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The digital transformation isn’t coming—it’s already here. As enterprises work to make the most of this evolution, their priorities are often centered on ensuring flexibility and high availability. If your company is thinking about moving to the cloud to maximize everything the digital transformation has to offer and enable a more flexible and robust IT deployment, the first order of business is identifying your core applications.

Text and e-mail are usually at the top of the list, but also of increasing importance are conference and collaboration. Connections—to customers, to business partners, to vendors and suppliers, and to fellow employees—are the backbone of any business. Next-gen communication solutions enable the kind of information sharing that supports a better customer experience, enhances employee productivity and ultimately drives revenue.

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If you’re still developing the value proposition for upgrading your communications systems or solutions (think call center technology or cloud-based phone systems, to name a few), the following example scenarios may help highlight why cloud platforms such as Avaya’s are a high priority for many companies.

Consider a service firm with 1,500 employees spread across multiple sites, each linked back to a phone system in the data center. How quickly can an enterprise with a dispersed workforce spin up new users? Or think about a smaller business, such as an insurance agency, that must quickly scale up its workforce to support customers after a natural disaster. Organizations with seasonal needs encounter similar challenges as they work to expand staffing levels to handle peaks in their yearly sales cycles.

Achieving this level of flexibility is extremely difficult to do—and difficult to do without significant investments in infrastructure—in a traditional on-premise environment. But an IT deployment in the cloud provides broad scalability and quick access to additional resources as they’re needed. With the right solution, billing is based on consumption so businesses aren’t stuck paying peak traffic rates all year long.

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Not only can users in a scenario such as a call center be added in a matter of minutes, a flexible solution enables integration with public cloud platforms or be designed to create a hybrid model, connecting over the network to Avaya endpoints and phone systems. Calls coming into either environment can travel over SIP trunks, allowing the organization to modify the call center experience to suit their internal needs as well as customers’ expectations.

Flexibility isn’t the only benefit of cloud technology. Companies can also take advantage of powerful automation coupled with self-service solutions that streamline administrative tasks and reduce the time staff must spend managing features and functionalities. Rather than making a call to spin up new users, for example, everything can instead be done through an online portal. This network architecture also gives businesses the ability to connect their contact center with other providers’ applications, including workforce automation, business analytics and a host of popular platforms that help to move today’s digitally-aware companies forward.

If your company is looking at supporting a large customer base in the next three or four years, applications in the cloud offer serious value. You can avoid utility costs associated with physical data centers, as well as the expenses to lease or purchase that real estate. Hardware costs and workforce levels are also reduced as a result. In return, you’ll have a high level of availability and a flexible financial model that’s based on your company’s utilization, not static pricing tiers that can only be changed when your contract renews. All of those resources can then be applied to more important things.

IT teams can leverage Avaya’s cloud presence to be more aware of what’s going on within their networks, to think deeply about what technology solutions mean to their business and to be ready for the next stage of planning that will drive their business in the coming years.