Cloud environments are being used for more things within every industry. Its advantages come in many flavors: IT executives polled by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services named business agility, collaboration and cost savings as the biggest drivers for cloud adoption. In fact, a full 72 percent of those surveyed reported that collaboration was the best business benefit of deploying virtual environments. After all, with the cloud, business partners can more easily communicate and share documents from remote locations.

This is only the top of the list of cloud benefits. Let’s take a look at how the cloud was used in 2015 and how it’s likely to be used as this year progresses:

“The cloud presents itself as the ready answer to DR problems.”

Disaster recovery and business continuity

Keeping companies afloat was right up the cloud’s alley in 2015. Cloud Tech contributor Monica Brink noted that one of the biggest trends seen throughout 2015 was the use of the cloud as a disaster recovery tool. As IT budgets diminish and cloud adoption grows, these kinds of virtual environments present themselves as the ready answer to DR problems. The market for Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service, as a result, continues to grow. Projections in a report published by MarketsandMarkets indicate the DRaaS market will be worth $11.92 billion by 2020.

IT management

As mobile devices continue their entrance into the workplace and new computers are constantly added, network administrators have their work cut out for them to try and manage the growing number of endpoints any one organization has to deal with. A poll conducted by IT management provider Autotask found that the increase in endpoints is more easily managed with the cloud. Around 55 percent of the IT service providers surveyed said they had seen significant or steady growth in the number of endpoints they have to manage.

The majority of these respondents noted that they used the cloud to manage all of these endpoints. With network virtualization and cloud computing, it’s easier to view, manage and define all the devices on any one network, and that in turn enhances security.

Cloud storage

The market is looking good from the cloud storage end, as well, and related verticals are beginning to show the impact of the cloud. For instance, the video surveillance market is on the incline, according to MarketsandMarkets. This vertical is expected to be worth a total of $18.28 billion by 2020, growing at a compound annual rate of 22.41 percent. As a result, the cloud storage market will also exhibit some growth, because where else are companies going to store those surveillance videos if not in the cloud? The value of this market is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 40.55 percent from 2015 to 2020, according to Research and Markets.

The cloud is used to enhance business agility and decrease complexity within an organization.The cloud is used to enhance business agility and decrease complexity within an organization.

Unified communications in the cloud

The CIOs polled by the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reported that collaboration tops the list of priorities in terms of cloud adoption – and it’s for good reason. When the cloud is paired with powerful communications technologies that bring all methods of contact into one suite, it becomes monumentally easier to exchange ideas and get business done. According to MicroScope editor Simon Quicke, small to medium-sized enterprises are adopting cloud-based UC at a faster rate than ever before. These communication tools are flexible, cost-effective and reduce complexity within an organization.

All of these capabilities are going to be crucial for IT managers to take advantage of in 2016. By streamlining business processes and investing in managed cloud environments, your company can make sense of complicated IT processes and increase agility where it counts. Contact ISG Technology today for more information about how the cloud can go to work for your business!