We had recently discussed how cloud communications directly supports the mid-market’s primary business objectives. Empowering its users with technologies to make them more productive is a key driver for cloud-based UC in the mid-market. But it’s not the only reason why IT departments in the mid-market segment are increasingly paying attention to the cloud. Cloud-based UC also addresses many of the IT challenges that mid-market teams struggle with.
Mid-market IT teams face many of the same challenges that large enterprises do. They struggle to make effective and timely IT investments and to keep the technology skills of IT staff current. But, unlike large enterprises that have the resources to support multiple platforms and components to create best-of-breed solutions, the mid-market has limited IT resources.
Cloud-based UC services are uniquely positioned to meet these IT challenges. Service providers that understand both IT challenges and business objectives of the mid-market will be better positioned to help their customers adopt the cloud:
Timely and Effective IT Investments
Mid-size businesses can’t afford to waste time and money on the wrong technology. Making timely IT investments is the top challenge for 57% of mid-size decision makers, according to survey data from Frost & Sullivan. Cloud UC services help to solve this problem; they allow mid-market companies to invest in the tools they need today with the ability to quickly scale on-demand and adjust capabilities to meet changing needs. Unlike upfront capital expenditures, a subscription cloud model allows mid-size businesses to easily add new services or migrate providers as needs change.
Repurpose IT Resources
User and device administration is simple with cloud-based UC services. Mid-size companies don’t need to hire additional headcount or develop in-house expertise. Instead, they get easy access to advanced functionality and service provider expertise. IT staff are freed up to focus on other, strategic initiatives.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
On-premises telephony and UC platforms typically need redundant hardware and software in an alternate location for business continuity and disaster recovery. This is often cost-prohibitive for mid-size businesses. Cloud UC services are more resistant to disaster events in specific regions because they are usually deployed in redundant data centers. This makes Cloud UC inherently fault-tolerant.
Cloud UC offers significant benefits to both users and IT staff at mid-market companies. These services deliver fast access to the latest features, relieve workloads for IT departments and provide scalable, affordable growth. Most importantly, cloud UC offers what mid-market business users need—increased productivity through better collaboration.
The mid-market segment should prioritize their distinctive business communications and collaboration needs including factoring in their existing IT staff capabilities. By clearly defining a unique set of requirements and choosing a service provider who is committed to meeting them, it can then deploy a cloud UC solution offers maximum return on investment in the long run.