Is the cloud the right choice for your business? Odds are, the answer is an unambiguous yes. By this point, it's hard to find a firm that's not using the cloud in some capacity. When it comes to cloud adoption, it's really just a question of degrees.
But that's where the issue can become murky. Some companies have fully embraced all things cloud, from cloud-based unified communications to cloud data backup and beyond. Others have taken a more limited approach. In many cases, the decision of how far to go with the cloud comes down to total cost of ownership calculations.
However, as No Jitter contributor Blair Pleasant recently asserted, such a mindset can be limiting. Oftentimes, the true value of cloud solutions can't really be determined though TCO evaluations, she explained.
Obviously, TCO is an important consideration, and it makes sense for business decision-makers to factor this in when deciding whether or not to embrace a new, cloud-based model in any part of their organization. This is particularly true for smaller firms that face more significant financial limitations in their IT projects.
That being said, a lot of the cloud's true value is harder to quantify, Pleasant explained.
For example, Pleasant called cloud-based UC a "no brainer" for small to mid-sized companies that lack large IT staffs. She pointed out that these solutions enable such firms to enjoy robust telecommunications capabilities without the stress or financial burden posed by maintaining on-premise hardware. If an organization has multiple locations, it won't need to keep an IT professional on staff at each site.
That's not all. The writer also emphasized the flexibility benefits offered by cloud-based unified communications. With the cloud, businesses only pay for the services they actually use. This means that a company can easily scale up or scale down as circumstances change, all without the risk of growing inefficiencies. For growing companies or seasonal firms, this inherent flexibility is invaluable, but it can't be fully expressed in a TCO calculation.
Business continuity is another key, hard-to-quantify benefit, Pleasant explained. With cloud services, the vendor delivers redundancy and disaster recovery capabilities. This means that even in the event of a serious disaster, downtime is minimized, or eliminated altogether. Considering the damage that downtime can inflict on a business's reputation, these business continuity benefits, while hard to nail down, are undoubtedly major.
More and more, the cloud is becoming the standard, rather than just an option, and this trend extends into just about every industry. Right now, choosing cloud-based UC and other services can provide a competitive boost to a company, thanks to all of these advantages. Before long, though, leveraging the cloud will be absolutely essential just to keep pace.