For years, enterprises have been observing employees and duly noting which technology services they use away from the office. Their recent observations summed up in a single word? Cloud.
Consumer technology users have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding the benefits they can accrue from using cloud services in their personal lives. Lower costs. Enhanced communication. Increased productivity. These same users are now asking the IT departments in their workplaces to provide similar services in order to help them do their jobs better.
IT is listening and increasingly becoming an advocate of cloud services. The challenge of attracting and retaining skilled employees to deploy and manage complex enterprise systems is a key driver in moving communications applications to the cloud, right along with cost savings, increased functionality, and enhanced collaboration. Enterprises are not only looking to reign in head counts — they are also focused on maximizing the strategic nature and work of the personnel they already have.
One of the other keys to cloud adoption in the workplace is the elimination of significant integration issues that have long hindered the cloud movement. Part of the promise — and part of the value — of cloud communications lies in its ability to integrate a range of business applications, from off-the-shelf software (think popular CRM packages like Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics) to industry or even company-specific technologies, thereby removing the historical islands of technology that have made workplace communications and collaboration less than optimal.
Cloud services are now viewed as an obtainable resource that can make work life easier — just as they do home life.