Enterprise Connect is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

For the past few years, there’s been a divide in the messages we’ve been hearing about the costs that enterprises incur when moving to the cloud for communications functions, as well as whether the long-term total cost of ownership (TCO) is lower with the cloud. Basically, analysts, consultants, and enterprise end users have tended to downplay the likelihood that going to the cloud will save you money—when they haven’t flat-out said the cost will be higher. Cloud service providers—even in the face of such insistence—have claimed there are savings to be had.

Clearly you should believe the users and their advocates, and take the vendor claims with a chunk of salt big enough to satisfy even that giant cow in Australia. End users and consultants don’t tend to be shy about promoting a technology’s cost-saving potential – they’ve been preaching the SIP Trunk gospel for years, and it’s always been about cost savings. Users are never reluctant to trumpet the cost savings of a technology when those benefits are readily attainable.

But the cloud isn’t just about cost savings. We got more evidence of that fact this week, when No Jitter released the results of its latest survey of enterprise end users. The Cloud Communications survey confirmed a trend we’ve been seeing recently: Enterprises are considering the cloud because it offers them agility. In this year’s survey, 19% cited Agility as the major benefit of going to the cloud, versus 16% who cited TCO. Interestingly, however, Agility wasn’t the top answer, as it has been in past years. Instead, 22% of respondents said that Scalability was the most compelling reason for moving to the cloud.

Likewise, when we asked specifically about TCO, the largest group of respondents reported that TCO was “as expected,” while the second-largest group found TCO to be higher than expected. We broke the question down by application, and found that two of the highest-profile Cloud Communications applications had the highest share of disappointed adopters when it came to TCO. For video, 35% said TCO was higher than expected, while 43% reported it to be “as expected,” and 23% said it was lower. Similarly, 32% of contact center adopters found cloud costs to be higher than expected, versus 42% who said it was “as expected,” and 26% who found it lower.

And yet, even if the costs are higher than they’d hoped, users are satisfied and/or optimistic overall. A solid 70% majority said they consider the cloud’s benefits to be either “clearly identifiable” or even “underestimated,” while just 30% say the cloud is “overhyped.”

It’s just more evidence that the cloud is likely to play a role in your organization’s communications and collaboration initiatives, if it’s not already doing so. But it’s a complex question, and that makes it great fodder for discussion at Enterprise Connect Orlando 2019, which takes place the week of March 18, 2019, at the Gaylord Palms Hotel. Now’s the time to check out EC19 and register—our lowest rate for Conference passes will expire Jan. 11, 2019, but you can get this done before you check out for the holidays.