4 Questions to Determine Cloud Readiness

During the past few years, many organizations have moved their contact center operations to the cloud to take advantage of lower cost and greater agility. If you haven't already, it's likely to be on your roadmap in the near future.

Although vendor and technology selection are important, so is changing your team's mindset to fully take advantage of the cloud. Moving to the cloud is not just a lift and shift but a real opportunity to drive a differentiated CX strategy and change the way your service organization responds to customer demands, market dynamics, and evolving technologies.

Is your team equipped to fully take advantage of your cloud investment? This checklist can help you evaluate whether your team is cloud-advantaged, or CINO (cloud in name only).

Are you driving continuous improvements to CX?

The greatest benefit of a cloud contact center is the ability to take advantage of new capabilities vendors are delivering on an ongoing basis to improve processes, reduce costs, and improve customer experience. With many vendors delivering new functionality on a quarterly basis or even faster, your team needs to be prepared to review, test, and deploy new capabilities (and train agents to use them) to make the most of your cloud investment. Digesting the latest on an ongoing basis can be a challenge. Cloud CX leaders leverage vendor support, an active dialogue with agents and supervisors, and peer and industry communities to stay on top of the latest. They embrace agile development practices to ensure flexibility along the way.

Are you treating your vendor as a cloud vendor?

Another benefit of a cloud contact center is the ability to offload a lot of concerns about reliability, uptime, and infrastructure performance to the vendor. Remember, a subscription means you're paying for an ongoing service, and while the switching costs could be high, you should be leaning on your vendor to deliver value or you should be looking for another vendor. You should be demanding more than just service-level agreements and performance. True cloud vendors have clear and ever-evolving roadmaps with clear delivery dates, active customer success teams that can help you identify optimization opportunities, and an ongoing dialogue with you (no matter how large or small you are) about how they can deliver returns on your technology investment.

Are you able to focus on innovation?

Cloud contact centers enable contact center technology leaders to shift from a keeping-the-trains-running tactical operation to a strategic one, identifying opportunities for innovation and experimentation and bringing them to the business. This requires a shift in thinking about operational metrics, going beyond call handle times or old-school net promoter score measures to broader measures of customer loyalty. It means looking beyond the virtual walls of the contact center to see how the insights gathered within the contact center can drive product and service improvements. It also means the confidence to experiment and the willingness to add capabilities like embedded commerce and artificial intelligence to your portfolio.

Are you building toward a simplified, flexible future?

From a technology perspective, a cloud-first approach means simplifying vendor management and reducing costs through a simplified technology stack, using flexible APIs and ecosystem capabilities to build composable architectures, and taking advantage of capabilities that drive configuration and low-code adoption at the business user level. In the near future, it will mean taking advantage of AI to automate much of the coding and configuration process and shifting resources from backlog management to proactive solutions.

Wherever you are in your evolution to cloud, old habits can be hard to break, but if you're not shedding your legacy mindset as part of your move to cloud, you're leaving money and opportunity on the table.

Rebecca Wettemann is founder and CEO of Valoir.