With the rise of cloud services and their flexibility in terms of both access and price, many companies are switching from an on-premise model to a cloud/hosted model. This is especially true for help desk operations, which need constant software and hardware support and a strong ticketing system that can keep up with user demand. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this ongoing migration is making executives wonder if they should switch to a cloud help desk service.
Since we already have an article about the main differences between cloud and on-premise solutions, we won’t go into detail about them here. We’ll look instead at what these differences mean for how the help desk works. First, we need to know what’s important.
How does an on-premise help desk ticketing system work?
An on-premise help desk is basically a platform where all help desk software and data are stored. Everything runs on the company’s physical servers and hardware. Location is the most important part of this. All data (user requests, agent performance reports, etc.) is shared, tracked, and organized on-site.
Also, the company and the help desk team are in charge of all updates, licensing fees, and software configurations. On-premise help desk solutions have been used by companies with solid IT infrastructures because teams tend to specialize in certain brands of help desk monitoring tools.
How does a cloud-based help desk ticketing system work?
As the name suggests, a cloud-based help desk ticketing system offers all of the tools listed above, but they do so through the cloud. Most of the time, this is done with SaaS (Software as a Service) help desk apps, where tools that work in the cloud can be accessed easily through an app or a simple interface.
This means that help desk workers and managers can access their ticketing system, for example, with just an internet connection. Inside the IT infrastructure of the vendor, servers and software are kept up to date and maintained. Cloud help desk services are meant to make things easier for companies that want to grow their help desk teams but don’t want to pay for more software and hardware.
10 ways that a cloud-based help desk is better than on-premise help desk
When it comes to performance, on-premise help desks may seem like the obvious choice since they are hosted on local servers and seem to give agents and managers more control. The ugly truth, though, is that server shutdowns are common whenever a new update comes out. Whether it’s for patches or regular upgrades, these shutdowns have a big impact on how productive employees can be.
When it comes to performance, cloud help desks give users an edge. Updates are put out on time, and servers and computing power keep running no matter when maintenance or upgrades are done. So, help desk projects can be started and agents can keep up with the flow of customer tickets without worrying that update/upgrade downtime will stop operations.
2. Ease of Access
It can be hard to make access easy in companies where thousands of agents are working at the same time. This can (and, after 2020, has) become very hard to do when those thousands of employees aren’t all in one place but instead are in many different places.
On-premise help desks give employers the advantage of having everyone close by, but the world of help desk IT solutions is slowly moving toward an “available anywhere” model that is friendly to the Internet of Things. So, as long as agents have an internet connection, access problems are almost nonexistent with a cloud helpdesk.
Since the cloud acts as a single point of contact for all customer data, it is easier for support teams to combine customer data. Also, all devices have the same interfaces and infrastructures, so different software versions make cloud-based help desk solutions an even better choice for everyone and (quite literally) everywhere.
3. Affordability and ROI
Cloud-hosted help desks can give you a faster ROI (return on investment) because they are easier to set up and because they cost less to run in terms of hardware and software. Also, many vendors choose a pay-as-you-go model, which lets them only pay for the storage and help desk tools that are actually being used. This, along with the fact that help desk admins can just use a browser to log in to the system and access ticketing systems from anywhere, gives companies more for their money.
On-site help desk infrastructures, on the other hand, usually need much bigger investment. Servers, software licenses, cyber security measures, computing power, storage space, database configuration, and app customization all cost a lot more money, time, and resources. Helpdesk solutions that run in the cloud do everything in one service. When it comes to value, cloud-based help desk solutions stand out as a smart choice for people who want to set up help desk operations but don’t want to spend a lot of money on them.
4. Be Secure
As was already said, companies put a lot of money into IT security. On-site help desks cost a lot more in the end. High-level data encryption and stopping cross-site scripting are both things that can make deployment costs skyrocket.
Cloud-based help desk solutions are not only as good as their on-site counterparts, but they are also, at their core, safer: The helpdesk is hosted in the cloud, but the cloud is not the helpdesk itself. So, it can stop cyber-attacks on hosted help desks from far away, and there’s no need for teams to keep an eye on it. Many businesses can’t afford the security measures that cloud help desks use.
