Johannesburg, 09 Feb 2016
Although an increasing number of southern African contact centres are moving into the cloud, many more are still grappling with the decision "to cloud or not to cloud?"
Ebrahim Dinat, COO at South African contact centre solutions provider, Ocular Technologies, says that the reason these companies are hesitating to migrate their contact centres from on-premises to the cloud is primarily due to a fear about contact centre security.
"To assist companies in understanding cloud-based contact centre security and overcome this barrier of fear, our partner company, Aspect, has put together a list of the five most common myths that obscure executives' decision-making," he says. Aspect voices these as:
Myth 1: The cloud can't compete with on-premises for security
One of the most common cloud security myths - and one that crops up in every industry - is the assumption that cloud solutions are inherently less secure than on-premise data centres. In reality, most cloud providers massively outrank even the biggest enterprises in terms of the resources at their disposal to keep their facilities as secure and resilient as possible. And where an organisation might see security as a cost centre, cloud providers see it as key to their value proposition.
While it may be reassuring to have your servers blinking in the corner of the room rather than in a cloud-scale data centre on the other side of the world, you're usually actually putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to keeping rogue elements away from your data.
Myth 2: It's simple for tenants in a single cloud to attack each other
Another industry-agnostic misconception is the idea that the shared nature of a cloud environment makes it simple for tenants in a single cloud to access each other's data. This isn't the case - most of the time, virtual environments are isolated both from one another and the resources of their host machine.
It's much easier to mount an insider attack from within the perimeter of a traditional network, where the principle of least privilege might not be so well applied.
Myth 3: The cloud is a compliance risk for contact centres
It's not uncommon for contact centre professionals to be acutely aware of their organisation's regulatory requirements, as well as how time-consuming and costly it can be to achieve compliance with industry mandates like PCI DSS. This gives them cause to think that no cloud provider would ever go to the same lengths to play by industry-specific rules and regulations, and that bodies like the PCI probably look down on the use of cloud solutions anyway.
It's true that not all cloud providers are compliant with PCI DSS and similar standards, but some are. One example is the Aspect Cloud, which has been PCI DSS-compliant to the highest standards since 2007 and is available throughout southern Africa from Ocular Technologies.
Myth 4: Cloud users lose control over where their data is stored
Similar to the above is the misconception that every cloud solution on the market robs the user of any control and visibility over where their data is stored. So, for example, there's a risk that customer information may reside in countries where it isn't legally supposed to go.
In reality, this comes down to the cloud provider. While some will refrain from giving users control over data sovereignty, others will allow them to be very specific in terms of where their records are kept.
Myth 5: All clouds are created equal
Finally, it's not always understood that the cloud comes in all shapes and sizes. There's a plethora of cloud providers, delivery models and deployment options out there, and the service you get at the end of the day can vary wildly in functionality, flexibility and agility - and security. If you're thinking of moving your contact centre to the cloud, leave your misconceptions at the door - the most important thing is to find the solution that's right for you.
"When questioning whether to change to a cloud-based solution, it is important not to fall for these myths, but to rather base the business' final decision on showing an improvement on the contact centre's capacity for excellent customer interaction, which leads to a upbeat customer experience, positively influencing the brand's reputation. With customer satisfaction being the number one objective of contact centres globally, and quality metrics the most important indicators of contact centre performance, at Ocular Technologies, we believe it is time to head for the cloud," adds Dinat.