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Jed Hewson, 1StreamJed Hewson, 1Stream

Last year’s Forrester Report on call centre technology was clear on the benefits of the cloud and hosting services, but there was a clear caveat attached – perceived concerns around security, performance and reliability has left some business and IT managers simply more comfortable using their own in-house IT, regardless of the benefits of the alternative.

IT remains resistant and in certain cases, entirely opposed, to the hosted model. In-house IT departments, particularly in volatile environments like call centers, are employed to keep the technology up and running at all times. Unfortunately, this need for consistency is not conducive to the changes that this industry constantly requires.

Hosting does not simply give business managers the opportunity to access technology that they may not otherwise be able to afford or implement - it gives business the opportunity to experiment. It’s scalable, instantly available and requires no investment in hiring, training or upskilling IT staff. They can freely diversify, test new technologies, explore new markets – without a significant capex investment.

Control is not lost when handed over to an out-of-house provider – it’s intensifi ed. Even if a company has devoted years to improving their measures, in most cases, they are unable to access and afford the systems that a hosted provider can through simple economies of scale.

It’s apparent that business and IT goals are misaligned - IT requires a stable environment, business requires constant change to remain competitive. Hosting should not be seen as a threat to the in-house department, but as a way to give both parties what they need. Businesses are able to explore new markets and technologies through their hosted provider and IT departments are given extra time and resources to do much more than simply avoid disruption.

Business and operations managers should not be held ransom to the in-house IT model – there are alternatives. Once they start exploring their options, and taking ownership of the technology in their call center, they will find themselves not only running a business that is more flexible but also a lot more competitive.

About the author: is director of 1Stream