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One third of office and email in the cloud by 2017

Gartner predicts cloud-based office productivity and email to cater to one third of enterprise users by 2017

One third of office and email in the cloud by 2017
Cloud-based email and office systems will see a major rise in uptake in 2014, says Gartner.

Gartner is predicting that one third of email and office systems users will have shifted to cloud-based models by 2017, despite slow adoption at present.

The analyst company says that currently there are around 50 million enterprise users of cloud office systems, which represent only 8% of overall office system users, while cloud-based enterprise email accounts for less than 10% of enterprise email seats. Gartner predicts that a major shift to cloud-based office systems will begin by the first half of 2015, reaching 33% penetration by 2017.

"Despite the hype surrounding migration to the cloud, big differences in movement rates continue, depending on organisations' size, industry, geography and specific requirements," said Tom Austin, vice president and Gartner Fellow. "While 8% 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%."

The increased number of mobile devices that are typically used by knowledge workers, which is now averaging four per user, is also driving demand for cloud-based solutions, particularly with regards to licensing costs and flexibility. As most cloud services are licensed on a per-user basis, rather than per device, it is more affordable to use a cloud service to cater to users with multiple devices.

Early adopters of office and email cloud include higher education, discrete manufacturing, retail and hospitality.

"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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