Agility may be the defining feature of today’s contact centers.
In the past, speed was the name of the game. How could a contact center be as efficient as possible, maximizing the call volume each agent could handle and minimizing average handle time? While these factors still play a role in contact center operations, customer experience (CX) now takes center stage. That CX is fluid and omnichannel, and that means your contact center must be as agile as possible.
It’s fitting, then, that DevOps, an operational approach that grew out of the Agile software development practices of the 1990s, is finally grabbing the attention of more contact center executives. As more contact center leaders have embraced cloud technology, a nimbler and fleet-footed approach to CX development and delivery has become possible.
How the cloud clears the way for DevOps
Contact centers are rapidly shedding legacy, on-premises technology in favor of the cloud. The global market for Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) offerings is expected to grow by 26.1% annually from 2022 to 2027, expanding from $17.1 billion to $54.6 billion.
While there are many reasons for this shift, it ultimately boils down to customer experience and cost management. The cloud allows contact centers to scale more efficiently, delivering more flexible and personalized CX solutions while driving down the cost of service. It enables a more seamless blend of human agents with artificial intelligence technology within an omnichannel service environment.
The cloud does more, though. It also clears the way for a DevOps approach in the contact center. Consider a few key changes that come with cloud migration:
- Silos break down and communication opens up. When a contact center isn’t bound to a physical location, collaboration and communication become essential ingredients to delivering customer service.
- Automation becomes easier. Cloud contact center technology is built on a modern architecture making it more compatible with the small, frequent changes that are the hallmark of DevOps. Automation of key processes, from CI/CD to testing, becomes key to achieving the DevOps vision.
All these changes lay the groundwork for a fuller shift toward DevOps in the contact center. Because it is rooted in Agile software methodology, DevOps relies on the open, collaborative culture that’s inherent to an Agile approach. It’s built on breaking down the silos between development and operations so that these two departments can work together throughout the development cycle to deliver faster, better software releases.
In the contact center, it’s much easier to embrace this type of mindset shift when the overhead of legacy technology is no longer in the way. And when contact center leadership embraces this shift, it lays the groundwork for even more powerful results.
Continuous testing in DevOps: The perfect recipe for CX assurance
At the heart of the DevOps mindset is the commitment to continuous iteration and continuous development (CI/CD). Rather than separating development and testing into distinct stages, DevOps intertwines them throughout the entire lifecycle of software development.
This shift from a develop-test-release approach to a more fluid interchange between the three relies on continuous testing. Instead of isolated checks at the end of development, which often lead to major delays or misses in discovering software issues, testing “shifts left” to happen much earlier in the cycle. This enables development teams to discover problems much earlier, solve them more efficiently, and reduce the costs associated with premature deployment.
When done well, the result is a massive improvement in execution. According to the 2021 Accelerate State of DevOps report by Google Cloud DevOps Research and Assessment (DORA), organizations with elite DevOps teams outperform those with low-end DevOps teams by leaps and bounds. Consider a few stark comparisons:
- Elite groups are 6,570 times faster at making software changes and restoring service outages.
- They deploy code updates 973 times more often.
- The changes they deploy are one-third less likely to fail.
What do these kinds of performance improvements mean for the contact center? By deploying CI/CD, automated testing, and other DevOps approaches, contact centers can reduce outages, improve voice quality, enhance chatbot performance, and more. And while it’s possible, in theory, to do this without a wholesale embrace of the DevOps mentality, making a full mindset shift will drastically enhance what’s possible for contact center CX.
Embracing a DevOps approach in your contact center requires a change in mindset. You can no longer think of development and upgrades to your system as separate from CX — they must become an integral part of it. At Cyara, we call it “DevCXOps.”
Our CX assurance platform helps the world’s most prestigious brands accelerate the shift toward DevOps because the entire system is built on CI/CD. Through powerful automation, our customers deploy functional, regression, and performance tests, along with live CX monitoring, to gain a comprehensive view of the customer experience.
This kind of automated continuous testing and monitoring allows development and operations teams to ensure that CX software — whether an existing version or a new update — performs at optimal levels. Instead of catching service issues in scattershot fashion or after they’ve already impacted CX, Cyara helps catch them proactively so they don’t become serious problems.
One of our customers, a major Canadian bank, uses Cyara to get a unified picture of its contact center operations and an end-to-end view of the customer journey that allows them to catch issues in real-time and resolve them more quickly.
That’s only one example — countless more contact centers have used Cyara to jumpstart their shift to a DevOps way of doing business. If you’re ready to deploy DevOps in your contact center, you don’t have to do it alone. Take a look at this whitepaper to learn more about how Cyara can help.