Cloud computing has ushered in a new era of collaboration technologies, allowing employees to access mission-critical documents through a number of devices, regardless of location. A recent survey of nearly 800 IT experts, cloud users and service providers by venture capital firm North Bridge Venture Partners found that the technology is expected to undergo several changes moving forward, but collaboration will remain a staple.
The survey found that 50 percent of respondents are confident in cloud computing to support their mission-critical applications. Nearly 60 percent of participants named the technology's scalability as their No. 1 reason for adopting the cloud, followed by 54 percent who named business agility.
So-called "cloud formations" are also taking shape, according to the study. More than 40 percent of those surveyed said backup and archiving fall under this category, while 22 percent named collaboration technologies and 19 percent said big data processing.
North Bridge said that 40 percent of participants are currently deploying public clouds, while 36 percent have implemented hybrid models. In the next five years, hybrid cloud use will surpass 50 percent.
"Our second annual survey has revealed that companies are growing increasingly confident in the cloud," noted North Bridge partner Michael Skok. "While agility and scalability continue to be primary drivers for cloud adoption, IT decision makers are beginning to trust the cloud with more mission-critical applications like ecommerce. Furthermore, the identification of ‘cloud formations’ around the hottest business trends including big data and analytics by both vendors and IT decision makers alike highlights new opportunities for cloud."
Cloud, other IT trends key to collaboration
Information technology nonprofit CompTIA conducted its own survey of businesses to determine which solutions will be crucial moving forward. Of those surveyed, 80 percent said unified communications is a valuable platform for their operations. Another 85 percent of participants plan to invest in communications and collaboration tools to keep pace with competitors. Mobility, social networking and other tools will also be important in the near future.
Much like the North Bridge study found, CompTIA director Seth Robinson noted that more organizations are expected to adopt a hybrid cloud platform to meet their business needs. The technology will be helpful for companies because of its video conferencing, voice, video and collaboration capabilities.