In the past, businesses didn't have many choices when it came to their communication lines; they had to rely on applications that were housed inside of the building that the business operated out of. This meant that all their email, telephone, video conferencing and messaging applications had to be run on their own network or servers. When a company is forced to run everything in-house, it requires a team of IT personnel to support these systems, and when these systems go down, the company finds that their business grinds to a halt. Fortunately, as cloud communications increase in popularity, the challenges of running and maintaining applications are slowly starting to fade.
How Do Cloud Communications Work?
Cloud computing has already made its way into the daily lives of most consumers, but many business owners are slow to adopt the technology due to security concerns. What they don't realize is that the cloud simply consists of off-site servers that can be accessed through the Internet. Cloud servers are maintained by server farms that supply servers to corporations throughout the world, and they use enterprise security technology; this means that information and data remain secure at all times.
Server farm owners take their jobs seriously; they work with big corporations, so their main goals are to offer speed, security and a high uptime. This attention to detail is good for cloud providers that base their servers in these server farms, and it's great for the customers who trust the cloud for their business needs. When people put their faith in the cloud, they expect security and integrity, so server farms are the perfect place for them to store their information. Almost all cloud providers comply with SSAE 16, NIST or IEEE standards.
One of the great things about the cloud is that businesses never have to worry about not being able to get access to their information due to server downtime; their information is stored on multiple servers, so when one goes down, the others take up its slack. This setup also provides scalability; when a business grows, their needs expand, and a server farm will dedicate the resources they need to keep their services up and running.
The Benefits Of Using Cloud Communications
Communication equipment is traditionally housed in the building where it is being used; phone, VOIP, messaging and email systems all need to be maintained by the company that uses them. These systems are static, so it's hard to update, backup and support them without professional help.
It costs a lot of money to keep these static systems running smoothly. Companies need to invest in redundant systems to backup information, and they need to hire people to make sure that everything is stable; this keeps employees busy, but it costs the business a lot of money. When these systems crash, it brings a business to its knees until they are up and running.
Cloud communications end these concerns. When a business owner uses the cloud, they have multiple instances of their applications running on various servers at one time; if something crashes or goes down, they instantly switch to another server. The servers are maintained by professionals, so the business owner can feel confident that their applications are being properly maintained and patched; this means that their equipment is always secure and up to date.
Server farms have close to 100 percent uptime; they do this by creating redundancy in their systems. Geographic and internal redundancy makes it almost impossible to shut a server farm down. If a catastrophic event happens at one site, the server farm still has servers operating in various other parts of the world, and traffic is just rerouted to servers in different locations. If a business tried to do this with their own systems, they'd have to spend an exorbitant amount of time and money.
Communication providers know that cloud computing is the future of communications, and they have started designing systems that are specifically made to be used in the cloud. Accessibility on the cloud is important; it allows administrators to login to a system remotely. If a problem occurs while the system administrator is away, they can still access the system through a secure portal to fix the problem. It's hard to beat a system that offers speed, security and accessibility with almost no maintenance.
What Communication Systems Work On The Cloud?
Almost all types of communication systems can be hosted in the cloud: PBX, audio, video conference, fax and interactive voice systems can all be transferred. Depending on how a business uses these systems, they can move over entirely, or they can create a hybrid system where only a part of their services are in the cloud.
When business owners are skeptical, they often go for the hybrid option first. The technology hasn't been around as long as static systems, so they do it just to get their feet wet. A hybrid system still comes with benefits like reduced costs and speed increases, and it can be implemented while their other systems are slowly transitioned over. Typically speaking, once an owner sees the benefits of their new cloud system, they jump at the opportunity to move all of their communication systems over; it just makes good business sense.
The Cloud Is The Future Of Communications
Cloud computing and communications aren't going away; experts predict that over 50% of large corporations and companies will have many of their systems operating in the cloud by the year 2016, and even more IT companies will have made the switch by that time. The numbers are huge, and when big corporations implement the technology, they will set the standard for businesses across the world. It's estimated that cloud services will be worth $110 billion by the year 2017.
Younger professionals and system administrators use the cloud in their daily lives; they stream movies, music and buy goods daily. For younger generations and tech savvy consumers, the cloud is simply a part of life. For them, it doesn't make sense to avoid the cloud; this acceptance is slowly making its way into the business world. When upper management hears about how the cloud can help scalability, costs, efficiency and security, it makes it hard for them to say no to the technology.