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No Jitter Research: 2016 Cloud Communications Survey

  • To assess the attitudes of the No Jitter enterprise audience regarding the use of cloud communications services, No Jitter conducted its second-annual Cloud Communications Survey (see the results from our inaugural survey here). The 2016 survey, conducted in late August and early September, drew a total of 255 responses from enterprise IT professionals.

    The overall results reveal an enterprise preference for a model in which a provider owns, operates, and maintains the software within its own or public cloud infrastructure, in addition to continued growth in the use of cloud communication services, and growing interest in cloud PBX and three other functional areas. Click through for an in-depth look at these and other findings.

  • Cloud Model Behavior
    As mentioned in the previous slide, No Jitter's 2016 Cloud Communications Survey results show that enterprises largely prefer a cloud model in which the provider owns, operates, and maintains the communications software within its own or public cloud infrastructure. Half of this year's 255 enterprise respondents said their organizations are using communications services delivered via this model, compared to only 27% of respondents who indicated their organizations prefer to own, operate, and maintain their software hosted on a provider's cloud infrastructure. In each case, the percentage of enterprise respondents whose organizations are using cloud communications services increases slightly when looking at companies with 1,000 or more employees. Of the 112 respondents falling in this large enterprise category, 53% said their organizations are using cloud communications services under the first model, while 31% are doing so via the second model.

  • Meetings in the Cloud
    Conferencing -- of the audio, video, and Web varieties -- remain among the most-used cloud communications services among those favoring the provider-owned cloud software model, with only slight fluctuation from 2015 survey data.

  • Which Cloud Services?
    Looking beyond the cloud conferencing data presented in the previous slide, the 2016 survey results show an uptick over last year's results in the use of provider-owned and -hosted cloud communications software in four application types: mobile apps, PBX/call control, ACD/contact center, and communications APIs. In addition, two-thirds of enterprise respondents indicated their organizations are using unified communications cloud services (comprising instant messaging/presence, conferencing, and voice and video calling). We did not break out UC as a distinct category in the 2015 survey, so a year-to-year comparison is not available.

  • A Little Bit of Foresight
    The forecast for cloud PBX, team collaboration and other mobile application services, UC, and contact center in the cloud looks promising, with enterprise respondents indicating bringing on these additional functions in 2017. Here's a closer look at each category:

    Cloud PBX -- As shown above, slightly more than one-tenth of enterprise respondents said their organizations would be adding cloud PBX services within the next 12 months. With the year-over-year comparisons showing a rise from 20% to 28% of enterprises indicating they are using cloud PBX services, this forecast will continue the growth trend.

    Team Collaboration/Mobile Apps -- Use of team collaboration and other cloud-based mobile communications applications also jumped 8% from 2015 to 2016, based on No Jitter survey results. The upward trend should continue, with 16% of this year's enterprise respondents indicating their organizations would be adding mobile apps to the list of cloud communications services they use in the next 12 months.

    UC -- One-third of this year's respondents said they are currently using cloud-based UC services, with an additional 20% signaling they would be doing so within the next 12 months, signaling the rise of UCaaS in the enterprise.

    Contact Center -- The growth in cloud contact center was only a slight 2% from 2015 to 2016, but 10% of this year's enterprise respondents indicated their organizations would be bringing on cloud contact center services in the next 12 months.

  • Cloud by Company Size
    Cloud communications clearly isn't just for smaller companies -- as our survey shows, half of enterprise respondents work at companies that have between 500 and 50,000 employees. In fact, companies that have 1,000 or more employees are even likelier than the overall survey base to be using cloud communications services. As shown above, this finding is evident when looking at cloud PBX, for example. Thirty percent of enterprise respondents working at organizations with more than 1,000 employees are getting PBX service from the cloud, compared to 28% of the overall base. Likewise, 41% of the same group said their organizations are using cloud UC services, compared to 34% of the overall respondent pool.

  • Cloud-Based Customer Service
    As noted earlier, 22% of enterprise respondents said their organizations rely on cloud-hosted ACD/call center/contact center capabilities, while 10% are set to add those capabilities in the next 12 months. Survey results relative to cloud contact center show that here, too, organization size is not proving a barrier to cloud entry. While the greatest number of agents in cloud-based contact centers falls in the 1-to-499 range (60%), one-third of respondents have between 500 and 9,999 agents -- and a fraction of respondents have indicated they have more than 10,000 agents in the cloud.

  • Satisfaction Levels
    As a rating of satisfaction, we asked enterprise respondents whether they intended to bring any cloud-hosted communications services in-house. With three quarters of respondents signaling no intention of doing so, it would seem companies are largely satisfied with the cloud communications services they're using. No consensus bubbled up when looking at what types of services respondent organizations might be pulling out of the cloud. Selections ran the gamut, from ACD/contact center software to video conferencing and UC.

  • Provider Complexity
    Far away most enterprises represented in No Jitter's 2016 Cloud Communications Survey are using either one or two cloud communications providers -- and only a handful (4%) are using, well, a handful of providers (more than five). Compared to 2015, these results vary most at the extremes -- with only 29% of enterprise respondents a year ago using a single provider and 7% using more than five providers.

  • Legacy Vendors: Stay or Stray?
    In the survey, we found that enterprise respondents are fairly equally divided on whether they will migrate to the cloud with their legacy communications vendors, either fully or in premises-cloud hybrids, or whether they will move forward with a provider that hasn't been part of a legacy environment. Likewise, as shown above, not quite half of all respondents said the ability to build a hybrid communications environment (mixing and matching premises and cloud functionality) was important to very important to their organizations. For organizations with 1,000 or more employees, the importance of hybrid communications environments grows to 57%, No Jitter Research found.

  • Cloud Motivations
    Enterprises are drawn to cloud communications services for many different reasons. Chief among them for No Jitter enterprise survey respondents are reduced total cost of ownership compared to on-premises solutions (24%); the agility to add features, functions, and/or users quickly in response to business needs (19%); and system resiliency/disaster recovery (14%), as shown above. Scalability and the ability to address a lack of adequate in-house staffing ranked as compelling reasons for 11% of respondents, while the advantage of opex pricing fell below that mark. Not shown above is the "Other" category, which rounds out the list at 14%. Global reach and flexibility -- in both migration and deployment choice -- also surfaced as key cloud selling points.

  • Cloud Attitude Check
    As yet one more sign of the overall positive attitude about cloud communications, more than half of No Jitter survey respondents -- 55% -- said they believe the benefits of moving to the cloud are either clearly identifiable or underestimated.

  • More to Come on Cloud Communications
    Explore cloud communications with us in-depth at Enterprise Connect 2017, taking place March 27 to 30 in Orlando. Check out what topics we'll be delving into in our Cloud Communications track here, and register today with code NOJITTER to receive $300 off an Entire Event pass or a free Expo Plus pass.

Explore results from No Jitter's second-annual survey on cloud communications.