Why most ITSM SaaS is not fit for purpose
Companies should be looking for a purpose-built ITSM SaaS solution to unlock real cloud benefits
Service organisations want to be able to move quickly, to be agile and to be efficient. When things take more time than they should, it is time wasted. Working at peak performance makes the service team more valuable to the business and prevents them from being just a line item in annual budget discussions.
As technology evolves, we are offered more solutions that can help us to do more and to do it more quickly. The one real leap forward has been the introduction of cloud computing, where data and programs are stored and accessed on remote servers over the internet. You can now work from anywhere, on any device. With Software as a Service (SaaS), you can sign up for a business application and start using it almost instantly over the cloud. This sounds fantastic, but there are issues that may mean you are not getting the efficient and effective service you would expect.
Shoehorning on-premise software into the cloud
Many software products that you can access via the cloud were developed before cloud computing became viable. They will have been designed for on-premise use. This means that the software will have been built on older code and with processes that are not designed specifically for ease of access and use over the internet. The old code set and models are forced to adapt and work the best they can in the cloud. They will still work, but will not work as well or as efficiently as a program designed specifically for cloud use. From a user perspective, this means that simple changes to process or forms can take minutes to refresh, which is time wasted.
Is it a car? Is it a plane?
I suppose, to use an analogy, it is like somebody deciding to adapt a car to transport you in the sky, rather than on the ground. You can adapt it, add wings or a jet engine, re-engineer it so that it will take off and land. But designing a mode of transportation for use in the sky from scratch, for example a plane, will produce something more effective and efficient than the adapted car, because it has been designed for this use from the beginning. It will have been designed taking into account the differing needs of transportation in the sky. There are products coming on to the market that have been designed from the ground up, specifically for use in the cloud. These products will use modern code sets and cloud-focused processes. Much like with the plane, you can take off in the cloud with ease.
The real acid test is not a demo
There are, however, many more products that really aren’t true ITSM SaaS at all – at least in the sense that they are not designed to work in the way they are being delivered. It is often hard for an organisation to realise the issues an application has before the point of implementation, as vendors offer slick demos that skirt around the flaws and performance issues that occur in real world use. My advice to anyone looking at a cloud-based ITSM SaaS solution is to TRY IT FIRST! Don’t believe the sales hype until you have an account in a real online environment that you can test in the way that will likely show up any performance issues. Also, make sure that you test the application from different global locations to ensure it can work for your business. So many tools are not delivered in a robust and geographically balanced way. If your chosen vendor is offering a truly enterprise-class SaaS application, then there is no reason why it should not work well in New York, London, Sydney and Singapore.
Not so long ago I had an organisation ask us if they could purchase 1 license for 3 months. On top of that they wanted the product to be available to them within 1 hour. So we gave them their own production account and sold them 1 license for 3 months. A week after he comes back and says ‘you passed the test’. Turns out this is a question they ask all SaaS/cloud vendors, just to check if the vendor is offering a truly modern cloud architecture. He explained that failing the test did not mean they would not buy from that vendor but at least they knew what to expect from that vendor/product; more difficult and costly upgrades, possible performance issues, slower responses on incidents, etc. These could then be taken into account when making a decision for a new product/service.
This example is one that I am sure most prospects and customers would love to emulate as it enables them to ensure that the ITSM SaaS solution they are evaluating is indeed, fit for purpose.