Organizations using hybrid cloud technologies in their contact centers, are reporting a powerful impact on their businesses. Some 88% say this approach gives them  access to new functionality in their contact centers, over 84% say it’s increased their agility and speed-to-market, and a massive 87% say it’s enabling access to a single integrated customer contact platform.

That’s according to new research published today by Dimension Data in the 19th edition of its annual Global Contact Center Benchmarking Report. This year, 1,320 organizations spanning 14 industry verticals in 81 countries across Asia Pacific, Australia, the Americas, Middle East & Africa, and Europe contributed to the research.

Over two thirds (67%) of existing cloud solution users say that hybrid cloud provides better security while 84% believe it has reduced costs. The research indicates that usage levels are set to triple, and that 61% of all contact centres have or are planning to introduce cloud-based solutions.

Rob Allman, Dimension Data’s Group principal director, customer experience and collaboration says, “The digital revolution has created a new reality in which traditional technology approaches can no longer support the business needs for customer experience. Cloud provides organizations with opportunities that enable systems and features with greater speed.”

Allman says a transformational approach towards more flexible, alternative procurement solutions is clearly evident. “Our research reveals that one in five organizations (21%) are already leveraging the benefits of cloud, with 61% planning to locate their technology in some form of cloud: 30% are leaning towards hybrid cloud; 23% towards private cloud; and 8% are considering a shared/public model.”

Looking ahead, Dimension Data’s research indicates that just 23% of organizations will retain technology on-premise, which is a drop from the existing 60% reported. Wholly-owned models located on- or off-site, which currently account for 80% of existing technology infrastructure, are set to fall to 40%.

Hybrid models, comprising a split that incorporates consumption-based (as-a-service, rented data centres), are predicted to quadruple from current levels. This illustrates that a blended model is becoming the go-to enabler for the vast majority of companies in the contact centre industry.  

Joe Manuele, group executive of Dimension Data’s Customer Experience and Collaboration Business Unit warns organizations that the focus should not be on the technology infrastructure on which contact centers run, but rather the customer journey and end-user experience. “The success of cloud technologies will depend on how they fit into, and leverage, current infrastructure as well as the ability to integrate effectively into the wider organization.”

Other highlights in the 2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report include:

  • As forecast in the 2015 Contact Centre Benchmarking Report, digital interactions handled by contact centers are on track to exceed phone volumes by the end of 2016.
  • Analytics will enable the personalization of services in the contact center: they’ve emerged as the top trend that will change the industry in the next five years. For now, just 36% can track a customer journey that spans multiple channels.
  • The use of mobile apps within contact centers has risen by 61% since 2015; it’s now a top three contact channel for everyone under 55 years.