Phil Wainewright, UK vice-chairman for non-profit organisation EuroCloud, said that firms which make the move to the cloud should expect a number of benefits on top of access to the latest technology - these include lower maintenance costs and easier access to support.
“Turning to cloud applications means that you can get the latest capabilities and you can start using them straight away. Because the application is already up and running, the provider takes care of making sure that it keeps running and actually keeps upgrading it with extra functionality over time,” he said.
The industry figure also suggested that moving services to the cloud would enhance the IT security of a firm rather than making it more vulnerable to attack.
“It's less likely for the servers to get burgled [with unified communications], they're less exposed to people just being able to get access to them and download material,” he explained.
However, recent research by CompTIA, the Global IT Trade association, showed that security remains a key concern for small-to-medium enterprises in the UK.
Other worries include reliability, Internet connections and a lack of understanding surrounding how cloud computing technology works.
By Jim Ottewill