Moving Customer Experience to the Cloud Is Inevitable

A notable theme at Enterprise Connect 2022 in Orlando, FL, is the inevitable migration of CX technology to the cloud — and the risks of hanging onto on-premises solutions for too long. Throughout the event, the message was clear: Whether you go all cloud or use a hybrid cloud/on-premises model, get a move on or get left behind by tech-savvy competitors.

“Cloud was thrust on some contact centers leaders who weren’t ready to make that decision…. But once they did make the leap, it opened them up to opportunities like omnichannel self-service,” said David Myron, Principal Analyst at Omdia during his session, “Where AI pays off in the contact center.”

For other companies, the journey to cloud has been slower.

A large segment of the market is still on the path to the cloud. But companies on the slower course feel the pressure to accelerate as they see shifts in the competitive landscape.

So, it’s no surprise that “… cloud is outpacing sales of premised-based systems,” said Steve Leaden, Founder and President of Leaden Associates, during his panel discussion, “Not moving to cloud? What are the risks?”

Why Cloud — Now

During the event, several executives cited a range of benefits of migrating CX to the cloud, including:

  • Notable ROI over the short and long term
  • Significant costs reductions for equipment and operations
  • No need to budget for upgrades because they’re included in ongoing product evolution
  • Virtually eliminate end-of-life concerns with constant/rolling updates in apps and platforms
  • Ease of adaptation to changing technology trends

Opportunities for enhancing customer and employee experiences and improving insights using technologies like artificial intelligence (AI).

A 2021 Genesys survey of 690 CX leaders, “The state of customer experience,” found even more reasons for migrating CX technology to the cloud. Sixty percent of respondents said the greatest benefit of moving to the cloud is gaining better access to data insights across channels. The ability to add new features or capabilities more quickly (53%) and improved security and business continuity (46%) closely followed on benefits listed.

Cloud also helps companies overcome a significant problem that can hamper CX quality — maintaining quality of service while operating aging technology, with nearly 40% of CX leaders noting this is a serious challenge. Ongoing updates in a cloud platform eliminate this.

Don’t Risk On-Premises

Speakers at several sessions outlined three other risks that migrating to cloud can reduce or eliminate.

Being stranded: When a vendor stops supporting on-premises software, customers have a limited time to find and move to a new solution before there are unresolvable issues. Additionally, while that software is still viable, it’s not being upgraded. That means its functionality falls further behind regularly updated tools.

Feeling insecure: In the past, many companies worried cloud applications and platforms weren’t as secure as on-premises solutions. In reality, frequent updates ensure cloud solutions receive the latest security measures. Conversely, on-premises systems that aren’t kept up to date — only updated quarterly or less frequently — are more vulnerable than their cloud counterparts.

A sense of loss: Companies that haven’t adopted new technologies risk losing in the war for talent for two reasons. First, cloud is the optimal technology to support hybrid work — and today’s employees expect the flexibility to work remotely. Second, high performers typically want to keep learning and growing in their careers. That means working with the latest tech tools — not virtually stagnant ones.

Start Your Customer Experience Cloud Migration

Several of the speakers at Enterprise Connect shared advice on how best to migrate your customer experience to cloud. A common refrain was to plan, plan, plan.

There’s a lot to consider before moving CX to cloud, especially for large enterprises. In addition to process, operational and staffing shifts, you also need to think differently about budgeting.

A good first step is to create a business process to migrate or eliminate components that can’t easily be “turned off” or switched over. And they’ll need a solid plan for data migration. Global organizations also need to plan for specific requirements in different geographies.

One recommendation to help manage through the change is to implement cloud in stages, which can help companies identify priorities and spread the migration-related budget over time. And be prepared to support your employees wherever they are — this might be different than how you traditionally supported an in-office workforce.

The most common piece of advice: Don’t wait. Figure it out or risk getting left behind your competitors.

“Today, we’re transitioning from ‘Why do it’ to ‘Why not do it’,” said Eric Krapf, Enterprise Connect General Manager, Program Co-Chair and Editor of No Jitter.