It’s Happening: EU Companies are Ready to Move to the CloudReelika Tammeoru
A growing number of European companies would migrate to the cloud to improve resiliency, mobility and remote collaboration using Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). While even before the pandemic almost half (44%) were ready to shift their telephony online, the pandemic proved the cloud’s power and eliminated many executives’ fears about the technology.
With the turbulence brought on by COVID-19, companies are striving to operate in a new economic environment. Both employees and customers rely on technology to connect no matter where they’re physically located or what device they use. Customer experience, remote collaboration and distance working, while important before, have all become critical.
Findings from the third edition of Mitel’s EU Cloud Survey illustrate how EU businesses were on the cusp of change even before the pandemic, exhibiting more maturity in their views and decisions about their approach to the cloud. In fact, due to the telecommunications, information technology and telephone infrastructure put in place in recent years, European companies were in a strong position to handle the demands brought on by COVID-19.
Here are some of survey’s key findings:
Trust In The Cloud Is Up
In just a year, reluctance to move to the cloud dropped dramatically. Sixteen percent of respondents said they fully trust cloud technology for their call centers compared to only 1% in 2018. Further underscoring this point, only 39% now express reservations, compared to over three-quarters in the previous survey.
Companies Are Ready
In total, 44% of companies said they’re ready to shift to the cloud with some conditions.
Essential To Growing The Business
Over a third (35%) ranked the ability to grow their business as the most important reason for cloud migration, compared to 16% in 2018.
Network Availability Ranks High
When evaluating criteria related to service continuity and guarantees, 33% said network availability was key versus only 4% in 2018. Another significant shift was the importance placed on platform availability (site recovery, fault-tolerant servers, high availability). In the latest survey, 27% of executives ranked this as important compared to two-thirds in the survey’s second edition.
Why these changes? As companies become more knowledgeable about cloud technology and telephony, concerns about nuts-and-bolts issues—like software applications and platform availability—decline while higher-level functionality comes to the forefront. EU companies have deepened their understanding of the cloud and its potential for their businesses.
What Do Businesses Want?
Flexibility, resilience and adapting technology to a business’s specific needs were the most important criteria for moving telephony to the cloud.
Almost half of respondents (46%) said they wanted the freedom to change suppliers “with no delay” if a service contract wasn’t fulfilled. One out of five respondents (22%) said reversibility was also an important issue. Over a third (35%) said that flexibility and adaptation of solutions to their business needs were important.
Data and network availability are big priorities. Thirty-nine percent said they want their telephone data to be available 24/7, 365 days a year. Likewise, network availability, which also contributes to resilience, was cited by a third of respondents.
Technology As A Service
Some 35% of respondents mentioned Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) as one of the main drivers of their decision for cloud-based telephony. Over a third indicated the importance of full-mobility integration (36%), UC features such as presence, availability, secure SMS and video (35%) and advanced collaboration tools (33%).
More than a third (36%) said their prime criterion for ROI was the need to properly account for costs related to specific equipment and maintenance. Change management (34%) and migration from on-premise to cloud-based architecture (33%) were also cited as top criteria. Interestingly, in the 2018 survey, 84% said migration cost was the primary factor. This shows that as European businesses have become more experienced with cloud telephony, their ROI calculations have become more sophisticated.
Almost half (47%) would prefer a private cloud (in their own data centers or a partner’s) and 22% are interested in a hybrid solution. One out of five respondents showed interest in a public cloud arrangement. This might be because smaller companies that want cloud-based telephony see this as an expedient solution.
One of COVID-19’s impacts is an economy based on distancing, whether it involves remote working and collaboration, customer responsiveness or supply chain management. Businesses need to deploy a wide range of technologies to support this new kind of workplace and marketplace.
About The Survey
The third edition of the Mitel EU Cloud survey was conducted by telephone and online between November 2019 and January 2020 with 1,108 corporate and IT executives of European companies.