Industry Commentary

WhatsApp Vulnerability Highlights CX Data Security Imperative

By June 3, 2019January 10th, 2024No Comments

The integrity of personal data is paramount in 2019 and beyond.  The cyber-hacking taking place throughout the world appears to know no bounds, and those undertaking these activities are more cunning than ever.  This is why the recent revelations about the potential vulnerability of the popular messaging platform WhatsApp hit home for so many consumers, and providers of customer experience services need to take note. The fact is that digital delivery is now more of a dynamic for enterprises across sectors, and making certain that the right provisions are in place to ensure maximum data integrity is a must.  In today’s operating environment, prospective buyers of contact center services will not tolerate half-measures.

To place this discussion in context, it is worth examining the extent to which enterprises are utilizing digital delivery within their operations. For example, the recently published Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey indicates that roughly half the workstations in major Western demand markets are at least partially delivering non-voice interactions.  These are channeled through a variety of mediums, including social media, email, SMS and instant messaging (which is deployed by 55% of enterprises, according to the previously-mentioned survey, and includes WhatsApp).  With such a variety of channels that consumers are turning toward for support (alongside voice), enterprises are clearly challenged to ensure that information security is front of mind.

And therein lies the challenge for captive contact center managers.  The pressures around data protection compliance are constantly evolving, as are the associated technologies and process requirements.  However, these are certainly matters that keep enterprise contact center managers awake at night – information security and data protection is not only the #1 investment priority for captive customer experience operations, it is also among the most important operational challenges faced by enterprises in their contact center environment.  But the question is how can outsourced providers take advantage of what appears to be a strategic need in customer experience management.

That answer may not be obvious.  Even a few years ago, outsourcers could reasonably sell their capabilities in data security to enterprises that were cash-strapped, and unable to invest in the technologies and processes needed to remain compliant.  But, with the 2019 Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey highlighting that  the majority of enterprise contact centers anticipate growth in their CRM budgets (thereby facilitating more capacity to spend on these provisions), could this spell trouble for front-office BPO providers?

It is unlikely. This has a great deal to do with required expertise alongside processes and technology.  In fact, enterprise contact centers that need to beef up information security still face challenges due to chronic lack of investment, part of the legacy budget limitations faced by so many following the global financial crisis.  Not only taking on the platforms, hardware and processes will be important in managing data protection; hiring the right people to manage the implementation of the solutions alongside the processes will be critical, too.  This is an area in which a growing number of outsourcers have a significant amount of expertise, which can be used as a differentiator when bidding for new business.  Acting as a trusted guide as enterprise partners navigate the labyrinth of data security management is a value-added advantage that will soon become table-stakes when bidding on contracts.  For outsourcers eager to remain relevant, the time to ensure their capabilities in data protection is now.