It’s no secret that interest in the Software as a Service (SaaS) model has exploded over the last few years. With SaaS reaching almost iconic popularity, the model has moved beyond simply being a “trend” to “mainstream”. It is showing every indication that the model will remain strong in 2013 and beyond.
A recent Gartner survey reported that 71 percent of organizations in their survey had been using SaaS for less than three years, and that over 70 percent of respondents planned to increase SaaS spending going forward. At the same time, companies are continuing to enjoy very successful deployments of on-premise software. So today when a company is selecting new software technology be it to meet a new business need or for a technology refresh, they can expect at some point to debate “On-premise or SaaS”.
That conversation often takes another turn when the software in question is Service Desk software. Think a minute about the example of a line of business (LOB) owner who needs an ITSM solution to support a specific business need. This is an example of where the conversation around platform can quickly move beyond the simple case of “On-premise or SaaS” to now include “hybrid” configuration. The hybrid approach can lead to the best of both worlds. But first, you must consider the requirements around LOBs.
SaaS for the Line of Business
Most LOB owners prefer to keep control of their service desk. That way they retain total control of the IT staff, the priorities and all aspects of the system. They want their system tuned to ensure simple, agile processes that are designed specifically for their business services. Trying to achieve those goals from within a centralized system configured for specifically for IT is often a challenge.
Also, the LOB may want integrations to niche applications that are sometimes incompatible with the centralized IT environment, or that central IT is unwilling to support. Instead the LOB is most likely looking for something that stands up quickly, is easy to use, configure and maintain. These requirements immediately bring a SaaS approach to mind. And of course, in my mind, that means HP Service Anywhere.
While all SaaS solutions have varying degrees of one-size-fits-all characteristics, LOB users will want tailoring and configuration capabilities. Some SaaS offerings rely on coding and scripting for those changes. The drawback is that SaaS benefits may suffer along the way because you need more technical expertise to implement and support those changes—plus ease of upgrades will suffer. To meet the LOB need but stay consistent with the spirit of SaaS, HP Service Anywhere provides graphical codeless configuration tools that make such changes easy to do and retain in upgrades.
Hybrid is the best of both worlds
Even as a separately managed system, the LOB service desk will usually have intersections with central IT. There is most likely a desire for service-based routing of incidents from the LOB service desk to the larger centralized IT service, which has high probability of being an on-premise system. The LOB may also want to leverage discovery and other tools that sit within IT. Do these integration needs kill the LOB’s chance of going with a SaaS solution when central IT is on-premise? Not at all, but it does depend on your choice of software.
HP Service Anywhere opens up integrations through web services so an LOB can connect those niche business applications as needed. HP also directly integrates HP Service Anywhere (SaaS) with HP Service Manager (on-premise) including the HP UCMDB with HP Universal Discovery tools for a hybrid configuration.
Chuck Darst recently published a white paper that gives insights into codeless configuration, integrations and other ways a SaaS Service Desk user can make the most of their system. I suggest you sit down with a hot cup of coffee and read it. You can download it from here (look under white papers).
I want to hear about your LOB’s experience with hybrid systems. Feel free to share your experiences with other readers in the comments section below.