When Customer Services get Serious, It’s Time to get Serious About Infrastructure

Cloud | Cloud support | IT Infrastructure

When Customer Services get Serious, It’s Time to get Serious About Infrastructure

Cloud | Cloud support | IT Infrastructure

What do you do about IT infrastructure when you move from early stage pilots and trials to the roll out of live, full-price customer services?  The rapid uptake and almost ubiquitous reliance on online services have presented many organisations with unexpected new business opportunities, but it’s put greater pressure on speed to market; change is now so rapid that businesses need to move quickly in order to align themselves with evolving customer needs.

So when a customer service gets serious, when customers rely on it, businesses need to get equally serious about service delivery, accessibility, security and customer responsiveness. The use of Cloud hyper-scalers were once ideal for internal development teams to spin up processing power as they needed it to test new functionality, but, perhaps, they are starting to look a little add-hoc – ideal for code cutting, but less so when a mission-critical IT infrastructure needs to be managed, when customers really depend on it?

So when you’re faced with a need to get more serious, when growing scale requires greater capability, what should you do? What questions should you ask yourself?

  • Firstly, is your underlying IT infrastructure right for what your business is doing now and, importantly, what you want to achieve in the future?
  • Can your use of a public Cloud easily scale, in terms of affordability, necessary resources or data sovereignty?
  • Is an impersonal public Cloud service going to directly support your ambition or hinder it? As you innovate to take advantage of new business opportunities will this create non-standard requirements that aren’t easily addressed via a one-size-fits-all service?
  • How can you introduce greater levels of management control, whilst maintaining the flexibility and affordability often associated with critical Cloud services?

If you’re in a large enough business with plenty of in-house resources then you can often make public Cloud services work for you. However, if resources are scarce or if your organisation doesn’t want to burden itself with large in-house teams the challenge is a harder one.

In this instance, management often warm to the idea of a supportive relationship that is focused on supplying the Cloud solutions that best support their business objectives. Yes, they value the cost and convenience of a service like AWS or Azure, but they recognise that one-size rarely fits all, especially when more specific, tailored solutions are required; when it’s important to be able to talk to someone about your IT infrastructure requirements who will listen and provide you with what you need, when you need it, regardless of where they come from.

So when a customer service gets serious, when the IT infrastructure it relies on is mission-critical, a public Cloud service is possibly not as appropriate as it was when your IT team started devising and testing the services.

If you’re interested in the business implications of tech decisions then you may find our video series: Horizon Scan worth a look.

Simon Lofthouse, CMO, Flexiion



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