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Are you in or out – or shaking it all about?

By Philip Wicks: Alliance Director, Telefónica UK

So you’re being asked to decide one way or the other. And as usual, there are compelling arguments for both cases. But unlike some decisions you might be currently concerned with, the decision to host your Unified Communications either on premise or in the cloud doesn’t have to be definitive.

Driven by the need to support flexible working and improve customer service, many organisations already have or are thinking of adopting Unified Communications. Bringing together all their business communications – integrating everything from voice and instant messaging to video and group conferencing.

But tying together existing investments across disparate IP-PBX, desktop, smartphone and application environments in a manner that delivers a cohesive and differentiated end user experience, is… well… complicated. It’s a bit of a shake-up.

And that’s why for some IT owners turning to a cloud model, allowing them to scale their requirements up or down, all on a simple cost-per-month-per-user, is a compelling argument. Combining lower capital investment with the loss of complexity and support normally associated with an on premise solution means a definite OUT vote!

But for others, considerations around regulatory requirements, security, and potential concerns with connectivity and speed all build to a perceived lack of control. So it’s understandable that their cross comes down on the side of the IN camp.

But there really isn’t a right or wrong answer when choosing between maintaining systems and applications in the cloud or on premise. What might come as some reassurance for some is that you can actually have a bit of both – some in, some out.

You might find that some areas of your business can be relatively easily transition to the cloud. While other, more critical areas and users, might be best kept on premise. A hybrid approach.

It all depends on the type of business you are in, the sensitivity of data you possess, and your comfort level with having a third party manage the risk. On-premises and cloud solutions will almost certainly co-exist for the foreseeable future. It’s up to you to determine the most appropriate place for your specific needs. But rest assured, you can have the best of both worlds.

What’s your view on the “In or out” question? Email me here, or visit our website to see what options we offer.

Ready to scale up your business? Call an O2 business specialist on 0800 028 0202 or call free from your O2 mobile on 8002.


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