Cloud computing is transforming the business world, allowing companies of all sizes to implement advanced software and embrace innovative IT trends with fewer concerns and bigger savings. At the same time, however, not everything that can benefit from the cloud is doing so, as there are many technologies that have yet to make the transition to the hosted environment.
Unfortunately, the transition of many technologies, such as office systems and email, is slower than many advocates predicted. Gartner recently highlighted this occurrence, noting that only 8 percent of all office system users are in the cloud. Still, analysts believe this is a progressing market, noting that 33 percent of these tools will be in the cloud by 2017.
This market will gain significant momentum after 2015, Gartner noted. This is likely because the cloud will be more familiar to most organizations by then and employees will demand the ability to access mission-critical resources from anywhere.
“Despite the hype surrounding migration to the cloud, big differences in movement rates continue, depending on organizations’ size, industry, geography and specific requirements,” said Tom Austin, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “While 8 percent of business people were using cloud office systems at the start of 2013, we estimate this number will grow to 695 million users by 2022, to represent 60 percent.”
What factors weigh into cloud decisions?
Analysts noted that email is one of the world’s most significant collaborative tools, as it provides individuals with the ability to share information across networks and platforms. In many organizations, the option to move email to the cloud is among the biggest decisions, weighing into moving the entire office system to the cloud or not. Gartner believes that at least 10 percent of all email users will be based in the cloud by the end of next year, a number that will triple by the end of 2017.
“Although it is still early in the overall evolution of this cloud-based segment, there are many cases where businesses – particularly smaller ones and those in the retail, hospitality and manufacturing industries – should move at least some users to cloud office systems during the next two years,” Austin asserted.
Companies considering migrating office systems to the cloud need to think about how employees operate. Analysts said counting the number of devices used for communications and business applications is an important factor in determining whether the firm should adopt the cloud. This is because the licensing model of a cloud infrastructure is different from the past, forcing executives to think outside the box and pursue new strategies.
Is there cloud progress?
A separate RightScale study of more than 600 IT and business decision-makers highlighted how organizations around the world are pursuing the cloud with more enthusiasm than ever before. While there are still executives who are choosing to wait, the vast majority of enterprises have already made at least some headway into the cloud landscape, suggesting that the ongoing trend will be to move more resources to cloud servers.
By understanding how individuals work and how incorporating the cloud into day-to-day operations will change or improve that functionality, decision-makers will be in a better position to determine whether a move to the cloud will be worth it in the long run. For the most part, implementing cloud technologies will provide numerous advantages for employees and companies as a whole.
Although the progress to the cloud may not be as fast as some evangelists claim, there is a monumental shift to outsource operations to a hosted environment that continues to speed up with every passing year.