The survey comes against the backdrop of rapid growth in the cloud communications sector, whether public, private or hybrid. The latest MZA forecasts estimatethe compound annual growth rate of the cloud-based unified communications sector to be 14% up to 2023 in Western Europe.
Innovation at the heart of cloud migration
In an increasingly connected world, companies need to transform and adopt the latest communications and collaboration technology innovations to remain attractive and competitive. Reflecting this, 76% of UK companies (81% in Europe) rated access to innovative features not available with traditional telephony solutions as their main motivation for migrating to a cloud model.
As cloud technology delivers faster and easier access to key productivity tools, companies now view certain functionality as indispensable in effective cloud communications solutions. Unified communication features, including presence, secure instant messaging, voice and video calls, are top of their ‘must-have’ list with nearly nine in ten (88%) British companies surveyed considering them essential. Advanced collaboration functions, such as audio and video conferencing and seamless content sharing follow with 28% of companies citing them as essential.
Migration costs are critical for measuring ROI
The costs of migrating existing telephony architecture to the cloud are front-of-mind for businesses, compared with other costs such as change management expenses, or equipment and maintenance. A resounding 88% of UK companies reported migration costs as the primary factor to consider when it comes to ROI, echoing the European average of 84%. The performance improvements businesses can expect from the cloud are heavily dependent on the quality of underlying IT systems (such as the VPN).
UK businesses also consider the costs involved in data reversibility. Nearly half (46%) of companies in the UK ranked this as a key component, making it the second most important factor for British businesses.
Businesses are looking for cloud expertise
Companies are choosing different paths to the cloud, whether their business model aligns to a public, private or hybrid approach. According to the research, 71% of UK businesses report a need for experienced advisors to help them migrate to the cloud - 9 percentage points higher than the European average - in a manner that makes the most sense for their organization. These figures demonstrate that cloud deployments are considered a critical part of business’ long-term communications strategies, and companies are investing in expertise to guarantee future success.
"Cloud communications accelerate digital transformation, enabling companies to improve their productivity and deliver a better level of customer experience," explains Jeremy Butt, Senior Vice President, International for Mitel. "European countries are at different stages of maturity but the common point is that businesses already have a clear idea of which cloud model – UCaaS, hybrid or private cloud - will work for them based on their business needs. The important thing is to give them a cost-effective and low-risk migration roadmap as well as the opportunity to choose between public or private cloud. Mitel is uniquely positioned to offer customers that choice."