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Big Data Journal Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Greg Ness, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Esmeralda Swartz

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Cloud Expo: Article

Investing in Cloud: Getting the Most Bang for Your IT Buck

The promise of the Cloud has been validated and tested now over several years

Worldwide IT spending is projected to rise US$3.8 trillion in 2014 according to recent Gartner research, a 3.1 percent increase from spending in 2013, which was $3.7 trillion. While not a huge jump in dollars, it does indicate that companies have been conserving cash over the past few years and are ready and willing to invest - albeit conservatively - with the recovery in place.

The promise of the Cloud has been validated and tested now over several years and organizations are increasing budgets and plans accordingly, more liberal spending is being seen by Cloud service providers who are witnessing an uptick in demand from businesses that are planning to address outdated infrastructure in 2014. Even organizations that are wary of significant cash outlays are recognizing the long-term IT savings it represents and are willing to take the steps to integrate solutions that eliminate CAPEX, and future-proof their infrastructure while providing predictable cash flow.

What's driving dollars toward Cloud adoption?

Preparing for Disaster Recovery
There is a definitive rise in interest in Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) versus previous investments in hardware and systems. With increasing risks from global threats, weather-related incidents and more pervasive cyber-crimes, organizations have recognized that conversations around RTO and RPO are critical to their stability and the game of "who's got the tape drive" and managing disaster recovery in-house are no longer acceptable.

Increase in VDI
Desktop virtualization is trending mainstream thanks to the Windows XP end of life looming in April. As with any forced technological shift, this creates opportunity for IT and C-suite folks to evaluate new ways of working and the EOL of Windows XP support is no exception. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Evolve IP of over 1,000 businesses found that about 64 percent of all firms will be virtualizing some of their desktops when they upgrade from XP and 17.5 percent are considering using the cloud for the first time due to the change.  Looking at cloud as a long-term strategy around managing OS upgrades versus ad-hoc physical upgrades and refreshes makes sense especially when, according to NetMarketShare.com, approximately 31 percent of PCs still run XP.

SMBs Embrace UC Strategies
Advanced Unified Communications (UC) features begin to have a greater impact on mid-sized organizations. Traditionally, UC has been viewed as a single, all-encompassing solution with a "forklift" method for implementation. Typically, this approach is really only adopted by larger enterprises. This is changing now as more nimble providers identify business needs first and then implement a strategy that allows organizations to adopt only the features they need.

The bottom line is that 2014 is the year when companies are prepared to invest to ensure that the IT services they rely so heavily on are available to their constituents when they need them. Selecting an established cloud services platform - whether public, private or hybrid - is key to meeting both the demands of increasingly savvy users, demanding customers and executives concerned with managing costs and growth.

More Stories By Scott Kinka

Scott Kinka is Chief Technology Officer for Evolve IP. He has spent almost his entire career devising new and simpler ways for companies to acquire and integrate technology. While all of the tech talk these days is about the cloud, he was doing this when it was called ASP (application service provider) or on-demand. Before Scott joined Evolve IP as Chief Technology Officer, he served as Vice President of Network Services for Broadview Networks and ATX Communications. He has been involved in application development, hosting, messaging, networking, unified communications, contact centers, and security. His mission (and specialty) is acting as a translator between technology and business needs.

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