In our digital-first world, the benefits of a cloud-based contact center are clear. Cloud technology delivers powerful flexibility and responsive scalability that empowers your business to implement innovative customer experience solutions and deploy frictionless omnichannel engagement strategies. In fact, one recent survey found that cloud contact centers are 2x more likely to have implemented new digital capabilities than their on-prem counterparts.
Migrating to the cloud can allow your brand to proactively support new customer expectations and create differentiated experiences that build long-lasting customer loyalty. Yet, lingering apprehension persists when it comes to tackling a cloud migration project. A handful of half-truths, myths, and concerns stop many businesses from even beginning to explore cloud-based solutions.
We’ve compiled five of the most commonly cited obstacles that stand between your business and a cloud-based future. See how you can resolve each one and chart a smoother journey to the cloud.
Obstacle #1: A steep learning curve—for admins and agents
When it comes to introducing disruptive technology, it’s reasonable to have concerns about the learning curve. After all, many on-prem contact centers live in highly complex environments. However, doing nothing leaves your legacy contact center vulnerable to producing disjointed customer experiences that can quickly chip away at your hard-earned brand reputation. Even Gartner Group agrees: All contact center innovation is happening in the cloud today, and this will lead to obsolescence of premise-based contact center solutions.
This unenviable trade-off provides all the more reason to make your next contact center transformation one that is truly built to last. Cloud-based solutions can help your business avoid regular infrastructure investments and create a more consistent IT environment for your solution admin team to manage over time. For agents, it can lead to a substantial boost in productivity. According to one Forrester study, small and midsize contact centers who used a cloud platform realized a 25% increase in productivity.
To overcome the initial cloud knowledge gap, consider choosing a partner who will provide access to the cloud on a trial basis with free, expert-guided enablement sessions, which will allow your team to build both familiarity and comfort in the platform before committing to the migration.
Obstacle #2: Lack of control and lack of customization in the cloud
It’s a common misconception that moving to a cloud infrastructure means losing control of your system’s configuration and data. Most leading cloud solutions will work carefully with your admin team to ensure your organization maintains full day-to-day operational control of your environment, as well as full ownership of your data —just without the hassle of system maintenance.
As for customization, while it might have been true a few years ago that a cloud solution would leave less room for custom orchestration, it isn’t the case anymore. The leading CCaaS providers include thousands of apps and integrations that can tailor your environment to meet your specific customer and employee needs. Additionally, open APIs provide even greater flexibility to customize your organization’s solution or integrate with other critical business systems.
Obstacle #3: Understanding the true cost of cloud—shifting from a CAPEX to OPEX cost model
The operating expense (OPEX) cost structure used by most SaaS solutions can make it difficult to reconcile with traditional contact center capital expenses (CAPEX).
However, the low upfront operating expense or subscription models found in most CCaaS contracts are actually one of the primary advantages of a cloud migration. Unlike new on-prem hardware solutions that require a costly up-front lift to build out, CCaaS solutions can fit much more easily into existing administrative budgets—which can help expedite the approval process.
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Obstacle #4: Security concerns for customer data
This is one of the most prevalent myths about cloud migration. In reality, security breaches are not more common in cloud contact centers than they are in on-prem solutions. According to Gartner, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) workloads actually encounter 60% fewer security incidents.
As for data privacy, leading cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, have invested millions in the robust privacy frameworks found at the center of many cloud contact center solutions. Even the CIA now uses the cloud to store top-secret information. Still, it’s important to confirm any potential CCaaS partner holds the data certifications that are relevant to your industry—including PCI-DSS, SOC 2, and HIPAA, among others.
Obstacle #5: Potential downtime-related service issues
Contact center downtime can happen in any environment—including in the cloud. But that doesn’t mean it has to happen. Look for cloud contact center partners who are transparent about their SLA and uptime policies and offer public, detailed, historical metrics across all global availability regions. Even better, seek out partners who enforce their own availability—and pay out when they fail to deliver.
The right cloud solution can often reduce downtime compared to its on-prem predecessor. According to a Forrester study, moving to a cloud-based contact center can reduce contact center downtime by as much as 90%.