Service level agreements have long been part of the cloud landscape. However, maturation in the cloud sector has fueled an increased emphasis on how service providers differentiate from each other, creating a situation in which SLAs are more important than ever.
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Cloud availability is often measured in nines. Low-level services may offer two nines (99 percent) uptime. A solid solution may go for four nines (99.99 percent) availability. But when it comes to cloud resiliency, five nines (99.999 percent) uptime is the target most of the industry considers the upper echelon.
Cloud computing is becoming a mainstream component of IT configurations. While the cloud is establishing itself as a valuable and important enterprise technology, it does come with its limitations. Service providers offer a variety of ways to work around cloud challenges, but software-defined WAN systems are emerging as one of the most powerful solutions to a wide range of cloud complications.
Spending on cloud services is continuing to rise. The International Data Corporation found that global spending on public cloud services will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 24.4 percent during the 2015 to 2020 period. However, as businesses put more resources into the cloud, they are also running into new management challenges that threaten to undermine value creation.
An organization's ability to connect its employees and break down operational silos is increasingly critical to success. Digital transformation is pushing businesses to coordinate operations, eliminate inefficiency in all forms, and empower employees to get the job done in efficient ways. Enterprise collaboration is changing in light of the opportunities created by cloud and digital technologies. Organizations that don't invest in collaboration could be at risk of falling behind.
Cloud services are making analytics functionality more accessible in enterprise settings. This is becoming essential as businesses face greater demand to ramp up their contact center functionality and create stronger customer experiences.
How businesses interact with customers is changing. The need to provide good customer service has morphed into a demand to create satisfying customer experiences. In response, organizations must align data and technological capabilities across the entire business. Cloud contact center platforms can bring the analytics and customer service tools used in the contact center to the rest of the business, strengthening customer experiences.
Contact center technology has often focused on streamlining processes. If a customer can solve a problem without needing to speak to a human, then the interaction is a success in terms of both efficiency and consumer satisfaction. If a customer service representative can resolve customer issues quickly, then the contact center is getting the job done.
Changing dynamics in the e-commerce sector are placing a renewed focus on the customer experience. Industry giants like Amazon are setting new standards for consumer visibility into ordering and shipping processes. Automation and data-driven processes are enabling leaders in the market to blend experiences across channels, creating cohesive customer journeys. The hub of all of this innovation is the contact center, where strategic technology investment is needed to align employee capabilities with what customers expect.