What is the real driver of cloud growth in 2016?
2016 Cloud Trends Unfolding Series
So far, as we’ve been moving through our series on Cloud Trends Unfolding in 2016, we’ve talked about cloud providers optimizing big data in the cloud followed by how cloud analytics helps IT and the emerging security standards we can expect to see. Let’s take a closer look at another cloud trend for 2016: how contact centers are approaching cloud adoptions.
However, before we dive into this, let’s take a quick overview of the cloud and how it works. First, it’s important to remember that the cloud is not a single thing but a network of services, storage, applications and servers that both perform tasks and store data. Some of those servers provide services, while others provide storage. An example of the services the cloud provides would be something like SalesForce or Adobe Photoshop. We used to access this creative service by buying the boxed software, now Adobe Photoshop, along with other creative services, has been moved to the cloud and is accessed through a subscription in order to use the service. Microsoft has moved to a subscription model for its popular Office suite as well, now charging for a yearly subscription rather than for a one-time download and outright ownership.
And anyone who has uploaded photos to iPhoto or Instagram or who has shared documents using Google Drive or SharePoint knows about cloud storage.
The real driver of cloud growth in 2016
Given that consumers use the cloud every day without realizing, what is the value to the enterprise of cloud in 2016? According to Dustin Smith, Sr. Product Marketing Manager at Tableau Software, it’s ease of use. Moving data to the cloud will become as easy as a simple copy/paste move. Smith predicts:
“With self-service cloud analytics and data prep now a reality, the chance of letting an individual move data into a cloud ecosystem quickly and easily (and without a technical background) is on the horizon,” he says. “Simple solutions that largely decouple the complexity of data integration, staging, and transformation and focus solely on letting business users drop data into preferred cloud databases and warehouses are on their way.”
Smith states a simple truth: the ability to easily back up, access, share and store data in the cloud without even thinking about it is the real value here. Ten years ago, data backup procedures required hardware, manual action and strict protocols. Today, even a non-techie can backup, store or share data in the cloud without even thinking about it. What is driving cloud growth is that it is so easy to use that we can now spend our energies focusing on our core tasks rather than on manual ways of storing and sharing data.
Perhaps one of the greatest lessons we’re learning as we watch these trends unfold is simply that cloud technology is easily accessible to the average user with minimal barriers to entry. In the early days, changes in technology had to go through the IT department. But the accessibility of cloud computing meant that departments could bypass IT entirely: a sales team could easily implement SalesForce, a marketing team could implement HubSpot and a development team could share documents on Google Drive or DropBox without going through a lengthy IT vetting and installation process.
The contact center cloud in 2016
A recent report by research firm Frost and Sullivan on contact center modernization predicted that the cloud contact center market will grow to over $3 billion by 2017. This represents the combined spend across ACD, IVR, outbound contact, chat, quality monitoring, workforce management, and analytics applications.
Furthermore, Frost and Sullivan has reported that the adoption of hosted or cloud solutions is not concentrated to any one industry or few industry sectors; rather, it is fairly distributed across industry verticals. They believe its high adoption in industries such as financial services and healthcare validate the robustness and maturity of the model.
According to the Cloud Contact Center Market Trends Report by Frost and Sullivan, the key considerations for moving to a cloud-based contact center include:
- Reduced systems maintenance and management costs
- Reduced IT budgets to buy and manage infrastructure in-house
- Rapid time to deployment
- Flexible scalability and business agility
- Ease of provisioning and managing multi-site operations
- To support remote / at home agents
It only makes sense that contact centers are flocking to the cloud with the abundance of benefits and the increasing simplicity. Will the cloud contact center market reach $3 billion by 2017? Only time will tell. But based on the growth we are seeing at Spoken and the immense benefits our clients are receiving, we certainly think so.