February 05, 2013, 2:18 PM — Equinix faced a global conundrum: How to meet its in-house IT needs amid a rapid expansion into 31 markets worldwide.
The Redwood City, Calif.-based data center and interconnection company has experienced double-digit growth in recent years, with acquisitions and international expansion helping to fuel the build out. Since 2007, Equinix's purchases have included IXEurope, Virtu and Ancotel in Europe; Switch and Data in the U.S.; ALOG Data Centers in Brazil; and Asia Tone in Hong Kong.
As Equinix grew its data center holdings, the company also accumulated a number of IT service management (ITSM) tools. The company at one point employed a half dozen systems to automate IT delivery. Equinix decided to migrate to a single toolkit to get everyone on the same ITSM page. It opted for a Software-as-a-Service platform to get there: ServiceNow, a San Diego-based company that provides cloud-based services for automating IT operations.
"We went to a cloud-based ITSM product," notes Brian Lille, CIO at Equinix. "We wanted a standard way to provision services. In the tool set, we have created a common language around the world IT team...where we didn't have one before."
SaaS Lowers IT Service Management Costs
The shift to enterprise-wide SaaS deployment in IT service management seems to gaining momentum. ITSM, as a practice, promotes the creation of unified processes to boost the quality of an IT organizations services. From a tooling standpoint, ITSM software encompasses an array of components, from help desk automation to incident reporting and management.
Until recently, most solutions have been on-premises. But SaaS has begun to take hold as companies look to cut costs and introduce solutions with the flexibility to accommodate an increasingly complex IT environment.
Jack Probst, president-elect of the Information Technology Service Management Forum ( itSMF) USA, an organization for ITSM professionals, says the SaaS shift was a bit slow to get underway. The pace of acceptance is quickening, however.
"Within the last 18 months, there have been a lot of organizations...moving away from the on-site model to the remote model. Just about everyone now is jumping on the SaaS model," he says.