Cloud computing continues to play a larger and larger role in IT. One of these roles that are often not discussed, however, is in relation to ITSM (IT Service Management). Often, when people talk about IT in the cloud they’re talking about ITSM in the general sense but never acknowledging it as such. That’s why I wrote this article. I want to spend a minute talking about cloud computing in relation to ITSM, and then discuss five benefits that cloud computing bring to the table.
Most people know what “cloud computing” is without really understanding it. Now, when you’re talking about a technology strategy there are two general categories: what is done, and how it’s done. Cloud computing is the “how.” It allows a business to deliver technology solution in a certain way.
ITSM is simply a strategy to meet a business’s technology needs via a set of written best practices. Cloud computing, then, is just one way that a company can deploy its ITSM strategy. Sometimes cloud computing might be the best way to do this, while at other times hosting on-site might be the best way. So let’s look at the benefits that cloud computing brings to the ITSM table.
Mobility and Connectivity
Perhaps the biggest advantage to ITSM SaaS (Software as a Service, a certain kind of cloud computing) is the ability to access it from anywhere. This is ideal if your company keeps offices around the nation or world. Additionally, most ITSM SaaS platforms allow mobile access so that you can monitor, react, etc., from your tablet or smart phone. Obviously these advantages come with some potential risk, but you probably already have an idea of what those are (and if you don’t they’re not hard to find on the Internet).
Scalability is also, arguable, the biggest benefit of cloud ITSM (connectivity and scalability are, honestly, neck-and-neck). Cloud ITSM allows you to scale quickly for more or less users, depending upon the growth of your business. This brings in a ton of other benefits, but let’s discuss those in the next section.
Capability and Price Flexibility
As I mentioned, ITSM SaaS scales extremely easily. In addition, most cloud service charge by the person, meaning that you pay based upon what you use. This beats buying and updating licenses, especially if you’re growing quickly.
You also have your choice of what capabilities you want in your ITSM SaaS platform. A lot of third-party companies offer ITSM cloud computing services, allowing you to shop around and find the company and service that is right for you.
Capex, or Capital Expenditure, is the money you spend now for future benefits. So, for example, buying or upgrading your server. With ITSM SaaS, though, your capex cost is a lot less simply because you’re not constantly buying or upgrading hardware – and the hardware you still do pay for is usually the less expensive kind.
Since cloud ITSM requires you to run less hardware, you leave less of a carbon footprint. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily help your business save money or deliver a better service, but in a world where people are more environmentally sensitive it’s good for the company’s public image.
Obviously ITSM SaaS has a lot of advantages. Just keep in mind that there are some drawback, most notably security risks. Take time to study these, and be conscious about why you’re choosing SaaS. You should never choose it because it’s “cool,” but instead should choose a service that lets you best deliver technology solutions for your company. After all, that’s what ITSM is all about.