The cloud gives you backup, security, and disaster recovery like an enterprise, but it doesn’t cost like an enterprise. So, cloud-based help desks have the upper hand when it comes to security and cost.
Availability is not the same as accessibility. It has to do with how companies run their help desks so that there is always someone to help. When it comes to taking support calls and emails, most on-premise helpdesks have strict rules: everything must be done from the office and during business hours.
With cloud-based helpdesks, you can easily get around these problems. Customer service is no longer just something that happens during office hours. Most companies have support available 24/7. As a result, cloud-based helpdesks adapt to these SLA expectations by letting agents take calls outside of the office and respond to support questions with more options for when they are available.
As we’ve already said, most cloud apps are licensed on a “pay as you go” basis, with per-seat costs that increase as a company grows. With this subscription model, the initial costs are much lower, which is a major concern for people who want to make the jump.
When you add hardware and software licenses to the cost of running a help desk, it can get expensive. Cloud-based help desks are great because they let businesses keep a close eye on their spending when they want to hire more people and help more people. One way cloud helpdesk could help a business grow is by making the support system work 24/7 instead of just during office hours.
Businesses that want to keep an eye on employee performance might think that on-premise deployment is a great idea, but the truth is that trying to do deployment projects on-site is at best difficult. One only needs to look at how contacting multiple suppliers to get hardware supplies slows down work or how making sure every software license is up to date just gives accounting teams more work to do that is already being done.
Cloud-based helpdesks are easy to set up because all you have to do is decide how many licenses will be used. When demand goes up, there’s no need to make changes to each user’s PC, buy more hardware, or worry about storage, network capacity, or software licenses. Also, deployment goes off without a hitch. As we said in the section on performance, the problem of service or server going down during deployment is completely solved.
All users see the same help screen at on-site help desks. In the help desk of the future, companies will be able to customize self-service interfaces to make it easier for customers to use their portals. In a cloud environment, it’s easy to change things like this: just add, remove, or rearrange links on the intranet launch pad.
As more apps move to the cloud, the self-service portal becomes the way for customers and IT to communicate. Also, as more help desks move to the cloud, this filtering option will make IT more likely to license and build more cloud-based apps.
Enterprise social media services and cloud-based help desks work well together. Enterprise social media can change the way that helpdesk agents talk to customers by giving them a way to connect that is as easy and natural as using popular sites like Facebook or Twitter.
Enterprise social media also makes it easier for helpdesk teams to work together and helps managers and agents talk more clearly with each other. It also makes it easier for the security and help desk teams to work together. These communities can be open to other parts of a business or close to them. Sometimes, they can be both. For example, help desk teams may want to share information about how quickly tickets are resolved across the company while still keeping a secure collaboration forum for a specific issue that has been affecting some users.
On-premise help desk operations are supported either by the agents themselves or, in the best case, by a team of people from the same company. It goes without saying that this makes work for a company harder than it needs to be. Up until now, this extra pressure on the moving parts of a business was just par for the course.
On the other hand, cloud-based systems have their own support teams that are trained to deal with the tools and apps in that cloud. So, in addition to all the other benefits of having a hosted help desk, there’s also the added benefit of having a dedicated support team to help your agents with their own technical problems, like with ticketing software.
Today, email is used almost universally. Most customers find it simple to utilize a cloud-based ticketing system since it frequently follows a similar format for communications. There are even more advantages to selecting a cloud-based helpdesk system with a shared inbox for support queries. Your team has access to a complete overview of all support ticket communications thanks to a shared mailbox. The team can efficiently manage ticket assignments, evaluate draught responses before submitting them, and keep track of individual comments on a given request from this central inbox. The end result is a highly structured and straightforward system that maintains everyone’s alignment and focus.
The main thing to remember is that Cloud services are better in every way that matters to a help desk, which is an important part of any business. This is because they are cheaper, better at what they do, and more flexible. By moving their help desk solutions and even the rest of their IT to the cloud, companies and, more specifically, help desks can get closer to their ultimate goal, which is to find and fix problems before end-users see them.