Share of cloud in unified communications to rise from 6% in 2015, to 28% in 2016

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/Yongyuan Dai)

A survey undertaken by The Redshift Research and Azzurri Communications has found that enterprise communications is set to undergo a major overhaul in 2016. The main areas to see transformation will be mobility models, telephony set-ups and dependence on collaboration tools. The share of cloud in unified communications (UC) is expected to rise from 6% in 2015 to 28% in 2016, set to witness a 466% increase during the year.

The survey found that 93% of enterprises have put in place at least one collaboration tool, with 69% putting in place more than one while 29% put in place four or more. The use of such tools is set to rise as 41% of enterprises are planning to boost investment in the category in 2016, with every segment in the category slated to see a large increase in deployment. The segments slated to see the fastest growth are phone-based conferencing services, enterprise social networking and presence and IM tools.

With regard to telephony, UC is gaining traction against the likes of IP or traditional PBX use, which account for 62% of the market. Despite this, 48% of enterprise IT departments are looking to make the switch to UC in 2016 as the traditional offering involves high maintenance costs (55%) and frustrating inflexibility (55%). Only a third will stick to IP or traditional PBX in 2016.

In addition to UC, the cloud is also expected to see a massive surge in 2016 as this alternative is expected to account for 28% of the market during the year. On-site UC deployments will fall by over a third in the next 12 months.

Another highlight of the survey is an anticipated decline in use of BYOD, which accounts for 33% of UK enterprises’ mobility models. The rest of the market is divided between company-provided devices for either solely business use (31%) or both business and personal use (36%). The market is set to see a huge change as approximately 40% of enterprises are planning to change their set-up, driven by cost (63%), the inflexibility of the model (50%) or the drain on IT resource time (44%).

Only 12% of the respondents planned to stick to BYOD in 2016, in line with employee preference – as only 16% were open to a BYOD model. 43% favour corporate devices for only business use as compared to 45% who are fine about using devices for business and personal use. There also exists a 10% bias amongst employees in favour of business-use-only corporate devices.

Azzurri Communications CTO, Rufus Grig, said: “It is clear that there is very little support from employees for BYOD, and not much more from CIOs. In three years it has gone from ‘next big thing’ to a minority pre-occupation, with both employees and business preferring company-provided devices. We suspect that among the many reasons for this, employees wanting to focus on work-life balance and increasing allegiance to specific smartphone brands coupled with enterprise CIOs’ frustrations with the drain on their IT team’s time and the cost of supporting multiple platforms means that BYOD will become a marginal operating model for mobile devices in the enterprise.”

Are you surprised at the predicted increase of cloud usage in unified communications? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

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21 Dec 2015, 10:12 a.m.

Microsoft launched themselves as a Global telephony company in Office 365, that is a major step in the direction of Cloud Business telephony. If they will succeed, is still to be seen but there is no doubt that the action will force Telephony companies around the world to step up to the UC challenge.