By Subramanya C, CTO, Hinduja Global Services
Let’s make something crystal clear: Cloud migration is no longer a pilot project. It’s been proven as one of the most cost-effective options for efficient data management. It’s also the answer to achieving economies of scale, reducing IT spending, streamlining processes, and globalizing your workforce. By 2017, nearly 50% of organizations will be using hybrid cloud, according to Gartner.
In the past, customer service have been associated with call centers where company representatives had to access different data bases to gather required information on a customer or prospect, to be able to answer the inquiry or resolve the issue at hand. This process was very time consuming and knowledge deficient. To efficiently address customer needs and achieve customer satisfaction, businesses are now relying on cloud computing CRM in order to increase the efficiency of customer service.
With cloud computing CRM systems, organizations are centralizing their data information on customers and prospects, which minimize the time to respond to a customer inquiry, and in turn improve customer satisfaction and customer service departments’ costs. Cloud computing applications now offer organizations the capabilities to develop their own customer self-service portal to empower the business with robust functionality and CRM tools allowing customers to access to their own service and support requests.
These are a few advantages of joining the great cloud migration:
- Lower Expense Model
With the pay-per-use model, you can now minimize up-front spending by incurring costs as required over time. Paying when you use cloud services reduces the overall CAPEX and OPEX costs of a company, including hardware, software, or licensing fees as well as labor and maintenance costs.
- Improved Usability
Using a cloud platform ensures accessibility of your data from multiple sources. You don’t have to login from any particular device. All the data you load onto the cloud platform is easily synced while ensuring data consistency. Cloud platforms also increase the speed of usage.
- Unconstrained Scalability
Cloud provides flexibility to work on the platform of choice without the need to commit to a particular technology. It allows you to scale your business by investing in technology that will ease and enhance productivity.
- Competitive Advantage
Your business and productivity is enhanced with the cloud’s advanced capabilities. Tracking and measurement of customer interactions and transactions is easier if you operate from a cloud platform, without the collation of data from multiple sources.
Most companies have realized these benefits of cloud platforms, moving their in-house applications to cloud. Ultimately, this level of innovation and resources strategically supports the brand promise to optimize the consumer experience and make our customers more competitive.
As one proof point of our success in this area, the company had partnered with a UK government department to provide a platform that could host visa applicants with details from different platforms like calls and emails. We worked with a cloud partner for a private cloud with multi-lingual and multi-channel capabilities, which allowed us to fulfill multiple SLAs for the client and capture data on e-commerce customer transactions through credit cards.
And this is all core to today’s unlimited BPM focus: end-to-end customer experience improvement.
Cloud Migration Considerations
Once your business decides to move to the cloud, you should take the following factors into account:
- Readiness—Migrating to the cloud is a journey, and it includes multiple pit stops – based on your organization’s readiness to start and continue the journey and your maturity level as a company.
- Private, public, or hybrid clouds—it’s been observed that organizations generally tend to start with private clouds, an infrastructure built for either a specific business or a purpose. Gradually, they move to hybrid clouds (such as, part of the business outsourced to cloud providers). Eventually, I believe all of us will move to public clouds, since this makes the most sense in terms of economies of scale.
- Heterogeneous systems in your company that are disconnected—If systems that are necessary for the workflow are not connected, it creates confusion in terms of presence of multiple sets of data in the organization.
- Time investment required—Time required for cloud migration depends on data size and number of applications in the system that are to be migrated. Typical time range would be 3 to 6 months.
- Your operating geography and business requirements—For example, in India, telecom providers have restrictions against hosting their data on a public cloud due to IT telecom regulations.
Fast Apps to the Cloud
Once you go cloud, know that web-enabled applications are the easiest to migrate. If the application you want to migrate can be hosted on your internal environment, like a demilitarized zone (DMZ), or if that application is used by multiple Intranet users, the migration will be easy. However, if the application is not web-user friendly, it’s important to use a middle layer to make the application web enabled. Before doing this, I recommend that you conduct a business benefit analysis and understand whether rewriting the application will be more economical than building a middle layer.
Second Look on Security
With cloud migration, there can never be complete data security guarantees. Security breaches can happen even in an on-premise data center. To allay organizational concerns about data security, cloud providers give you the option of testing their environment before entering into a contract. In the U.S., individual bodies like FedRAMP provide certification to cloud providers, authenticating their services. The U.S. government itself has hosted many of its applications on cloud and endorses cloud as a platform of choice.
With the maturation of cloud computing, and lessened security concerns, companies are finding that it’s best to go all in. By shifting the burden of full IT infrastructure management to the cloud, more-agile organizations can reduce costs, increase management control, and build a strategy for continuing productivity improvements.