While cloud technology has been a long-term trend in IT, there remain many myths about how it works and what advantages it holds, according to a West IP Communications survey of more than 300 IT managers.
Surveyed IT managers appeared split on just how much a shift to the cloud would affect their company's bottom line, with 54 percent expecting to recoup the entire price tag in savings while 46 disagreed, saying the return on investment (ROI) was not there just yet.
Two-thirds (66 percent) of mangers with company IT budgets over $5 million were confident the savings would cover the operating costs, indicating businesses with bigger IT budgets were more confident that they would recoup their costs.
Of those who did see an ROI, 74 percent expected to realize a savings through reduced costs of doing business, which includes both maintenance costs and the necessary size of the IT staff.
Timing-wise, just over 41 percent of those respondents expected to recoup the initial cost in about five years. Others were even more optimistic, as 31 percent said it would take two years and 21 percent saying just one year.
The survey, which asked how the cloud has changed or can change the way IT departments deliver telecommunications services to their companies, revealed that a clear majority believe quality of service would not suffer due to the transition.
Nearly 75 percent confirmed that when moving telecommunications to the cloud, quality of service would either stay the same or even improve, according to the report.
However, more than half of the respondents (55 percent) said they don't believe communication services providers offer sufficient security checks alongside their cloud telecommunications offerings.
The majority (55 percent) said they would implement a private cloud solution, where company data is siloed using either physical or logical server separation.
Another 32 percent believed a hybrid approach, which mixes private, public and on-premises solutions, would be the right route.
When asked to rank the top reasons their company would benefit from a cloud-hosted communications program, IT managers listed the reduced capital expenditures as No. 1 and reduced operational expenditures as No. 2.
Despite this widespread acceptance, many companies still host too many complex systems on-premises, especially for unified communications (UC) tools that could easily be hosted in the cloud, creating both infrastructure management and cost benefits.
Of the IT managers surveyed, about 40 percent said their organization has plans to move voice and telephony communications to the cloud.
"Overall, while hosting systems in the cloud has grown in popularity over the past few years, more IT managers should talk to their service providers to discuss important factors like cost and security," the report concluded. "The fact is that pushing essential unified communications tools to the cloud can provide companies with a cost-effective, secure method of improving efficiencies within the IT department and the broader organization."