Unified Communications-as-a-Service will become a mainstream solution for Australian business in 2014, according to Nexon director, Barry Assaf.

He predicts the market has matured to the point where the majority of the unified communications (UC) request for quotation (RFQ) in 2014 will ask for a fully hosted option.

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"Technology and overall market understanding of how to leverage Cloud architectures to create tailored solution offerings have progressed to a point now that a fully hosted solution is a legitimate option for businesses looking to refresh their communications environment," he said.

The move to a "pay as you use" model is also pegged to gain momentum this year, with Assaf highlighting Cloud-based solutions as becoming a key shift in IT purchases.

"The industry will endure flat market conditions for the first two quarters followed by pick up in the third quarter," he said.

The dominance of mobile

Assaf is looking forward to 2014 being an interesting year in the IT industry, as he is currently seeing "a lot of inertia" in the market, even if business confidence is "still at the bottom of the curve".

"The speed at which the business has moved to a consumption-based pay as you use model has caught everyone by surprise," he said.

The growth of importance of mobility for businesses also continues to impress Assaf.

"Apple, the king of mobility, seemed to somewhat drop to the back of pack last year, so I am very interested to see who makes a big push into the mobility space in 2014," he said.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.