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Cloud Communications Poised for Expansion Through 2021

Cloud communications may be relatively new, but it's already seen rapid development, according to Zeus Kerravala, founder and president of ZK Research. "It's head and shoulders different than it was even just a few years ago," Kerravala said during a recent Enterprise Connect/No Jitter webinar.

And for the enterprise buyer, Kerravala says don't expect that pace of change to slow down any time soon. "One of the interesting things about the cloud is the evolutionary cycles are so much faster," he said, adding that because cloud services are so heavily software-driven, "The cloud tends to be a very highly dynamic, agile, scalable platform." As a result, "I would expect the evolution of communications to be even faster now that it's moving into the cloud."

Enterprise interest in cloud communications is also being driven by the concept of digital transformation, Kerravala told the webinar audience. Businesses need to adapt to market shifts faster in order to remain competitive, requiring new, more agile operating models. While past enterprise discussions were largely focused on how the cloud can help lower costs or enable pervasive communications, the cloud value proposition has evolved. Businesses are now thinking about what the cloud can do for them that can't be done with traditional on-premises communications systems, Kerravala said.

Kerravala groups digital initiatives into three larger categories, for all of which communications (particularly in the cloud) are vital. These are: to empower the workforce, to deliver new customer experiences, and to take advantage of new business models.


In fact, as the above webinar slide shows, the evolution of unified communications is further driving the demand for cloud, which can deliver scale, automation, and agility, Kerravala said. "The rapid evolution of UC is driving the need for the cloud because we can do things faster in the cloud than we can on-prem," he said. "So when you think about cloud communications in 2021, the reason we'll be in the cloud is because we will have to be in the cloud in order to do things faster."

The increased interest in cloud communications is happening in the context of enterprise IT's growing acceptance of cloud services generally. Kerravala also presented the chart below, which shows continued growth in market share for public and hybrid cloud, with the vast majority of companies having at least some hybrid cloud deployed by 2021.


Hear more on this topic from Zeus Kerravala: Watch the full webinar, now available for on-demand viewing here.

And take a deeper dive into the future of cloud communications with Zeus Kerravala at Enterprise Connect 2018, March 12 to 15, in Orlando, Fla., in the session, "Cloud Communications 2021: Is the Cloud Unavoidable?" Register now using the code NOJITTER to save an additional $200 off the Early Bird Pricing or get a free Expo Plus pass.

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