Cloud Contact Centers – Are the Rewards Worth the Risks?

It is no surprise that the cloud contact center market continues on an upward trajectory, with analysts predicting industry growth from  $4.15 billion in 2014 nearly $11 billion in 2019.

When delivered via Software as a Service (SaaS), cloud contact center services are economical since you pay only for what you use and there is no hardware or software to buy, maintain or upgrade. Services in the cloud are quick to deploy, easy to scale, and offer a broad range of service options and current technologies like omni-channel customer interaction and “big data” utilization for enhanced customer experience.  And, because cloud services are not bound by the limitations of traditional phone networks, they have great appeal for multinational enterprises that want to consolidate their contact center operations under a single hosting provider.

But before you jump on the cloud bandwagon for your contact center operations, it’s important to recognize where there may be risks and what you can do to minimize them.

The biggest risk, as with anything cloud, is security. While companies usually keep customer data on premise, they need a connection to the cloud for certain activities, like data lookups. Make sure your provider is one that can ensure secure encryption on both ends.

Also pay close attention to your provider contract. Some include penalties if the number of seats falls below or goes above certain thresholds. In today’s corporate environment of mergers, downsizing and acquisitions, this could be a problem. Unless you know for a fact that your enterprise will never experience a sudden drop or rise in support service needs, seek out a provider that assures a consistent rate structure regardless of changes in usage.

Finally, if you are the person in your organization responsible for making the decision to go with cloud services, don’t be surprised if you get some push-back by those who fear loss of control or, worse, loss of jobs. The customers I’ve worked with report just the opposite. The move frees resources for investment in the business, stimulates business growth and new hiring through improved customer satisfaction and retention, and frees IT staff to work on more strategic and rewarding projects. It’s a win-win, as long as you’re careful with your choice.