More CEOs Consider ‘Cloud’ a Viable Option

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More C-level execs in the U.K. recognize the advantages of using the cloud in their business communications, according to a new survey done by call-center software maker Interactive Intelligence.

Of the 100 head honchos polled, 64 percent already have deployed cloud services, or plan to implement them within five years. The manufacturing and retail, and distribution and transport, sectors found the cloud most appealing, Interactive Intelligence said.

The CEOs taking part in the research said one of the biggest benefits of cloud communications is the ability to add new features and functions without interrupting business processes. Of course, 52 percent of respondents cited cost savings as another major advantage, since they could reduce their capex and internal IT resources with cloud computing.

As for preference of who provides cloud computing: 68 percent of the C-level execs were most likely to consider a traditional carrier or hosted VAR; 19 percent said they would use a communications company; and 13 percent preferred a startup Software-as-a-Service provider.

Richard Snow, vice president and head of contact center research at Ventana Research, said it wasn’t surprising that telecom operators are first on the list. They are often “the most obvious choice … as they are already managing your communications systems, and contrary to popular belief, have been operating in some form in the cloud for years," Snow said.

However, Snow recommended that decision makers search for vendors that meet their business needs, then consider cost, ROI and overall strategy.

Finally, some CEOs indicated that security issues and lack of control hinder their move to the cloud. That was especially true among leaders in the financial services sector, where 68 percent of respondents said they’re concerned about privacy matters.

No matter what, “Companies are right to recognize the advantages of moving systems to the cloud," Snow said. Those advantages include lower up-front costs, faster implementation and increased flexibility. But, Snow added, “If you take a look at the bigger picture, it’s all about innovation. With these types of cloud-based solutions, companies can actually innovate in the way they communicate with the outside world and to their customers, creating a whole new way of conducting business."

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