With feet on the ground, and heads in "the cloud," today's customer experience professionals continue to develop their service offerings by investing in emerging technologies that extend and enhance the customer relationship. Through cloud computing and applications, companies across industries have been able to improve their software capabilities and data collection methods in ways that allow for stronger customer engagement and brand loyalty.

Yet, while such tools have become an accepted and integral part of the customer service space, less than one decade ago, these revolutionary technologies were on the cusp of altering the way businesses connect with customers, employees, and partners.

"Just a few short years ago, cloud computing was considered less than a mainstream idea, something more suited to early adopters," says Bryan House, vice president of product marketing at Acquia. "With reduced costs, less need for staff, redundancy, and scalability, the cloud is now presumed to be the smart option, and sometimes the only option. Six years ago, platforms for marketing automation, email, CRM, analytics, and digital experiences were on premise. You'd never consider hosting them in a datacenter. But today, the cloud is just presumed to be the easier way."