The cloud is the future

    The promises and opportunities associated with implementing cloud services in the workplace have flooded headlines for the past several years, convincing many decision-makers to implement a hosted PBX system, off-site storage or other cloud-based technologies. Some executives are more stubborn, however, and refuse to accept the potential advantages that come hand-in-hand with embracing a cloud-enabled culture.

    In many cases, the benefits of using the cloud include the ability to improve collaboration, reduce dependency on outdated hardware and gain access to next-generation tools that will help enterprises survive the competitive business world in the next several years. Yet there is sometimes a resistance to change that companies need to overcome if they are to make headway into the cloud market. A recent ReadWriteWeb report highlighted how decision-makers can overcome these obstacles by planning ahead and developing innovative adoption strategies.

    Highlight the downfall of legacy solutions

    A lot of enterprises have fallen into the trough of comfortability during the last several years, ReadWriteWeb noted. This means they are using outdated office phone systems and other tools to carry out mission-critical objectives, making it more difficult to perform tasks in a timely and efficient manner. Even though operations are suffering, decision-makers and employees continue to perform the same way they have for years because of a sense of familiarity. This, more than anything else, will be among the hardest things to break.

    There's no doubt that people in general are stubborn. Rather than participating in complex training sessions, they would sometimes rather stick to what they know. Executives looking to migrate to the cloud cannot accept this mentality, as doing so is just adding more coffin nails. Instead, decision-makers should highlight the benefits associated with replacing an old phone system and deploying a cloud-based offering.

    The advantages of a cloud PBX, executives should say, are vast and wide. Rather than being tied down to the office, for example, individuals can carry out corporate activities at home or on the road via personal smartphones, tablets and other gadgets without introducing connectivity or quality problems. Cloud-based services are also extremely flexible, allowing employees to complete tasks more efficiently than ever before.

    Tossing out old habits

    While the advantages of using the cloud are pretty well known, many workers will reinforce their argument "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," ReadWriteWeb noted. This is irrelevant, however, as the IT landscape will continue to evolve and change. If enterprises do not jump ahead of the curve, they will find it increasingly difficult to compete and operate in the coming years, compromising their ability to survive in the long run.

    The cloud is quickly becoming inevitable, and if employees do not see it, they need to be shown the way. Analysts from ABI Research said nearly half of all enterprise communications will be in the cloud by 2014. Telecom vendors are sure to take notice of this and will likely adjust their offerings to stay relevant in the future. This means any company still using outdated phone systems will lose their service provider and find it virtually impossible to communicate with colleagues, partners and customers. In other words, cloud VoIP is the likely future of all things telecom.

    In the coming years, the cloud will continue to disrupt enterprise operations by introducing new analytic tools, collaborative platforms and storage solutions. By planning ahead and working with a trusted service provider, decision-makers can find the offerings that best fit their organizations' demands. This will improve enterprises' chances of success in an otherwise increasingly complex and competitive environment.