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By 2017, Cloud Office Systems Will Rise to 33 Percent

iStock_000022930528XSmallAlthough there has been much news circulating on enterprises’ adoption of cloud-based email and office systems, such as Gmail and Microsoft Office, Gartner says this is quite the contrary.

Instead, Gartner estimates that there are currently about 50 million enterprises users of cloud office systems, which represents only eight percent of overall office system users – excluding China and India.

“Despite the hype surrounding migration to the cloud, big differences in movement rates continue, depending on organizations’ size, industry, geography and specific requirements,” said Tom Austin, vice president  and analyst at Gartner.

However, don’t dismiss cloud-based systems just yet. According to Gartner, a “major shift” towards cloud office systems will occur beginning in the first half of 2015. By 2017, there is expected to be a 33 percent penetration.

According to Austin, “While eight percent of business people were using cloud office systems at the start of 2013, we estimate this number will grow to 695 million users by 2022, to represent 60 percent.”

Although email remains the popular choice regarding collaboration tools, others, such as team sites and communities are growing in importance. All in all, though, email is, and will continue to be, pivotal in decisions to move, or not, to cloud office systems.

By the end of 2014, Gartner predicts at least 10 percent of enterprise email will be based on a cloud or software-as-a-service model. This is continued to rise to at least 33 percent by the end of 2017.

As the number of mobile devices continues to explode, Gartner says it will drive some companies to cloud-based office systems. This is due most notably to the fact that it reduces the IT burden of software installation, maintenance and upgrades of locally installed office software.

Currently, levels of adoption vary exponentially depending on industry. For example, organizations in industries such as higher education, discrete manufacturing, retail, and hospitality are significantly more likely to adopt cloud-based office systems at present.

However, those in the intelligence and defense sectors and heavily regulated financial and healthcare industries are least likely to be early adopters, according to Gartner.

“Although it is still early in the overall evolution of this cloud-based segment, there are many cases where businesses – particularly smaller ones and those in the retail, hospitality and manufacturing industries – should move at least some users to cloud office systems during the next two years,” said Austin. “However, readiness varies by service provider, and caution is warranted.”

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