If global research on the subject of migration of workloads into the cloud is to be believed, managed ICT services is to play an even greater role in the strengthening of economies around the world, writes Robert Sussman, joint CEO at Integr8 Group.

According to the findings of extensive research into cloud computing, conducted by Morgan Stanley Global Technology and Telecommunications Team, the migration of workloads onto the cloud is expected to increase.
In addition, there is growth expected in the volume of servers being shipped into public clouds.
The research was focused on operators across various industries within the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific markets. It reiterates the fact that cloud computing and virtualised services are now seen as business drivers of considerable importance.
From a private cloud or virtualised environment point of view, the research also states that expansion is expected within the on-premise environment.
Decision makers in business are beginning to understand that there is merit is considering the migration from on-premise infrastructure into the public cloud.
The advancement of cloud based service and support is also expected to bolster business within platform as a service, infrastructure as a service and software as a service.
If users consider growth in this context, it could have significant implications for businesses across the board – from developing small-to-medium enterprises right through to established large enterprises.
The fact is that managers are attracted to the inherent flexibility of the cloud services domain and the elimination of barriers – like cost – that have limited access to these services.
Operators of businesses now have the opportunity to acquire services such as disaster recovery functionality, converged communications, enterprise messaging and ISP services and security.
These are all beneficial and can mean the difference between a company that simply survives and one that competes effectively and generates profit.
It is also important to consider the influence this projected growth could have on the local supply channel. The research also makes mention of the expectation that a number of established global vendors stand to benefit from this increase in migration – particularly those that have been operating within this space for some time and have capitalised early on developments to streamline offerings.
Another positive aspect of this anticipated change and growth is that it will ensure that decision makers adopt an even more strategic approach to IT spend. Researchers have found that the most notable areas of a reduction in spend is predicted to be in servers, storage and networking.
The rationale behind this is that managers will reduce spending on infrastructure that is under-utilised or not absolutely critical to operations. The expectation is also that decision makers will save on hardware costs, the benefit of which will filter through to the rest of the business.
There are many examples of cloud-based service in practice, but to use a generic and very good example of a business service that typifies the advantage of cloud based or SaaS service, look at fax-to-e-mail.
Many companies are moving over from having this service onsite to acquiring it on a cloud/ virtualised basis. E-mail is one of the primary applications to move into the cloud and Gmail could be considered a powerful example of this.
The link between cloud based service and a dynamic, strategic and highly efficient network and data centre environment is clear. Now it is simply a case of falling in line and going with the advantage.
If research is to be believed and the forecast is accurate, there has never been a better time for businesses to look up to the clouds.