The study concluded that cloud-based unified communications (UC) could eliminate productivity shortfalls among SMBs.
businesses are increasingly becoming educated about the benefits cloud
computing holds for their companies, according to a report from Fonality, a
business communications company.
released the results of a survey conducted by Webtorials, which measured 2012
communications goals and challenges for small to medium-size businesses (SMBs).
"2012 Small and Medium-Sized Business Communications Plans and Priorities
State-of-the-Market Report" revealed a 14 percent increase in the sector's
understanding of cloud-based service options over last year; however,
optimizing the total cost of operations (TCO) still remains the top priority
study concluded that cloud-based unified communications (UC) could eliminate
productivity shortfalls among SMBs. For example, efficiencies created by UC in
a typical firm with 50 knowledge workers earning salaries ranging from $40,000
to $110,000 could recover two hours a day in productivity. The corresponding
dollar amount of this time savings is valued at approximately $950,000
results also indicated some ambivalence toward cloud computing education. About
half (52 percent) indicated they feel they have the requisite in-house staff,
time and budget to keep pace with the latest IT technology on their own. Yet 28
percent indicated they hadn't moved to a modern telephony and message system
because of lack of staff. Twenty-eight percent also said they had no technology
plan because they were too busy keeping up with daily operations.
awareness about the benefits of cloud solutions gains momentum, these findings
suggest that SMBs are beginning to connect the cost-saving potential of these
services to their overall mission of reducing expenditures and minimizing TCO,"
said Fonality CEO David Scult. "While controlling costs by investing in
new technology seems contradictory, cloud-based communications tools, in
particular, can be leveraged to drive competitive differentiation and maximize
operational expenses. As a result, this technology can help spur growth through
enhanced productivity and efficiency."
study found containing cost and reducing TCO remains the primary goal for SMBs
in 2012, while education about the capabilities of cloud-based technology has
significantly increased and is perceived as a "great equalizer"
against larger competitors. Flexibility and mobility with communications
solutions are gaining importance with almost one quarter of respondents, and
the need to provide access to communications solutions for remote employees was
cited by 85 percent of respondents.
is encouraging to see that SMBs are taking the initiative to learn more about
cloud-based services," said Steve Taylor, editor in chief and publisher
for Webtorials. "This is a needed first step for SMBs to realize the tools
and solutions available to achieve the goals they stated as unattainable."
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.