If you were among the 6,500+ people who attended Enterprise Connect 2019, or have read about its insights, developments and announcements, you know there was much to digest from this year’s action- and information-packed week in Orlando.

With more contact center exhibitors, sessions, speakers—and buzz— than ever before, the benefits of the cloud were celebrated, deconstructed and debated. Yet, despite the energy, momentum and promise of the cloud, Aberdeen reported that in 2018 two-thirds of contact centers still use an on-premises model for their contact center infrastructure. So, for those contact centers that have not yet made the move, as well as for those that have already migrated to cloud technology, the questions is: Why?

To help get to the heart of the answer, we surveyed 100 US- and Canada-based contact center leaders from this year’s Enterprise Connect exhibit floor and asked them:

  1. What best describes the status of you contact center’s move to the cloud?
  2. What do you consider the greatest benefit to moving to the cloud?
  3. What do you consider the biggest barrier to the cloud?

Nearly half of the Enterprise Connect attendees we spoke to (49%) represented contact centers with more than 501 agents. The complete breakdown of contact center size, based on the number of agents is:

Size of Contact Center

The respondents surveyed represent a wide range of industries, including retail, energy, technology, manufacturing, government and business services, with the largest percentage coming from financial services (33%) and healthcare (15%).

Here’s what we learned about their migration to a cloud contact center and their views on the benefits and barriers to migration.

What best describes the status of your contact center’s move to the cloud?

Of those surveyed, 27% said they are already using the cloud (14%) or a move to the cloud is in process (13%). Anecdotally, several contact center leaders we spoke to at Enterprise Connect, who had fully migrated to the cloud, were considering expanded and next-generation cloud-based contact center solutions from their existing vendors or considering new vendors.

Sixty-four percent of surveyed attendees said they are planning a move to the cloud (27%) or exploring cloud options (37%.) This clearly indicates the interest in cloud is real and generating serious movement toward migration. This is supported by a trend analysis of Aberdeen’s cloud contact center studies between 2013 to 2018, which shows the adoption of cloud technology has continuously risen.

Only 8% of the Enterprise Connect attendees we surveyed said they were not considering a move to the cloud.

What do you consider the greatest benefit to moving to the cloud?

The number one benefit named by 39% of the survey respondents is scalability. With the cloud, it’s easy to quickly add or remove agents based on fluctuating call volumes. This is especially relevant if your business is seasonal or volumes vary.

Speed of implementation is the primary benefit to migrating to the cloud, according to 29% of those surveyed. Since cloud vendors install and implement hardware and software for you, you no longer need to spend weeks or months on deployment when leveraging the cloud. And, with a browser-based cloud contact center, your agents only need access to the Internet, not a download to their individual computer. This means you can start using a software as a service (SaaS) solution relatively quickly. Rapid deployment can provide a significant competitive advantage for companies in rapidly changing markets.

What do you consider the biggest barrier to the cloud?

Despite the benefits of the cloud, many contact centers have concerns about the migration, which can delay or prevent a transition. Disruption was named as a barrier to cloud adoption by 29% of our survey respondents, more than any other factor.

While any technology migration will have its challenges, disruption can be minimized. Some cloud contact center solution providers offer professional services to help with the migration, but even with outside assistance, a gradual and well-planned migration is the best approach to minimize disruption and downtime.

Interestingly, cost/budget was named as a barrier to moving to the cloud by 25% of our survey’s respondents. Yet, conversely, cost savings are considered the greatest benefit to moving to the cloud for 17% of our respondents.

Since both hardware and software are based in the cloud when using a cloud solution, capital expenses and ongoing system maintenance are significantly reduced after the initial purchase, making it a wise long-term investment.

What Can We Learn from the Survey Results?

So, what can we learn from our Enterprise Connect attendee survey? Cloud-based contact center solutions deliver clear benefits, but the timing and approach to a migration requires serious consideration of your specific needs and goals. If your organization is struggling to achieve results in any area where the cloud delivers benefits, weigh the barriers that have kept you from making the move against the full benefits of migration.

At Serenova, we started as an outsourced contact center and evolved into a contact center solution, so we understand the challenges you face. If you’d like to take a closer look at how Serenova’s solutions can positively impact your contact center, contact us for a demo.