. In a recent Forrester Research study 87 percent of respondents stated that cloud governance will become very important in the next two years, yet many do not believe their IT department is capable of handling it.

Globally, Security is a hot-button issue now that GDPR is being enforced. What’s more, we are a little over a year away from seeing widespread consumer privacy reform in California. Businesses everywhere should be looking to the cloud to remain in compliance and reduce costly fines.

As you can see, trends move quickly in the cloud communications space which is why it pays to work with a firm like Advantage, who works with dozens of cloud providers and has a dedicated CloudAdvantage team that keeps their finger on the pulse of the market.