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VoIP, Cloud on the Rise for Business

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January 11, 2012

VoIP, Cloud on the Rise for Business

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Richard Gordon, a research vice president at Gartner (News - Alert), recently told industry observer Ann Bednarz that back in 2008, not a great time economically, “nobody knew what was going to happen as a result of the global financial crisis and IT spending almost stopped overnight."

But, he noted, even during these worrisome economic times, “enterprises have continued to spend on IT, albeit with caution. IT budgets grew in 2011, but not by much when the impact of exchange rates is factored in.”

The good news is that VoIP and cloud and hosted services are on the rise.

As Bednarz notes, not all enterprises are staffing up and spending more. Some are still looking to control costs, budgets are still flat, such as in Ridgeland, Mississippi, where "We're still cautious,” Joe Kirchner, information systems manager for the city told Bednarz. "We're taking care of the essentials, and there's beginning to be some optimism."

The city is optimistic enough to extend a VoIP rollout as a major project slated for 2012, Kirchner said, explaining that Ridgeland analyzed its VoIP options “for several years” before starting to deploy the technology at city hall and the police department.

The city is kicking tires on options for a virtual desktop deployment as well.

It’s part of what Bednarz sees as a broader move to cloud computing, which she regards as “another area of accelerated growth as 2012 gets underway.” The way she explains it, the shift from traditional IT acquisition models to public cloud services is “still in the early stages, but growing at much faster rate (19 percent annually through 2015) than overall enterprise IT spending, according to Gartner.”

Cloud’s main, blinding benefit is well known -- it costs little compared to any other option. There are other advantages, but let’s be honest, cost is about 51 percent of most in-house discussions on cloud, right? That’s helped more than half of the world's largest companies see their way clear to storing customer-sensitive data in the public cloud by year-end 2016, according to a Gartner prediction cited by Bednarz.

In the big picture, she says, “enterprises aren't waiting around for the economy to improve. IT executives are spending in new areas and dramatically rethinking how they acquire technology and deliver services to end users. After a period of unrelenting focus on cost-cutting, these course adjustments are a breath of fresh air.”

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO registration click here.

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David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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