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Contact centres are ‘rushing’ to the cloud, as they struggle to overcome the limitations of legacy systems and inflexible business models.

Those are the conclusions drawn by network infrastructure service provider West Corporation, in its new ‘State of the Customer Experience 2017’ report, which surveyed 200 managers and decision makers in contact centres, across various industries. West found that 39 per cent of UK contact centres have already moved to the cloud, and 57 per cent are planning or considering a move within the next three years.

Top advantages to a cloud move were listed as ensuring that technology keeps pace with changing customer behaviour (67 per cent); improved profitability (63 per cent); and security (37 per cent). The ability to more freely and easily update technology was seen as a big advantage, with fewer than half (47 per cent) of respondents saying that their own contact centre ‘meets my needs as a customer.’ Only 20 per cent of contact centres have a web self-service capability.

However, of those centres that have already moved to the cloud, 53 per cent of respondents said that new features were easier to deploy, and 47 per cent said that they had saved money with flexible licensing models.

In an analysis of the results of its study, West said that ‘nearly everyone’ who took part understood that consumers are driving the contact centre revolution; but contact centres themselves have been slow to react. Again, this was down to ageing infrastructure. The survey results show that peoples’ perceptions (in terms of costs and difficulty) are getting in the way of making moves to use new technology.

West recommended three solutions: 1) Explore new buying options – specifically, research cloud server providers; 2) Plan for the future – get ready for cloud adoption by using a hybrid approach in the near future; and 3) Create a multi-disciplinary team – involve other departments to identify the right technology for your entire business.

Results Analysis can be found here