Unified communications in the cloud: debunking the myths

Jon Seddon, head of product at Outsourcery, debunks the longstanding preconceptions about the enterprise cloud that can inhibit organisations from deploying unified communications platforms

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 04 May 2016
Unified communications in the cloud: debunking the myths

More organisations than ever before are looking to move away from traditional private branch exchange (PBX) telephony solutions to embrace unified communications in the cloud. But there are some longstanding preconceptions about cloud that can inhibit embracing this change. We aim to debunk six of the most common myths: 

1. Unified communications in the cloud isn’t mainstream yet
Cloud isn’t the future – cloud is happening now. The latest research from independent industry body the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) shows that 78% of UK businesses are using some element of cloud within their IT provision. This figure is expected to rise to 85% within two years. Cloud penetration is on the up, and three out of four organisations already using the cloud expect to increase their usage in 2016. In fact, around six in ten organisations foresee moving their entire IT estate, including their unified communications, onto the cloud in the future.

2. Cloud isn’t secure
Research from CIF shows that 98% of organisations haven’t actually experienced a security breach of their data held in the cloud. Many cloud solutions can offer significantly greater protection than similar applications running on-premises. The key is ensuring that your business systems reside with a cloud provider that can demonstrate that your data is held securely. You should choose a cloud provider that is transparent about its security systems and complies with industry best practices, such as CIF’s ‘Code of Practice’. Your provider should also meet industry standards like ISO 27001, the certification for Information Security Management, and match the level of security that you need. For example, if your data must reside in the UK, then you’ll need to choose a cloud provider with UK data centres and potentially a UK sovereign business.

3. Telephony systems are better held on premises
Business systems that reside on-premises are often at greater risk than if they were to reside in the cloud. If something were to happen to the physical equipment that they reside on, such as theft, fire, flood or malicious activity, there can be serious consequences including downtime and data loss. Just think of the potential cost of even one day’s lost trading, which could easily happen if you lost your telephony. When business systems are based in the cloud, they benefit from all of the security and resiliency features offered by a cloud service provider, and they can be run across two geodiverse data centres, so loss of one doesn’t mean a loss to your business.

4. Moving to the cloud will disrupt business
Moving business systems to the cloud is a potentially complex process and one of the key challenges for IT managers today. The key is to work with a partner who can help provide a robust transition strategy. With careful planning, moving your telephony to the cloud can be an almost seamless transition for your users with a minimal learning curve and huge business benefits.

5. Internal IT teams will no longer be needed
When you adopt cloud services, the provider will manage the daily operations of the hosted application, freeing up your key IT resources to deliver projects that add value to your organisation. Even with hosted applications, there are very often elements that can be managed by the IT department and it is these elements that unlock the additional value that the richness of the latest cloud offerings can provide. Why spend time managing when you can spend time optimising?

6. Moving unified communications to the cloud isn’t cost effective
Skype for Business from Outsourcery is delivered on a subscription basis so you only pay for what you actually use. Unlike on-premises infrastructure which can lead to wasted capacity and overspending and/or a lack of capacity at critical times, cloud gives the flexibility to scale up when additional services are needed and scale down to avoid under-utilising IT capacity. There is no upfront investment in expensive hardware so you can move your costs from a capital expenditure to an operational expenditure model, plus there will not be any costly technology refresh cycles. So, not only do you get the business benefits of a modern UC solution, but you also have a predictable monthly spend and a significantly lower phone bill.

Hopefully we’ve convinced you that these common cloud myths simply aren’t true. If you want to find out more about moving your telephony to the cloud and how Outsourcery can support your unique requirements, get in touch with our Skype for Business experts today. We can provide workshops with your key decision makers to demonstrate the technology and provide proof of concept environments to help your organisation experience the benefits of Microsoft Skype for Business.

Jon Seddon is head of product at Outsourcery

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