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Gartner sees shift to hybrid cloud unified communications

Australian businesses are moving towards a hybrid cloud approach to their unified communications services, according to Gartner analyst Geoff Johnson.

Today, 95 per cent of businesses unified communications are kept on premise, including telephony, email, messaging and videoconferencing, Johnson told Computerworld Australia, ahead of this weeks Gartner Symposium on the Gold Coast. The trend now is to move more of these services to the cloud and companies are thinking carefully about which ones, he said.

Learn how smart CIOs are protecting customers from security breaches

Moving UC services to the cloud is sometimes less and sometimes more expensive than keeping them on premise, Johnson said.

It depends on the specification, he said. If its the same level of specification, one for one, theres lots of opportunity to commoditise in the cloud.

But if youre in a high-demand environment like a bank or trading floor where theyve got lots of client requirements, thats going to be more expensive than a very basic user like a university student population that might use Google apps.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the real obvious adopters of cloud-based UC services, since cloud is on demand and requires no capital or operational spending, Johnson said.

Security has lessened as a concern for companies mulling a move to the cloud, the Gartner analyst said. Many companies have come to realise that the large-scale service providers security environment is generally more secure than they could provide for themselves, he said. Those providers tend to have bigger teams with greater security expertise, he said.

Johnson sees mobile as the least well-delivered component of unified communications". Most businesses do not have all their core applications available in a mobile context, he said. But if you look at uptake of mobile devices ... its clearly an imperative for consumer and business users.

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia


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