From floppy disk, to CD-ROM, to thumb-drive, one technology has emerged to overshadow them all: the cloud. In the past few decades, the cloud has gone from being a fad to the future of software, and for good reason.
In a changing workforce, whether blended, remote, or on-site, cloud-based software provides the flexibility of having what you need exactly where you need it, no matter where in the world you work.
What is Cloud-Based ITSM?
Traditionally, when you think of software you install from a disk or external source, you are thinking of on-premises (also called "on-premise" or "on-prem") software. Remember those AOL email set-up disks that routinely flooded your mailbox in the mid-90s? If you ever loaded one of those onto your Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows XP, you were using what is considered on-prem software.
In the past, hosting software on-premises was popular for everything from email to accounting software. Before internet speeds picked up, on-prem was incredibly useful. Using on-prem was often faster than downloading new software from the internet in the age of dial-up. But updates meant installing an entirely new version that must be downloaded from an external source and the software was (and is still) often inflexible with other software or programs.
With the expansion of the internet in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, cloud-based software was introduced and became more popular.
Gartner defines cloud-based software, also called Software as a Service (SaaS) as “software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers. The provider delivers software based on one set of common code and data definitions that is consumed in a one-to-many model by all contracted customers at any time on a pay-for-use basis or as a subscription based on use metrics.”
What seemed in the ‘90s like a futuristic fad has become the norm today. In fact, in 2019, anywhere from 87% to 90% of companies used some form of cloud-based software or service, and 65% of all enterprise data lives in collaboration and business SaaS applications. Many companies have migrated to using the cloud over on-prem software because providers are able to push updates to users and costs were reduced to purchasing licenses rather than full software suites.
3 Benefits of Cloud-Based ITSM
There are several benefits to using cloud-based ITSM tool, no matter the size of your company or scope of your needs. These benefits include:
Benefit #1 Expanded Accessibility
The global pandemic proved to leaders across the world that having an agile work environment is a priority. Cloud-based ITSM is accessible anywhere, from any device, and works for on-site, blended, or fully remote workforces. This gives greater flexibility and visibility in regard to asset management, project management, and ensures staff everywhere follow ITIL processes.
Benefit #2 Cost
With software hosted on-prem, there is the consideration of server space, security, hiring adequate developers for maintenance, and employing someone who is familiar with regulations regarding data storage. These all add up to higher costs in the long run. With cloud-based software, you only pay for the features you need and the number of licenses needed. As your staff size grows, it is simple to purchase additional licenses rather than additional software and space.
Benefit #3 Security
With on-prem software, you will need to be prepared to implement several data management and security procedures to comply with federal and international laws. However, a SaaS company already knows and abides by those regulations, has procedures in place to stay in compliance, and has strict data management and security policies.
Things to Consider When Choosing Cloud-Based ITSM vs. On-Premises
The features provided by a cloud-based ITSM vendor may vary greatly when compared to an on-prem provider. With on-prem, choices may be “all or nothing” – meaning that you either pay for every capability possible, even if you only need simple features like ticketing, rather than choosing what you need. With SaaS, you can have a bit more flexibility and choose based on necessity. For example, SaaS affords the opportunity to use anything from ITIL4 and incident management to simple ticketing without using the all or nothing approach.
Speed of implementation
An on-prem solution may be more time consuming to implement simply because you must set up server space, configure individual computers, and install additional security measures. However, a cloud-based ITSM solution can often be implemented in as little as six weeks and can be easily used for information technology or on an enterprise-wide scale. SaaS deployment is even easier because the solution is web-based so there are no pre-requisites or complicated installation required.
Scalability and Integration of the Information System
An ITSM solution may fit your company in its current form, but will it be able to grow in capabilities and scale with your business needs? A cloud-based IT service management software enables shared infrastructure, security, and standard APIs for integrating with other systems which allows the software to grow with the company. Most web-based solutions are API-centric, meaning it is easier to integrate within your existing applications and avoid needing to deal with complex architecture, infrastructure, and security checks.
Ease of Use and Support Access
Out of the box, codeless design studios featured in a cloud-based ITSM solution make it an easier-to-use option than on-prem software. For example, rather than requiring developers to set up and troubleshoot the software, help can be found and quickly pushed to users through the cloud. Instead of spending time maintaining support-like applications, you will keep your IT team focused on business applications that create true value.
Why It’s Time to Move Cloud-Based ITSM
There are several great reasons to move from on-prem to a SaaS ITSM provider. However, the most important consideration is choosing the right software for your business needs, regardless of whether or not it is cloud based. The right ITSM software can be used enterprise-wide to propel your business goals forward and support a greater digital transformation. This tool should include an easy-to-navigate service portal, micro-apps, AI, and optimized resources to power employee productivity.
To learn more about our cloud-based IT Service Management software, click here and get a personalized demo!
Jon Ryman is a Senior Solution Consultant for EasyVista. Ryman joined EasyVista in 2006 and provides live demonstrations to help businesses find the right solution to meet their needs. He has worked in service management since the mid ‘90s, previously serving in roles with Peregrine, Richmond Systems, and Devoteam. Ryman follows his beloved soccer team Manchester City, loves a good beer and never needs an excuse to pick up the Karaoke microphone.