Hosted and cloud-based unified communications poised for growth

When advances in technology occur, it's important to stay on top of these innovations to ensure that any new security threats are mitigated with a robust vulnerability management plan.

This may be particularly relevant for companies looking to take advantage of cloud-based and hosted unified communications technology (UC), which Frost & Sullivan predict will continue to grow in the future.

According to a new report titled 'Australian Unified Communications (UC) Services Market 2013', the UC services market in Australia is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9 per cent from 2012-2019.

According to Audrey William, Frost & Sullivan's head of research (Australia and New Zealand ICT), the "on-premise" deployment model remains the most popular in the country today, but this is expected to change gradually in the future as companies adopt a cloud-based model for UC.

The benefits that come from utilising cloud-based and hosted UC models can be very attractive for organisations today, but as with any new technology practices, it's important to ensure that security remains of paramount importance at all times, which is where a thorough security audit can come in handy.

"Many organisations also remain concerned about the reliability and security aspects of hosted and cloud based solutions," Ms William said in an April 23 statement.

"Although such factors are expected to limit adoption of cloud based solutions in the short term, the lack of flexibility and scalability of an on-premise model will cause organisations to consider alternatives."

In addition, the research points to a growing demand for managed services, as companies can simply hand over the complexities of maintaining UC solutions to a third party while still retaining control over the hardware and applications involved.

"As the uptake of videoconferencing endpoints continues to grow, there will be a corresponding demand for video related services," Ms William said.

The research from Frost & Sullivan identifies Australia as one of the top markets in the Asia-Pacific region for hosted conferencing solutions (that includes audio, video and web).

In the future, both channel partners and service providers are expected to strengthen their local data centres, while many will build or acquire new data centres to meet the growing demand for cloud-based UC solutions.

If your company is ready to take advantage of any new technology products or trends, it's important to consider the security of sensitive data in the process.

Regular penetration testing can help to thoroughly assess the security of your ICT networks, identifying any gaps before they can be exploited against you.

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