- Cloud Essentials
- Software as a Service
- Accounting / Financial
- Asset Management
- Business Intelligence
- Business Process Management
- Compliance & Risk Management
- Content Management
- Document Management
- Help Desk Management
- IT / Application Management
- Project Management
- Transportation & Logistics
- Infrastructure as a Service
- Platform as a Service
Help from up high - running a service desk in the clouds
More and more companies are turning to service desks in the cloud - what are the issues to consider?
If you want to get a view on how much businesses value their ITSM people, look at the results of a recently published joint study by Forrester and the IT Service Management Forum’s US chapter, which revealed 70 percent received a positive salary increase (31 percent got a rise of more than 5 percent) at a time when general IT salaries were flat.
Satisfaction with traditional service desk software and home-brewed tools was high at 70 percent but SaaS was much higher with 96 percent of respondents satisfied or very satisfied.
We've already looked at some of the issues involved with running a helpdesk in the clouds but there's certainly an awareness of the possibilities. Just looking at the impressive numbers from the SaaS survey suggests that the adoption of SaaS as a service desk software delivery option is progressing remarkably smoothly.
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, argues Matthew Burrows, management board member at ITSMF UK, because “this type of solution isn’t exactly new”. He asks if there’s really any difference between cloud solutions and companies outsourcing their ITSM tools to a managed service provider (something which has been going on for more than 10 years).
“Customers have procured services from external providers for many years,” he states. ”Maybe the visibility to the end user or the customer is greater now; maybe it’s become much more business critical (and moved from the back office to the front office). However, the required service management principles are fairly consistent.”
At a recent itSMF conference, a presentation focused on why customers opted for ITSM cloud solutions. Reasons listed include ease of upgrades, configuration without breaking upgrades, one consistent tool, easy to ‘sell’ internally, speed of availability for production and test layers (available within a week). The issues they had to address were security, resilience, availability and disaster recovery, capacity and upgrades, performance, data ownership, integration and comparing cost models.
When it came to lessons learned, they reported it was important to ensure the people who understand the existing systems that need to integrate with the cloud solution were on board early. There were also concerns the rapid growth of some cloud-based solution providers could create problems if they were unable to deal with support issues and maintain quality of service.
So are cloud-based ITSM products a realistic alternative to on-premise solutions? Phil Hambly, director at cloud services provider, InTechnology, says the real test is to look at what users are saying “and it’s clear the cloud is at a tricky time – at the ‘peak of inflated expectation’ on the Hype Cycle published by business analyst Gartner. Customer experience is going to determine just how long it is before the cloud reaches Gartner’s ‘plateau of productivity’ but what is already clear is that some clouds are more equal than others”.
He argues that some of the VARs, system integrators and resellers rebranding themselves as cloud service providers “will not be able to deliver the service management capabilities that organisations are used to on-premise”.