Workforce Management Moves To the Cloud

The adoption of cloud-based software has been steadily increasing for several years, led by such companies as Workday and Salesforce, which already has more than 100,000 customers. According to a CRN survey, SMB spending on cloud computing will reach $100 billion by 2014. Other companies from Gartner to Merrill Lynch report similar findings, though the numbers vary by a billion one way or another. What is clear is that the market for a cloud infrastructure for applications like workforce management (WFM) is already large and still growing quickly. Why? There are a number of reasons, starting with cost savings. By handling WFM in the cloud a call center doesn’t have to budget for the purchase of hardware, software, database or data center infrastructure. There are also advantages in ease of use, deployment and ROI. The WFM application can be accessed anywhere at any time via the Internet. A lower investment means a more rapid return on the investment made in the cloud application, and updates and upgrades can be delivered automatically as they become available. For more details, please read our Workforce Management in the Cloud whitepaper. As with any other business, call centers are discouraged from having all of their system data housed in one physical location. But with cloud computing, there is never a question of redundancy if a server breaks down or become overloaded. There are environmental benefits as well, as information is stored in a climate that minimizes energy usage. And because servers can be shared in a virtual environment, the result is fewer servers and a reduction in the power required to operate and cool them. Are there any drawbacks to moving your workforce management to the cloud? The one cited by some industry professionals is security. So when choosing a WFM solution, this is the area to focus your questions on – what are the company’s security standards, and what certifications has the application received? If the appropriate testing and network/application/data security is in place, your call center should enjoy the benefits of cloud-based workforce management software without any heightened risk of a breach.