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Moving to the cloud is poised to become a mainstream plan for many businesses in 2017—a reality that is opening doors for channel partners and enterprises alike.

The recent Forrester Research tech outlook for 2017 forecasts overall IT and telecom spending to come in at 5.1 percent. The increasing adoption of cloud technologies, whether in the form of cloud applications (software-as-a-service, or SaaS) or cloud platform services (the combination of infrastructure as a service, or IaaS, and platform as a service, or PaaS) is having big impacts on tech spending. US spending on cloud technologies is easily exceeding the larger market, growing at 25% or more. 

There are some ancillary trends that are contributing to this. For one, nearly two-thirds of organizations don't expect any change in the number of IT staff they employ, according to Spiceworks research. That means many IT departments will have to continue to do more with less—making cloud communications, which reduce management overhead significantly, an attractive strategy for keeping up with business requirements.

Also, mobile adoption and the abandonment of desktop environments is continuing rapidly, requiring more flexible platforms that can deliver functionality to any trusted device regardless of location. Case in point: While global consumer sales of new laptops passed sales of new desktops long ago, desktop usage has stubbornly remained higher than laptop usage in the workplace. However, Spiceworks said the trend is finally starting to reverse as organizations in EMEA have budgeted more for laptops than desktops for the first time in 2017. In North America, the amount businesses will allocate for laptops or desktops are now roughly even.

“The shift to the cloud is on,” Spiceworks said. “In 2017, worldwide spending on hardware and software projects will both decrease by two percentage points, while budget allocations going towards hosted/cloud-based services will increase by three percentage points. This subtle shift is just another indicator in the slow but steady trend we've seen for years now, with organizations transitioning some on-premises hardware and associated costs to cloud services. This is good news.”

Star2Star offers a rich suite of advanced cloud and unified communications features that are designed to provide businesses with more communications options than ever before—with the least amount of overhead. 

For example, Video Meetings allows up to 12 users to participate in a videoconference, with more in audio-only mode. Star2Star's chat provides productivity-enhancing and efficient instant text messaging. Digital Fax allows users to send and receive faxes in the cloud, and Analog Fax allows users to send and receive faxes using a traditional fax machine. Additionally, features like Contact Center dramatically improve voice capabilities by giving you superior call management tools. We also offer unified communications bundles that maximize functionality while reducing costs.

As you prepare for 2017, help boost your business with cloud strategies. To find why Star2Star is the right provider for you:

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