What companies really need is flexibility, meaning the ability to use a cloud-based ITSM tool where it makes sense and a premise-based one where the cloud model doesn't work well. Too often, though, it's an either/or proposition -- companies are forced to choose a cloud tool that doesn't really do everything they need it to, or a premise-based solution that may not be able to cover their entire organization. What they need is a single solution that works in either a cloud-based or premise model, but sharing a common centralized console that gives them the same look and feel.
Such a model protects the company against unforeseen changes in their business. If the organization acquires another company, maybe one with lots of far-flung branch offices, it can quickly bring them on board using the cloud model. But over time if the company opts to consolidate offices, perhaps it would be better served with a premise-based ITSM solution. A hybrid model gives the company the flexibility it needs to meet its short-term needs after the initial acquisition as well as its long-term requirements.
Meeting customer requirements
Your ITSM tool also has to be flexible in terms of its ability to scale and to enable customization. One government research lab, for example, required lots of customization because it had more than 750,000 inventory items to track under its ITSM tool. At the same time, as part of its move to adopt ITIL best practices, the organization wanted to consolidate some 25 service desks that had cropped up over time, each serving some silo of the organization.
After implementing incident management, configuration management and voice-response self-help tools, the lab saw its call volume shoot up from an average of 1,700 calls per month to 7,500 calls. Yet it was able to manage the increased volume with only an 18% increase in help desk staff because the ITSM tool was so effective in helping them do their jobs.
Another customer opted for a cloud-based ITSM tool to help manage its data center outsourcing business. It also needed a flexible tool, one that would integrate with the many tools that comprise its internal operational support system (OSS). That's a good example of how a hybrid ITSM tool should work -- cloud where you need it but integration with in-house tools where appropriate.