The proliferation of “the cloud” has touched every major business function, including HR, Finance, Marketing, and of course internal and external IT Customer Support.
Most major — and not so major — help desk software and CRM vendors now offer cloud-based solutions.
The appeal of the cloud is simple to understand, with benefits including:
- Remote hosting — no “messy” installations required
- Affordability — at least in the shorter term, you’ll pay less for ‘cloud’ vs. ‘physical’ software
- Scalability — the cloud makes this very easy!
- Automatic updates/maintenance (you’ll always have the latest version at the ready, if you opt into auto updates)
- Newest technology — with cloud software, you’ll be getting the ‘latest and greatest’
- Reduced staffing requirements — a big plus for leaner organizations
Of course, tangible ‘real world’ software also has its benefits. Cons of the ‘cloud’ include:
- Less control — you won’t ‘own’ this software
- Increased third-party dependencies — it’s up to the ‘cloud people’ to take care of you…to a certain extent
- Performance — connectivity and bandwidth issues can impede speed and program execution
- Security concerns — a real concern, so be sure to check your cloud vendor carefully on this
Do cloud-based help desk and CRM packages include all the great things you need to manage your internal/external support requirements? Yes! Ticketing, call tracking, remote alerting, backoffice integration, ITIL support, and more, are available through many cloud-based solutions.
But like with any business critical solution, be sure to do your homework and research the vendors on your shortlist carefully. The ‘cloud’ isn’t exactly a new technology or phenomena…thought IT marketers would like you to think otherwise! Software-As-A-Service (SAAS) has been around for years now, but only in the last few years has the ‘cloud’ emerged as a recognized and better understood and trusted ‘platform’ for serving critical business solutions.