In today’s SaaS world, there are pros and cons to consider when looking at cloud applications to get your work done. A huge consideration in this decision is the ability to have control over a service desk. In an on-premise solution, you own the software and can write code on top of your service desk platform. While that’s nice, developers are expensive, total cost of ownership (TCO) is high and customization can be confusing. In a multi-tenant SaaS environment, everybody uses the exact same solution, no versions, customization is done with configuration in the UI and you don’t get to (or have to) see the source code. What does this mean?
IT leaders want to know the culture of the SaaS product they are considering, and rightfully so.
- What is on the roadmap?
- Who are the biggest customers?
- What is the biggest industry vertical?
The difference between on-premise vs. cloud is that you can’t code what you want for your solution, you can only help influence your SaaS vendor’s roadmap by providing feedback and being an active customer. As a SaaS provider, agility is critical to serving customers well by making decisions fast, giving users the functionality needed and releasing quality code as quickly as possible.
If you’ve been only writing COBOL lately or maybe just developing under a rock, take a look at Agile. We live the Agile methodology here at Samanage for many reasons. There are several different frameworks that can be applied, such as Scrum and Kanban, but they all focus on collaboration, communication, working software and being responsive. This is where the discussion should lead with any IT leader that wants to know if they will be happy with their service desk selection over the next few years.
Instead of long, cumbersome projects, Agile breaks down and organizes everything into chunks. A development team works in sprints or iterations that kickoff and closeout in just weeks. The smallest chunk but primary focus of any Agile team is user stories. A user story is a reminder of a conversation that product management and the developers have about what will be created. User stories are estimated to scope and size then assigned a number of points, and each developer can handle an approximate number of points in a sprint. A piece of working software is tested and delivered at the end of each sprint to the customer, without any interruption to their service.
As you’d imagine, things move fast when you’re developing using Agile Methodology. You’ll want to understand what is being delivered during a provider’s sprints. Agile, SaaS and multi-tenant are all words to add to your service desk vocabulary as you look for a new provider. Don’t let these words scare you, they only mean the best for you and your team. You can make a provider’s agile nature work to your benefit by making it an integral part of your response to customers and giving them a beautiful, always updated software that they love to use.
About Matt Cox
Matt leads the team of solutions consultants at Samanage. His team works with customers to create tailored technical solutions for specific business needs. He once went hang gliding off a cliff in Ecuador.
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