Moving the help desk to the cloud: Companies reticent to adopt SaaS models

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.


More than two thirds of respondents in a survey from Software Advice currently use on-premise help desk systems despite the prevalence of cloud-based systems in the market.

68% of the more than 200 IT staff and management respondents have on-prem deployments compared to 18% utilising vendor-hosted cloud and 13% hosting on a leased server.

The most frequently used help desk software functionality, according to those polled, is ticket management (66%), followed by reporting and analytics (51%) and live chat integration (45%). The respondents also noted how software was having a positive impact on performance at the rest of the company; the vast majority of options had a more than 90% swing towards positive, with software problem resolution time (95%), first contact resolution (94%) and support staff productivity (93%) the most popular.

For 2015, more than two thirds (68%) said they expected a ‘moderate’ increase, with 16% predicting a significant increase and the remainder expecting a drop. The report argues this is the case for various reasons; not only do staff expect greater productivity, but customers also have higher expectations for the service they receive.

The report, which was funded and conducted by Software Advice independently, argues that while the CRM software market is dynamic, it creates a varied market, causing confusion for first time buyers. As a consequence, the company arrives at a list of best practice tips:

  • Define the scope of use: Working out whether it will be an internal employee-facing or external customer-facing service is important, as more specialised solutions could provide a better fit
  • Identify which business goals the software must address: Is the software going to address specific KPIs, or have a broader goal of improving the overall customer experience?
  • Determine integration requirements: Are you going to use CRM suites that offer help desk functionality baked in with other applications, or is it a variety of best-of-breed software tools?

The most intriguing point, however, concerns the consideration of both SaaS and on-premise. Even though the majority of survey respondents go with on-prem, cloud is becoming more of a factor – and this has to be considered, the researchers argue, although noting companies who continue with on-prem will have specific reasons for doing so, such as complex integrations with other software platforms.

You can find the full report here.

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