Cloud or on-site? Three questions to help you decide.

You need to upgrade your business phone system but how do you decide whether to go for a cloud based VoIP solution or an on-site IP enabled phone system? The most important point here is that one is not better than the the other, it is more a question of what is the best fit for your business. Budget, IT resource and future organisational goals are all likely to influence your decision. Here are three questions to ask yourself as a good starting point:

1) Do I have the in-house resources to manage my phone system? Be sure to assess the expertise and workload of your IT staff. In reality SME’s and start-ups will either have no dedicated IT resource or a single individual or contractor. Your IT staff may not have phone system expertise, so adopting a cloud solution and letting the service provider worry about managing and supporting your comms will be the best choice for you.

2) How am I going to pay for this? Your budget priorities will be key to you choosing the right deployment. Larger enterprises will opt for capital expenditure and save on costs over a number of years. Small to medium sized businesses will prefer the relative predictability of the op-ex model cloud brings even if it does not give them the budget breaks brought by on-site.

3) What are my organisation’s future plans? If your organisation is growing rapidly or if the future is uncertain a cloud solution is ideal as it scales easily to meet your needs. Remote worker and satellite offices all access the system via the cloud. With the cloud, you never have out-of-date hardware to contend with. A hosted system also does away with the need to have to predict future capacity requirements; no longer having to pay for latent capacity may make the cloud an attractive proposition even to some enterprises.


Conclusion:

The cloud may be for you if you are an SME or a Start-up. With hosted VoIP you essentially rent server space from your service provider so there is no need to invest in expensive servers. Cloud based VoIP phone systems are usually billed on a per-user subscription giving you full visibility and control of your costs. Your service provider is responsible for upgrades and maintenance so you don’t need a dedicated IT resource to look after your system.

An on-site phone system that is VoIP or SIP enabled is perfect for mid-size companies or enterprises whose IT professionals are more comfortable closely managing the hardware themselves.  Larger enterprises tend to be protective of their technology infrastructure and as a result opt to own, maintain and control their communications network. Enterprises tend to invest in equipment as it allows them to maximise the Cap-ex benefits of depreciation and amortisation over time.

In short businesses in growth are more likely to go for a cloud solution; but the bottom line is that a VoIP solution offers greater flexibility and is future ready whichever deployment you opt for.




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