The cloud has, arguably, done more to change the face of business than any other innovation in recent years. Offering employees unparalleled flexibility, its uniquely innovative offering has seen businesses radically alter the way they work. And video conferencing goes hand in hand with this change in working culture – serving to enrich and enhance this powerful tool to really maximize its potential. In fact, the cloud based video conferencing market is expected to reach a valuation of $7.85 billion in seven years. Technology that is user-friendly, easy to set up and cost effective, it has a number of fantastic advantages that have guaranteed it as a permanent and invaluable resource in the marketplace.

Fantastically convenient, all you need for cloud video conferencing is an internet connection and an audiovisual-capable device. Requiring no dedicated equipment or specialised network, it is a flexible solution that allows its users to engage in ad-hoc communication whenever needed.

One major advantage of video conferencing in the cloud, and one that was certainly a contributing factor to its success, is its potential to save on costs. Video conferencing in the cloud reduces hardware investments, utility bills, recruiting, travel costs as well as conference space rental. Transforming traditional conference rooms into a luxury, rather than a necessity, it means that any room can essentially become a conferencing room. Not only that, but enterprises only need to pay for when they are actually using the service, during down time costs are significantly lowered. This allows companies to build capacity around their peak teams. Helping to improve your bottom line and improve profitability.

Beyond profitability, video conferencing in the cloud can also have an unprecedented impact on productivity. Requiring practically no time to implement as well as little set-up before each call, it means users no longer have to travel to physically meet, nor do they have to waste time downloading clunky software onto their device. This streamlined solution offers a refreshing approach to the user experience and allows for individuals to focus on the needs of their company rather than the needs of their IT.

Not only that, but video conferencing in the cloud creates a far richer IT experience. This is because the entire infrastructure is a managed service. Each company using this service will have a dedicated vendor who will monitor and maintain the infrastructure remotely and discreetly. Updates will occur automatically and instantly – travelling straight from research and development into the user’s software. In general, cloud solutions typically have far faster update and refresh cycles, delivering new capabilities to all users automatically with little down-time waiting for updates to install. Instead users will consistently have access to the most advanced technology without having to do anything at their end. Given that video conferencing in the cloud is a managed service, it also improves security, a particularly poignant point in this modern age where the shadow of cyber security and data breach looms so heavily across companies. For video conferencing companies who specialise in maintaining this software, they will constantly be advancing their own methodology as well as reaching towards higher and better accreditations. This means they are able to guarantee privacy and data security as specialists in the fields - helping both you and your company feel far more confident.

Of course, the scalability of video conferencing in the cloud is another powerful benefit of this technology. Particularly, in this start-up age which sees companies rapidly accelerate at a pace that far outstrips anything that we have seen before, a cloud based solution allows companies to easily amend the number of users, up or down, as needed. Whereas before hardware solutions would demand companies to estimate future expected seats, video conferencing in the cloud offers a far more flexible approach. This is much more appropriate to the modern workforce and is hugely beneficial to companies who may wish to downsize and rely on freelancers, or possibly rapidly upscale in response to increased investment. Again, this idea can be expanded to companies who wish to open new branches abroad – helping to transform what used to be an expensive and complicated process to one that can be far cheaper and easier to manage.

One resounding benefit of video conferencing in the cloud is the data storage that sits alongside the technology. This allows for the automatic recording of an unlimited number of sessions that can be accessed or shared at a later date. Allowing individuals, both those who were and weren’t present during the call, to rehear the conversation – it can be an extremely powerful tool for businesses.

This benefit is not only limited to after the call, but is also a clear benefit during the call. Using the technology of the cloud it is possible to easily share data during the call – allowing other callers to easily view and annotate existing files, helping to increase collaboration, and once again, productivity. This is a particularly salient point as we move towards a working culture that not only promotes flexible working arrangements, but also relies far more on freelancers; one of the groups who most obviously benefit from video conferencing in the cloud, as it means wherever they are in the world they are able to communicate with their colleagues. Not only is this a practical advantage, but there is also a point here on the emotional welfare of individuals who may feel isolated working from home all day, but whom at the click of a button are able to interact and speak with their colleagues.

Video conferencing in the cloud is, undoubtedly, a hugely advantageous and rich innovation that is helping to change the way businesses work as well as their expectation of employees for the better. Improving collaboration whilst reducing the risk of miscommunication, it is a managed service that serves the needs unique to a modern day business. Simple, seamless and slick – it is a thoroughly modern innovation for a thoroughly modern workplace.