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A Short History of the Cloud and How Far It’s Come

Fact: If it doesn’t currently exist in the cloud, it will eventually. From email to file storage to phone calls, everything that has moved to the cloud is staying there, and it’s just a matter of time for the rest of it.

Some organizations (and the people within them) are still resistant. They have questions like “What’s the big deal?” and “Why are so many businesses ditching local software and systems in favor of it.” So we put together some quick facts on the history behind the cloud, plus some of the core reasons why orgs make the jump.

Where did the cloud come from?

The concept of the cloud actually began long before most of us where even alive in 1950’s with mainframe computing.

For those of you who have only heard that phrase used in bad made-for-TV movies, a mainframe computer was what companies used for data storage. The trouble was, these machines were pretty expensive and businesses weren’t about to drop the cash to supply each employee with their own (plus they didn’t need the same level of access that we do today). Instead, companies would set up sharing schedules and allow employees to connect via “dumb” machines to access the info they needed.

And thus the concept of cloud computing was born. Of course, there were a few other pit stops along the way: an early stage version of the internet (ARPANET anyone?), the introduction of virtual machines, and eventually monetizing the ability to rent virtual machines a la Amazon Web Services’s launch of Elastic Computer Cloud (EC2) that got us to where we are today.

Today’s Cloud

When it comes to cloud technology, we’re a far cry from the 50’s. Entire industries have been born out of the existence of the cloud—from Uber to Square to even us. And as these industries continue to gain traction with consumers and businesses alike, the products and services they deliver (and the behind the scenes tech that goes into supporting them) continues to become more stable, reliable, and oftentimes, more customizable.

Why Cloud? Why Now?

In a Frost & Sullivan survey of 1,935 global IT decision makers and influencers, the group was asked what were some driving factors in deciding to adopt more advanced communication and collaboration tools. The answer? Enhanced user productivity and better flexibility.

Some other interesting stats to note:

  • 24% rated collaboration as a top three IT investment driver.
  • 28% seek to boost creativity and innovation by investing in advanced tech.
  • 51% plan to increase their UCaaS investment over the next two years.

It boils down to this: the cloud (and more specifically, cloud communications) offers up a massive opportunity for businesses to grow their workforce, develop their talent, and gain that competitive edge.

If you care about any of those things, it’s probably time to start embracing a cloud strategy. Need a little more convincing? Consider some of these key factors.

CALL DATA

How sure are you that you’re capturing everything from your conversations? All the important moments that help your company build better products or support your growing customer base? And more importantly—how do you share those insights across your team today? Across offices?

With a cloud-based system, those moments can be captured, analyzed, and shared all in just a few clicks.

EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

Outages suck, but they happen. And having a single point of failure when they do just makes everything worse. When things go wrong, having a cloud backup that gets you up and running is crucial to your bottom line.

In fact, a 2017 study revealed that out of 400 IT decision makers, 46% experienced more than four hours of IT-related downtime over 12 months; 23% said that they incurred costs ranging from $12,000 up to more than $1 million per hour.

INTEGRATIONS

Much like sharing call data, having your business tools “speak” the same language can vastly improve the way teams collaborate with one another or with the outside world. Having a single view of work is important, too. Rather than toggling between screens, tabs, and apps, cloud based software was built to nix extra steps and bring everything under one roof.

MOBILITY

More than simply a mobile app, the true gift behind the mobility that’s offered from cloud software isn’t simply that users are able to access the information they need on demand but that they can do it whether they’re in front of their computer or on the road.

If you’re worried about security, providers like Google or OneLogin have native integrations with hundreds of tools to ensure that the right people are accessing the right information no matter where in the world they’re accessing it.

Learn More

If you’re still evaluating whether or not the cloud makes sense for your business communications strategy, you’re not alone. While areas like call data, mobility/flexibility, and integrations are contributing factors to what makes cloud software so great, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other questions left to ask.


To learn more about whether or not the cloud is right for your business, check out our post on the top 5 questions you need to ask before adopting cloud communications.