The past year has been a tipping point for cloud adoption, with organisations around the world accelerating their digital transformation plans so they could keep operating in a home working environment.
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, has stated: “We have seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months”.
Contact centres were no exception to this mass move to the cloud, using it to support new digital channels and to enable agents to work from home at very short notice. Our special round of Autonomous Customer research capturing the effects of the pandemic reveals the scale of the shift: 88% of agents worked at home at some point during the crisis.
It all sounds positive for cloud, with a huge take up and widespread understanding that digital transformation brings cost, efficiency, productivity benefits, as well as easy access to innovation.
So why then do 70% of cloud adoption programmes stall after only 20% of the journey is completed?1
Based on our experience of migrating tens of thousands of agents to cloud-based working over the last year, we’ve identified four points where organisations can underestimate what’s involved, potentially causing the adoption to stall:
Why cloud adoption programmes can fail to scale
1. ‘Forgetting’ how vital the network is to success
Many organisations run a proof of concept exercise before making their main move from an on-premise set up to cloud-based one. They see fantastic results, and press ‘go’ on their migration plans. But, in many cases, they’ve underestimated the role of network as cloud migration also moves voice and data traffic from LAN or corporate WAN to public network. Suddenly, what seemed like an easy scale becomes a major network programme with unexpected cost and management implications. And problems scaling up have a direct impact on the end user experience; calls drop, voice quality deteriorates, and agents struggle to communicate effectively with customers.
2. The hidden costs of global resource migration
A small-scale proof of concept will clearly show the significant cost savings that moving to the cloud brings, but such isolated projects can be deceptive. They don’t show the hidden complexity and costs involved in getting people to adopt new ways of working - changing processes, migrating existing technology connectors, actioning integrations, and adjusting the business rules and configurations that are necessary to delivering the business outcomes.
3. Security black holes emerge
Moving successfully from an on-premise set up to the cloud involves a fundamental rethink of an organisation’s cybersecurity. Many of the issues involved around defending new attack surfaces are tackled in the proof of concept, but some deeper scrutiny only happens when scaling up, and security black holes can emerge. Decisions about defences then drag out the project and delay the commercial benefits. Switching between PSTN and public cloud is a prime example.
4. A multitude of cloud-based solutions causes confusion
It’s likely that an organisation will need to use multiple clouds, and this often leads to the development of a fragmented service management model. This can make it difficult to manage the cloud platform as a coherent whole. For example, imagine buying a CRM, a ticketing system, a public cloud contact centre, a digital channel tool and a workforce management suite as silos – but you need to deliver them to one agent via a single interface. Any fragmentation has an impact on service quality, particularly when there’s an issue with one of the tools because it can be difficult to work out what’s causing the problem – is it the internet, the public cloud or something in between?
Moving past fail-to-scale pitfalls to success
Organisations that want to avoid these pitfalls need to focus on creating an ecosystem that can support a frictionless user experience in a multi-cloud environment and can reduce the cost to serve. If you’re moving to public cloud, look for these key attributes in a partner:
1. They provide an integrated ecosystem, not isolated services
Look for a provider with a thriving multi-cloud environment you can tap into easily, where every partner or capability you need is integrated.
2. They leverage technology to augment the user and agent experience
Look for the ability to do more than provide the latest purpose-built automation technologies and human interventions; choose a provider that brings systems, technology and people together to create a cohesive whole.
3. They bring everything together cost effectively
Look for an easy-to-use, consumption-based price model that includes everything you need, from your network and cloud services, through to management options.
To sum up, for a successful migration to cloud, software-as-a-service is not enough, you need a partner who can provide a solution-as-a-service.
When it comes to next steps, you can book a one-to-one contact centre insights workshop.
And, to get the full picture of what consumers expect from contact centres today, download our Autonomous Customer 2021 whitepaper.
1Gartner press release, 17 November 2020, Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Grow 18% in 2021.