Future-proof cloud considerations to take for post-lockdown success
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Adopting the cloud right now is the best way to adapt to the uncertainty that defines tomorrow.
Everybody is tired of hearing about the new world of work. The ‘newsual’, the ‘new normal’. These terms are equal parts stark reminder and trendy lingo and do little to appease the nervousness of business and leaders as the world steps into the post-pandemic world of work. It’s a challenging, uncertain and complex environment that has put the early adopters of cloud-based solutions firmly into the fast lane, and left many other companies wondering how to balance on the back foot.
The good news is that it really isn’t too late. That it has become even easier for organisations to adopt cloud technology now, streamlining their operations and call centres for the changes and challenges that lie ahead. While those that invested earlier may be moving into the polishing and perfection stage, those that take the step today will benefit from the advances made into the technologies and solutions over the course of the year. After all, 2020 has put unique pressure onto platforms and systems which has driven invention and innovation throughout the sector.
Also, let’s pause for a moment and recognise one very important point - investing in cloud doesn't have to happen all at once. In fact, it shouldn’t. Cloud investment can follow a strategic process that gets people online, puts systems in place, and gradually evolves to become a complete ecosystem that maps back to specific business objectives. You can add on technology and services as you adapt to your cloud adoption without being left behind.
As the world moves out of lockdown and into the post-COVID-19 era, cloud investment is very likely to accelerate. Businesses will be rapidly investing in additional solutions now that they’ve seen how cloud technology works in practice. Many have seen real benefits to empowering their people to work from anywhere, at any time, and significant work restrictions may remain in place for the foreseeable future.
The second factor that’s likely to influence increased adoption over the next few months is engagement. Not only in terms of getting employees to become more involved in the business and their roles as remote working continues, but in terms of capturing customer attention. Ultimately, every organisation wants to keep the customer delighted while they navigate the unexpected twists and turns of the post-pandemic road. Cloud allows for companies to adopt additional technology that enhances the experiences and investments already made and that delivers the service excellence that everybody’s looking for.
For those companies that have been running call centres throughout the year, cloud has brought some impressive gains to the table. As the year runs into the final half, there are five things that every company should consider when it comes to enhancing existing cloud-based call centre solutions, and investing into new ones.
The first is change management – the hype has worn off and the teams are at home. Change management is critical to getting people on board and will define whether any deployment is a success.
The second is the quality of the solution. This is often overlooked – companies opt into the capacity of a call centre solution rather than the quality of the call. This is essential as it can have a direct impact on the customer.
The third consideration is security. It’s easy to bypass security concerns now that everyone is dispersed, but this is actually the time to slow down and really look at any potential vulnerabilities or areas of concern. This will ensure that liability is addressed, compliance met, and that risks are managed appropriately.
In fourth place is the need to take a staggered approach when implementing technology. In fact, this is so important that it should be the leading factor considered before signing on any cloud bottom line. Devise a plan on how you can approach your investment in phases and implement it alongside change management and strategic direction. This will then further ensure that security is embedded, that teams are on board and that the solution selected will deliver what your business needs.
Then, the fifth most important cloud investment consideration is one that companies often miss until it’s too late – business support. Many vendors offer technical support, but that isn’t enough. Providing support on a business level is what will help companies realise the full potential of any technology investment. Beyond features and functionality lies the hard reality of day-to-day management and ongoing optimisation. This is why it’s so important to work with a partner that can provide all the levels of support needed.
In the end, choose a company that will support your move into the cloud and respect your long-term approach to investment. Cloud has multiple benefits and is key to the sustainable success of the modern business in the post-pandemic environment, but it has to be done right to get the right results.
*Wynand Smit is the CEO of INOVO.