A virtual and radically different business environment


By Robert Sussman

It does not really matter what industry the business operates in, or what sector
it may be focused on, the fact is that the model will be affected by the cloud and
virtualisation on some level.

These are disruptive technologies that are specifically designed to streamline
operations, if understood and used strategically.

There are inherent benefits to aligning processes and procedures to the cloud
and to virtualise core operations. These are advantages that can make a substantial
difference to the bottom line.

This is what decision makers understand and this is what they want to bring on
board. Essentially, the main challenge in running any sized operation today is to cut
costs and "do more with less?, whilst maintaining a close eye on influences including
big data, big data analytics, mobility and BYOD.

Unified communications brings together a number of technologies and
applications, including social media, cloud services, web services, to improve and
enhance operations. Decision makers understand that they can no longer rely on
traditional ways of operation and have to take cognizance of the growth of the

One of the reasons why cloud service is on the move is because of the increased
focus on broadband connectivity across Africa. There is emphasis on raising
connectivity services and ensuring that there are solutions to sustain and support
these services.

It is widely acknowledged that as the cloud and virtualisation market matures,
issues like backup, hosted voice solutions, VoIP and hosted PBX will become even
more relevant.

Whereas in the past, these technologies have not been developed sufficiently to
warrant heavy investment or focused attention, the situation is very different today.

Those companies that do not integrate these applications on some level and are
effectively behind the unified communications curve, will battle to sustain operations
and compete going forward.

Careful integration and strategic use of these resources can help a company
secure competitive advantage and differentiate the business.