Cloud communications could pay dividends for small businesses

    Cloud computing has long been heralded as an ideal solution for small businesses. The technology's ability to reduce capital hardware costs and operational IT maintenance costs is an essential tool for small and medium-sized businesses, as it allows them to invest in innovative technologies that would normally be out of reach. Essentially, cloud computing levels the playing field. More SMBs are noticing this trend. According to a recent study performed by Webtorials, a growing number of small businesses are beginning to see the value of the cloud for their communications infrastructure, eWeek reported.

    The research, which was sponsored by a telephony provider, discovered that the awareness of cloud solutions in the SMB sector is rising quickly. This is accelerating the adoption climate because more organizations are aware of the technology's benefits and actively working to apply them to their operations. However, most small businesses are not purely interested in the cloud. Instead, they are ardently focused on finding the solution that offers the lowest total cost of ownership without sacrificing the functionality they require, the news source explained.

    According to the Webtorials study, the SMB market's rising cloud is accompanied by a growing trend towards dissatisfaction with telephony infrastructure. The survey's results suggested that unified communications is emerging as a solution that overcomes the shortcomings of current telephony architectures in the SMB sector, and fosters innovation and improved collaboration in the sector, eWeek explained.

    Steve Taylor, editor in chief and publisher for Webtorials, said the small business sector's move to recognize the benefits of the cloud could pay major dividends in the short- and long-term success of organizations, according to the news source.

    "It is encouraging to see that SMBs are taking the initiative to learn more about cloud-based services. This is a needed first step for SMBs to realize the tools and solutions available to achieve the goals they stated as unattainable," Taylor explained, eWeek reported.

    While total cost of ownership is a clear concern for small businesses, focusing solely on the metric can lead to missed benefits associated with cloud telephony solutions. Businesses that turn to a cloud PBX, unified communications and other advanced phone systems can reduce their travelling costs while improving collaboration. Disaster recovery is also improved, as many cloud plans include options for rerouting calls to a third-party call center or to employee-owned devices in the event of an outage at the client's headquarters.

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