As organizations embrace cloud technologies to accelerate the provisioning of applications, increase their availability, and reduce costs, they have their sights squarely set on cloud when it comes to their collaboration applications.¹ In fact, migrating collaboration technologies to the cloud has become fundamental to the ability of many enterprises to cost-effectively make collaboration available to large numbers of endusers.

This is one of the key findings in the 2016 Connected Enterprise Report, which was published today by Dimension Data. The report provides an overview of the state of collaboration implementation strategies, and highlights trends and disruptions in enterprises across the globe. The findings are based on a study of 900 participants in 15 countries. Survey participants include IT directors, CIOs, and line of business managers working in organizations with over 1,000 employees.

According to the report, one third of the decision makers surveyed said cloud is critical, yet less than 25% currently use hosted collaboration services.

Joe Manuele, Dimension data’s group executive, Customer Experience and Collaboration Business Unit, says the research confirms that cloud has become essential in executing on a wide range of digital transformation initiatives. “Whether internally managed servers running in a company-controlled data center, or externally provided services that require little or no capital investment, cloud is the underlying platform that allows enterprises to deploy applications efficiently, affordably, and at scale. 

“It’s little wonder that the top technology trends affecting most enterprise collaboration strategies are cloud related.  Our research reveals that 51% of organizations see moving to the cloud as the top trend affecting their collaboration strategy.” 

There’s no one reason why enterprises are moving collaboration to the cloud. Instead, there’s a diverse set of strategic, operational, and financial motivations which underpin enterprise collaboration cloud initiatives. The top motivations include:

  • An organization-wide cloud strategy is in place, indicating the direction that collaboration applications will also take
  • Initially, cloud costs are likely to cost less. However when adopted as a hosted service, they can become an operational, rather than capital expense.
  • Applications in the cloud are easier to administer and keep up to date, resulting in a less onerous management process
  • For most enterprises cloud-based collaboration is an objective rather than a current reality. On average, 75% of collaboration applications are still deployed on-premise, either managed by an internal IT department, or with a third-party provider managing them on the behalf of the company.

“This makes sense since enterprises have traditionally purchased collaboration technology — whether it’s video conferencing equipment, PBXs, instant messaging apps, or enterprise social software — as a capital investment, with the software and systems deployed on-premise and managed via internal IT resources,” explains Manuele.

“IT departments are used to buying collaboration technology for deployment on-premise, and this is how companies’ procurement processes are set up,” explained Brian Riggs, principal analyst for Enterprise Services at Ovum. “Changing these processes takes time, and that’s partially what’s behind the slow transition to the cloud. The market is in the midst of a turning point. More and more companies are migrating collaboration software to the cloud, though for some it will be a years-long process.”

¹  As a set of technologies, collaboration includes tools that provide real-time voice and video communications, as well as text-centric  tools for messaging, file sharing, project management, and social networking


This article was originally posted “Report: Organizations Have Their Sights Set On Cloud When It Comes To Unified Communications And Callaboration” from Cloud Strategy Magazine.