The cloud space is showing now signs of slowing down as we turn the corner and make way for the New Year. In fact, cloud computing spending is projected to reach $155 Billion by 2015, up from $46.4 Billion in 2008, as the deployment of cloud infrastructures continues to expand. Driving the adoption of cloud is the increasing need for businesses to have the resources and operational flexibility to adapt to changes in market and consumer demand as the importance of the customer experience continues to lead today’s business initiatives. As it specifically relates to the contact center industry, the introduction of cloud has fundamentally changed an industry that was otherwise largely left unchanged for decades. And while the argument between private and public cloud rages on, the value and benefits Amazon Web Services (AWS) brings to the space are difficult to ignore.
Limitless Access to IT Resources: With the introduction of cloud and AWS-like services, the vast availability of on-demand IT resources has changed the manner and speed with which large and small enterprises can go-to-market. It has also significantly lowered the traditional barriers to entry, notably upfront infrastructure costs, expanding the competitive landscape as younger firms are now able to challenge and compete with the larger and more established institutions. With the contact center space as a prime example, the IT and computing resources AWS makes available based on the popular SaaS model has gradually altered the balance of power with 70% of today’s on-premise (Avaya, Oracle, etc.) users considering the benefits of cloud, including public.
Ability to Unify Services: Did you know 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years? And with the emphasis on the consumer experience, businesses are fast adapting the tools and resources to help them analyze, predict, manage, and retain the customers they work so hard to acquire. But with the average organization subscribing to 9.6 SaaS solutions by the end of 2014 (CRM, Ticketing, WFM/WFO, Contact Center, etc.) the need to consolidate and merge the various customer data points businesses are privy to has emphasized the importance of using a common and sustainable platform, such as AWS’ cloud, to allow for the complete Voice of the Customer (VOC) to be heard. As it relates to the contact center space specifically, the rapid transition from basic call center into key customer ‘relationship centers’ has quickly established them as the new central nerve system through which the majority of customer information and details travel. And as consumer data continues to expand exponentially, it is only by virtue of using the scalability and uniformity AWS provides that contact centers will be able to meet the oncoming challenges tomorrow’s consumer data will likely bring.
Service Reliability: Every business’ success is contingent on the reliability of the tools and resources they depend on to operate. As it relates to the contact center industry, the crucial importance of keeping the lines of communication open and available can never be overstated or undervalued. And so while some may still weigh the pros and cons of on-premise versus cloud or public versus private cloud, the fact remains AWS is one of the few platforms able to provide the infrastructure needed to truly provide uninterrupted service. By virtue of its size, geographical dispersion, and huge network investments, the reliability is tough to match at any level.
Security: The argument over security and cloud are not new and likely to continue into the New Year. However, while many may favor on-premise solutions for the simple reason it may ‘feel’ safer, the reality is cloud has come a long way to provide comparable if not superior security. Taking AWS as an example, while security responsibilities will always be shared, customers are given a PCI, HIPPA, HTTPS, firewalled platform, with 24/7 surveillance and support as a part of the basic monthly package. The alternative is the expensive maintenance and upkeep of your own network with an IT staff salary as a bonus to contend with. And while this may or may not matter to some enterprises, for those in the contact center space, the comfort of knowing your solution could be hosted and monitored by the leading provider of cloud should offer some value. After all, if your business is not expressly in security, does it really make sense to manage it yourself or would it be more efficient (without sacrificing the importance) to outsource it a fraction of the cost to a provider specializing in cloud with a solution able to properly complement it.
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