Do we stay in a ‘one size fits all’ world?

Posted by Kevin Hall

The strategic business decision around cloud solutions should not purely be based around cost and flexibility, but a more robust understanding the underlying business drivers.

We are being forced to choose cloud based solutions by some of the biggest software vendors in the world, but the question remains, will this system work for me?

Traditionally, cloud companies sold their solutions to customers looking for complex functionality at the right price point, the monthly bill looked much more affordable, and the expenses to switch the solution “on” was so negligible, a “try before you buy “model became the latest fad, but like most trends the wave then broke, and clients were left thinking, why did we even start on this journey in the first place.

When we look at this world of cloud, the whole journey needs consideration, it is not just the goals and objectives of the company, but the growth path that would need to be understood and how their behaviours would need to change to adopt cloud infrastructure.

Flexibility has been the major driver in cloud adoption. Who would not prefer a monthly bill instead of these large yearly budget items, catering for business growth which never happened, or divisions that changed their focus, and then did not need the systems once projected.

The reality is that cloud might provide flexibility in certain areas, and constraints in other more key business areas, based on priority, one would need to understand what is key to business focus. Some integration points to legacy systems, might not be as optional as what the vendor suggest.

Productivity can be driven by the automation process of some tasks, but the resources in automating the process or task might be more expensive than the physical actual labour you are trying to save on.

To avoid the pitfall of ‘over engineering’ business, we need to work towards understanding what the cloud can offer - and does the provider I am choosing understand the integration of my systems, or will they just deliver a service via the web, which I could have used by looking at my premises-based contact centre system?

Let’s look at some examples, you might have a Customer relationship management (CRM) system which is quite cumbersome to work with, and takes a long time for new users to understand their tasks on the system.

When installing this system into a cloud infrastructure, will the partner be integrating all the systems into their solution, or can you live without some of the integrations you thought were so needed? If you do have a cloud business partner, will they understand your business well enough to offer some options regarding integration, and other web services so easily delivered on the cloud?

The path into the cloud world is not as simple, or easy as it might sound, to avoid spending time to get to quality, ask yourself a few key questions.

• Why do I need this application in the cloud?

• How often do we use the functionality we are demanding from the cloud supplier?

• What I am accomplishing with this integration?

• Which of the systems and departments will be affected if I change this method of working?

• Will this decision effect the bottom line, or will it just ease frustration from the work force?

We have all downloaded some app on our smartphones, and ended up with a whole list of unused applications on our mobile device. Just because you have the most or most popular applications on your mobile device, does not mean you are using them.

The same applies to any application via the cloud delivery system. Downloading the app on your desktop or implementing the solution via the correct business stakeholder, does not mean the adoption will be quick and easy.

Your cloud provider will need to tweak the solution to fit your definitive value proposition, make sure they are ready to understand your value proposition, and what could potentially change your whole business landscape. The right cloud partner, might give you the edge in the competitive world of business.

Elingo has extensive experience across industries on public, private, hybrid and cloud contact centre models. Find out more at http://elingo.co.za