Because the private sector continues to progress and evolve, decision-makers around the world are leveraging a variety of cloud services to gain a competitive advantage over rival firms and support long-term success strategies. As the cloud develops alongside the business world, executives are becoming more familiar and comfortable with a broad range of solutions, including hosted PBX systems and complex storage environments, enabling enterprises to be as efficient as possible.
A recent report by Gartner highlighted the ongoing expansion of the public cloud market, noting that it is forecast to grow 18.5 percent in 2013 to generate $131 billion in revenue, up from only $111 billion in 2012. Analysts said the cloud infrastructure services segment is likely to grow at the fastest rate, while cloud advertising will account for the largest portion of the market. However, the overall industry is expected to experience positive growth in the coming years, largely because businesses are feeling generally more comfortable with the technology, especially as remote working trends continue to pick up momentum.
"The continued growth of the cloud services market will result from the adoption of cloud services for production systems and workloads, in addition to the development and testing scenarios that have led as the most prominent use case for public cloud services to date," said Ed Anderson, research director at Gartner. "Evidence of this growth is found in the increasing demand for cloud services from end-user organizations, met by an increased supply of cloud services from suppliers."
Acknowledging the different levels of cloud computing
Although businesses largely make the initial transition into the cloud to leverage unique application services, implementing new infrastructure solutions can provide substantial benefits. Replacing an old phone system with a cloud-based offering, for example, introduces a number of unique opportunities, including the ability to support a large remote workforce and boost overall productivity.
Gartner said understanding the various tiers of cloud services is critical for the global private sector to continue its use of the cloud without interruption. A separate report by TechTarget highlighted the ongoing demand for cloud-based communications in today's highly mobile and fast-moving business world. By leveraging a cloud VoIP system, companies of all sizes can take advantage of a highly scalable telephony platform that can support anytime connectivity with fewer outages and better quality. This is especially important for firms looking to grow in the coming years, as cloud communications makes it easy to add or remove endpoints on demand.
Because the cloud has evolved so quickly, cloud communications have become synonymous with next-generation collaboration, especially as the contact center continues to change into a ubiquitous department that needs to meet demand at any hour of the day via a variety of platforms. TechTarget said the cloud has dramatically improved organizations' ability to meet customer needs, giving companies using the hosted technology a competitive advantage over rival firms still using antiquated solutions.
In the coming years, the cloud will continue to mature and provide even more substantial benefits to users confident enough in the technology to deploy services on a broad, multi-tiered level. While cloud storage and applications can introduce a number of long-term profits, cloud-based communications can improve efficiency in real time, strengthening a firm's ability to quickly recover operations in the wake of an emergency, support connectivity to a growing remote workforce and improve overall collaboration throughout the entire organization.
By taking the time to plan cloud deployments carefully, businesses will be able to find the services that meet their needs without sacrificing their budgets or other mission-critical goals.