Cloud Telephony is the future of communications, especially in the business world. Over the years, the use of Cloud Telephony will greatly increase and will overtake traditional On-Premise Technology. What should businesses be excited for, and what obstacles need to be overcome to make sure Cloud Telephony succeeds?
What is Cloud/Hosted Telephony?
Cloud (or Hosted) Telephony is where communications are hosted in the cloud, usually in a provider’s data centre, and is accessed/used on a computer through the use of the internet.
Advantages of Cloud Telephony
Cloud Telephony is generally just more convenient than traditional On-Premise communications. Problems with systems can usually be fixed by a provider without an engineer ever stepping foot into the affected business’s premise.
Site-to-site moves are simple as your phone system is simply accessed on a computer using the internet. So, to move your phone system, you just simply log in to it in another location.
Another advantage of the system being hosted in the cloud is that there is no worry about a flood or other physical threats to your premise affecting your communications system.
A Cloud-Based phone system would allow workers to connect to a system at home using their home broadband. When making calls, this would give the impression that workers are in the office.
Fast and cheap scalability will become a possibility, with providers competing with price, rather than with speed of implementation or amount users.
It is much easier to add users to a Cloud-Based phone system than it is on an On-Premise system where lines may have to be installed which could take days or even weeks. A growing business could even stay on the same cloud phone for its lifetime.
Obstacles of Cloud Telephony
There are a few major obstacles that need to be overcome to make sure Cloud Telephony becomes the norm.
Availability is a big problem in making sure cloud telephony becomes a success in the UK. Today, there are areas in the UK with poor internet coverage which would struggle to integrate into a Cloud-Based world where systems are reliant on reliable Internet.
A report by Cable carried out in August 2017 showed that the UK’s broadband is the 31st fastest in the world, lagging behind 19 European countries, Thailand, United States, New Zealand and more. With a mean download speed of 16.51Mbps, the UK is more than twice as slow as Singapore with 55.13Mbps, and Sweden with 40.16Mbps.
Security is an issue that will prevent some businesses from switching to a phone system based in the cloud. There are more easily accessible ‘access points’ for a criminal in a system using the internet than there is in a system using traditional ISDN or Analogue lines.
With the threat of cyber attacks becoming more frequent annually, I don’t see how it won’t be possible for cybercriminals to carry out large-scale attacks targeting the servers of future major cloud telephony players, where millions of businesses would host their phone systems.
Reliance on Internet
If your internet goes down, or your internet provider has a major outage, your communications systems will be down. You could invest in backup broadband to tackle an outage, but this could be costly.
To tackle these issues, the UK and Internet Providers have to invest in providing more stable internet. Hosted technology isn’t just limited to telephony, it is the future of all technology.
But with it’s strongest attribute being it’s biggest downfall (running of the internet), perfecting internet access, stability and security seems to be the next major feat.
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