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RingCentral 2016 Predictions: Double down on the cloud: it's a no-brainer

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by John Marlow, Managing Director of EMEA, SVP of Corporate Development, and General Counsel, RingCentral

Double down on the cloud: it’s a no-brainer

It's December. Another year done, another chance to take a moment to predict how our industry will grow and develop next year. 2015 my have been a ‘year of the cloud' but who's to say 2016 can't be the year. The year that defined cloud computing with solutions being offered to maximise efficiency, flexibility and data, especially as collaboration tools become a more important part of how we do business. Cloud security solutions are already becoming essential to keep pace with this growth and with legislation from the UK and EU parliaments on the horizon, it is likely that even more growth will happen here. Here are my specific predictions for the coming year:

Cloud vendors will become the go-to communications solutions providers

FTSE 100 companies and many more have already adopted cloud CRM platforms like Salesforce and this year I expect to see cloud PBX and cloud contact centres move upstream. It's more economical for companies to move to communication solutions in the cloud as it saves time, space and human resources, as well as giving companies more opportunities for new, additional and flexible communications solutions that can improve the way they do business, such as apps and collaboration tools.

Cloud applications will untether corporate workers from their desktop phones

Being chained to a desk is a depressing thought for anyone so to have a communications system that no longer requires this of an employee should be seen as a very positive move. Enhancing traditional company phone systems, for instance, with cloud applications that run equally as well on mobile phones as they do on desktops, will enable users to have untethered and rich experiences regardless of their location or device. Availability of such cloud business apps will increase and more highly functional that they current are, allowing workers to do more in the palm of their hand.

Analytics drawn from cloud app data will become part of everyday business

With cloud apps producing such vast quantities of data, it will become commonplace for big data analytics will be integrated into cloud solutions. Accessibility to these tools will be key to their successful uptake as these analytics become an essential part of a business' cloud solutions. Empowering a lot of just-in-time, actionable business insights, utilising these analytics will be the new normal for many C-suite executives.

Cloud security solutions will become paramount

The cloud always has been more secure than enterprise data centers, but with more and more business conducted in the cloud, security of the cloud is imperative and leaves no room for error. The explosion of IoT will also make cloud security even more essential as Gartner predicts that by the year 2020, the IoT will include 26 billion units. As hacks get more sophisticated, and the number of vulnerabilities increase, it will be down to the cloud providers to keep business' data secure with significant investment and development in this space being inevitable. Likely new legislation from the EU and UK parliaments will take robust and top-grade cloud security to the realm of legal requirement though it should be noted that there may well be cost implications for customers of all types.

Collaboration tools will become as essential as the cloud for business communications

Collaboration tools like Glip, Slack, and Hipchat have started to see the beginnings of widespread adoption but very soon we could see these types of tools being used for team projects and person-to-person communication become more mainstream than email which will be reserved for formal purposes. Collaboration tools will become essential for users as they look to streamline work and improve their efficiency.

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About the Author

John Marlow serves as the Managing Director of EMEA, SVP of Corporate Development, and General Counsel at RingCentral, where he oversees all of the company's European operations, partnerships and alliance activities. Previously, John served as the VP of Human Resources and Facilities.

Marlow received his law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and earned his bachelor's degree, summa cumlaude, from Colgate University.

Published Tuesday, December 15, 2015 10:10 AM by David Marshall
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