By 2015, 50% of all new IT service desk tool purchases will utilize the Cloud model. (Gartner)
But why is this the case?
Well, In EMEA and Asia/Pacific, users cite total cost of ownership (TCO) as the primary reason. In North America, it’s ease and speed of deployment. Wherever you are, the on-going successful adoption of an IT solution lies in its ability to provide measurable business benefits. As an enabler of business process, project management and IT delivery change, Cloud is proving to offer organisations the ability to achieve their goals more efficiently, more quickly and perhaps most importantly, with more flexibility.
Business Improvement and Alignment
From conception to management, and throughout each build to delivery phase, services delivered through the Cloud significantly impact IT’s ability to meet an organisation’s requirements. The adoption of Cloud demands that a business takes a look at the skills needed to be successful and how delivery channels need to be realigned. With that in mind, is it worth the bother?
We’ll be considering some of the benefits of the cloud model over the next few posts. Take a look at them and weigh up how important they are to you. Today we consider two: cost savings and integration support.
You only pay for the services you use. This can be on a pay as you go model or a pre purchase contract. The latter usually implies more attractive unit rates. Resources used can be monitored, managed and reported on in order to justify what is being spent. This model makes the Cloud attractive and accessible to organisations of all sizes.
Plus, Cloud represents a shift away from a Capital expenditure model. Traditionally, the CFO has a certain amount available to spend on IT infrastructure in any financial period. By moving to an Operational expenditure model, represented by Cloud, costs aren’t incurred all at once and up front. At the same time, multiple departments can have a vested interest in a Cloud implementation, and so the costs are spread.
On-going maintenance and support costs are significantly reduced: internal resources are dramatically cut, power consumption is less, and deployment is massively simplified.
Since all the hardware and software are located in the Cloud, you also don’t need to keep costly server, storage, network or virtualization experts on staff or nearby. The ones you do have can be redeployed to projects which add value to the business. In fact, dedicated IT and application resources in general can be diminished. You can even build robust enterprise class applications in a fraction of the time and at a much lower cost.
Essentially, LESS IS MORE: less infrastructure (hardware and software), less maintenance and support, all with the same or improved IT Service Desk business focus and LESS HEADACHES.
Just as the business doesn’t operate in silos and departments are inter-connected, so Cloud is not standalone. Using open standards integration techniques, it is easier and quicker to integrate cloud services with other enterprise applications, whether they’re traditional software or cloud infrastructure-based. It doesn’t matter whether they’re developed in house or by a 3rd party.
The Service desk environment needs to interact with a whole host of applications – asset management, business intelligence and workflows, service request and fulfillment—and it’s independent on whether or not it’s in the Cloud. There’s no reason why you can’t leverage your existing infrastructure, whether that’s other IT Operations Management systems (to improve IT responsiveness and knowledge), your phone and mobile networks, or your Business Intelligence platforms. In fact, when you look at the investment you’ve already made in something like your phone system, why not leverage that investment and deliver services to the business a lot quicker (and therefore cheaper), by integrating it with you Service Desk and introducing automation through Voice?
In fact, the ability of a Cloud model to integrate actually helps you to extend Business-focused applications such as self-service and service catalogue.
In an efficient service desk, agents have all they need at their fingertips to manage a service desk request. An Information Week Analytics study around SaaS-based IT management (August 2011) showed that 77% of companies have 2- 5 separate tools to monitor the IT environment. As any IT manager would know, these systems are inter-reliant, not disparate. It’s not efficient for an agent to have to look up information on multiple, separate systems to understand what’s happening in any given situation. Integration is key to eliminate avoidable costs associated with solving an issue.
And we’re not just talking Cloud integrating with the Cloud. So you want your Desktop & Server Management on-premise and your Service Desk in the Cloud? That’s fine; they just need to be integrated so the Knowledge in both systems can be leveraged from the other.