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The Great Re-engagement

5 obstacles blocking contact centers’ path to the cloud – and how to overcome them

The benefits of cloud migration far outweigh the challenges.

The benefits of cloud-based contact centers are far-reaching, especially in this era when customer experience (CX) is not only a brand differentiator but one that’s constantly evolving. To stand out from the crowd, companies must be able to advance their CX rapidly to meet changing customer demands – and there’s no question the cloud is easiest and best way to keep evolving.

Cloud-based centers offer greater flexibility, the ability to scale up or down depending on volume, shorter ramp times, resources counts, and greater hiring options compared with on-premise ones. Even better, partnering with a third-party provider that can manage contact center applications and infrastructure frees up a brand’s IT team to focus on more strategic projects.

So why are some companies still hesitant to make the switch to the cloud?

Companies in virtually every sector can benefit by moving to the cloud – when it comes to logistics, CX, and the bottom line. Even industries in which it may be a bit more challenging, like the healthcare and public sectors, can reap great benefits from making the move.

Still, some are reluctant. In many cases, brands staying loyal to the on-premise model are doing so out of fear or uncertainty. But once they take the time to explore cloud-based options – ideally, with a trusted partner to guide them through the process – most will discover the benefits becoming cloud-based far outweigh the perceived risks.

Brands that are reluctant to move to the cloud often cite one or more of these four reasons:

1. Fears about security
For some, the cloud carries connotations of vulnerability. Brands clinging to on-premise contact centers often do so because they feel those are more secure; they like their systems where they can see them.

But cloud CX platforms have numerous security measures and safeguards in place. In fact, the financial services industry, which handles large amounts of sensitive and personal data and has to meet strict regulatory standards, is among the prime candidates that can benefit from cloud-based centers.

When one the oldest and largest U.S. financial institutions faced regulatory penalties because of its end-of-support infrastructure and application, migrating its contact center to the cloud helped it regain regulatory compliance while improving interactive voice response (IVR) containment and reducing associate training time. See how.

Rather than making brands’ data less secure, cloud-based centers actually make it more powerful. Cloud-based CX platforms give companies the ability to combine customers’ transaction histories and online behavior with demographic and psychographic data. The results? More personalized, relevant, and effortless customer experiences.

2. Concerns about cost
Cost is a real worry for some companies when it comes to cloud-based centers. The upfront investment in transitioning can be sizeable, and it’s something to consider when deciding the right time to make the move.

For most companies, the cost of a cloud-based contact center is roughly equal to that of an on-premise one. But the cloud delivers brands so much more for their money.  

The cloud gives brands more choices, as well as the ability to toggle and pivot quickly to meet ever-changing contact center needs. This ability is crucial to modern CX success. The landscape is constantly evolving, and brands need agile contact centers operations that can constantly change too.

Additionally, many cloud service providers offer consumption-based pricing plans, letting users pay only for the services they use. This lets companies spend their money more wisely. Cloud contact centers also have lower overhead and maintenance costs than their on-premise counterparts.

3. Worries about laying off workers

Some companies put off moving to the cloud because they don’t want to have to lay off workers. It’s true; once systems are moved off-premise, the jobs devoted to maintaining those systems are no longer needed.

But moving to the cloud doesn’t have to mean a workforce reduction. On the contrary, by shifting so many logistics to the cloud, brands that make the move can refocus their employees on more impactful work central to their business.

What’s more, cloud centers improve employee experience (EX). Too often associates grow dissatisfied in their jobs because they get frustrated when they can’t solve customers’ problems. Cloud-based centers can more easily link together the various disparate systems that associates use, making it easier for associates to access the information they need when they need it.

This improved EX benefits brands in multiple ways: it makes it more likely associates will stay on the job longer and leads to better CX.

4. Hesitancy to shift ownership from IT
Some companies worry that IT, the department that often oversees much of the on-premise contact center, won’t want to relinquish control if it things move to the cloud.

But brands need to stop and think: who really controls the strategic business and objectives of the organization? If IT runs the organization, the company may not be a good fit for the type of progressive change a cloud-based model drives.

For organizations that decide they are ready to make the change, there are cloud-based models where IT is still responsible for the cloud assets. What’s more, many IT leaders favor the change because it exposes them to progressive technology and benefits their staff by expanding their knowledge base. Any good IT department should be excited about embracing the move to the cloud.

5. The sense that it’s too overwhelming
Even companies that know they want to move to the cloud sometimes feel intimidated. It can seem like a huge undertaking and it’s confusing to know where to start.

Companies don’t have to figure it out on their own; working with a trusted partner can help. The right partner can talk through the company-specific benefits at stake, help assess various vendors in the marketplace, and advise about what pitfalls to avoid.

There’s no need to start from scratch when a partner can bring in crucial experience, insights, and expertise. A good partner will help brands examine why they want to move to the cloud and provide guidance about how to use the latest technology in the most effective way.

It’s not merely about technology; it’s about transforming the customer journey and looking at CX in a more holistic way. The right partner understands that and will help brands, step by step, as they assess any existing problems or gaps and find the right solution to fix it.

Like most changes, moving to the cloud is likely to cause some trepidation among contact center operators. It can be daunting to change the way things have traditionally been done. But the reward is far greater than the risks and can ultimately help drive better solutions and outcomes for the business and its customers.