The Future of the Cloud-Based Enterprise

An article titled “Get ready now:  Your office will be in the cloud within a decade” recently came out in authored by Steve Ranger predicting that the majority of businesses will operate in a cloud environment within the next decade.  For those of you reading this, you may already be there or at least well on your way.  If not, it may interest you to learn that most early adopters of cloud based packages like Office 365 are small businesses.

  • Gartner reports that there are an estimated 50 million users who are classified as a cloud-based enterprise.  That accounts for less than 8% of the overall office package users.
  • Garner predicts a major shift will begin to occur the first half of 2015 and cloud-based enterprise users will reach 33 percent of users by 2017.
  • They further predict that within 10 years, two thirds of workers will be using cloud-based productivity packages.

One of the key reasons that enterprises will be moving to the cloud is the significant increase in the number of devices employees use to access office applications.  This is thanks to the “bring your own device” movement.   The average worker uses at least four devices a week to access their work including a smartphone, tablet, work PC and home PC.

Cloud office systems benefit these environments 2 key ways:

  • They can reduce the IT burden of software installation, maintenance and upgrades.
  • It can result in significant savings for certain companies because on-premise packages are typically sold per device while cloud office systems are provisioned by user.

“Although it is still early in the overall evolution of this cloud-based segment, there are many cases where businesses — particularly smaller ones and those in the retail, hospitality and manufacturing industries — should move at least some users to cloud office systems during the next two years,” said Tom Austin, Gartner vice president.

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