On-Premise vs Cloud ITSM Tools

ITSM tools can be on-premise or hosted on the cloud. When selecting a new software solution, it is important to understand the difference between the two hosting solutions that are available. Making the decision for either a cloud-based product or looking after your own on-premise solution is an important one due to the type of resources required.


Cloud vs On-Premise ITSM Tools

Cloud ITSM Tools

A cloud-hosted software solution means that the software vendor provides the server infrastructure. They can either do this themselves or outsource it to a technology provider such as Microsoft Azure. These solutions are usually sold on a subscription basis, where the customer pays an annual amount for access to the software without any of the server responsibilities. Here are a few benefits of going hosted:

  • Less upfront investment – The absence of large capital investment in hardware and server infrastructure is a large benefit in opting for cloud hosting. To implement cloud-hosted software, all infrastructure is handled by the vendor and therefore depending on the complexity of the software you can get up and running within days. The scalable nature of cloud solutions means that there is low or no cost to rapidly expand should the need arise.
  • Data Security in hands of the software vendor – Outsourcing data security to the vendor is usually a key reason why companies purchase cloud-based software. Cloud hosting providers will provide strict data security guarantees, which are usually supported by third-party technology providers. This can allow companies to focus on other parts of their business rather than spend money on expensive security procedures.
  • Better software support – When the software vendor has direct access to the server infrastructure, it generally can make it easier to support than on-premise hosted products. This is because, with direct access, there are no firewall and security barriers to overcome to identify and fix issues. It also means it is less likely for support agents to ask for a remote session to view the end-user’s computer screen as they can test potential issues directly on the system remotely via a web browser.

On-Premise ITSM Tools

On-premise simply means the software is installed locally on a company’s own computers and servers. Before technological advancements in cloud computing, this was the most common way of hosting your software. This was when software was sold outright, with large capital investment, for the perpetual licenses and was then accompanied by a smaller maintenance contract. Below are the three main benefits of on-premise solutions:

  • Physical control over server hardware – Having control over your infrastructure is a common benefit of on-premise solutions. You can decide what hardware your servers are built on, and these can be optimized for your specific needs and requirements. Customizable hardware and purpose-built systems can sometimes offer an edge over publicly available, out-of-the-box cloud solutions.
  • Data security remains in the organization’s hands – Depending on your industry, having control of your data security can be a key selling point when deciding to go on-premise. While outsourcing your data security to cloud providers can sometimes be beneficial, some industries are better off maintaining their own on-premise server infrastructure.
  • More control over up-time – Having direct control over your infrastructure hardware and the infrastructure team means that you can ensure the correct amount of resources are allocated to maintain up-time. Sometimes cloud-based products will have scheduled downtime for server maintenance and improvements, which depending on your time zone, could clash with your business activities. Having your own servers can allow you to organize downtime around your core business operations.

As with most choices with multiple options, both Cloud and On-Premise ITSM tools offer their own pros and cons. Less investment vs control. Software support vs data security. ITSM tools connect and enable many parts of organizations outside of just the IT department.

The hosting solution will also affect the skills needed within the IT team. The long-term location of the organization and employees can even affect this decision, as having space for the on-premise infrastructure requires space, power, etc. Understanding the differences and advantages of each solution will enable a better decision with a tool that enables the long-term goals of your organization.

Need ITSM expertise to help select the right tool for you? Contact our team today.