A THINKstrategies Primer for CIOs

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1 A THINKstrategies Primer for CIOs Making the Move to a Cloud-Based IT Service : Why the Time Is Right to Put Aside Your Fears & Capitalize on Today s Latest Innovations Published on Behalf of BMC Software THINKstrategies, Inc., p.1

2 Executive Summary Businesses of all sizes, across nearly every industry are facing unprecedented business challenges which are forcing IT organizations to reevaluate how they operate. Whether it is escalating competition, rising end-user and executive expectations, or coping with the rapid evolution of Mobile, Social and other technologies, IT organizations are being forced to rethink how they select, deploy and administer the tools they need to manage their increasingly dynamic business environments. A new generation of Cloud-based ITSM alternatives has emerged to respond to these demands and provide added benefits that can increase the value of IT across the enterprise. Although today s powerful Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions are generating measurable benefits, many IT organizations continue to be hesitant to take advantage of these flexible and cost-effective alternatives because of lingering concerns about security, reliability and manageability, among other fears. THINKstrategies believes these fears are misplaced and today s Cloud-based ITSM platforms eliminate many of the risks which plagued IT organizations in the past. This whitepaper will explain why the common fears about Cloud-based solutions are unfounded, and the time is right for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to capitalize on the latest innovations being delivered by today s leading Cloud-based ITSM platforms. Organizational Pressures Driving Change A combination of macro-market forces are creating unprecedented challenges which are driving IT organizations to change the way they operate. These challenges include: Escalating competition Globalization, ecommerce and other developments are lowering the barriers to entry in nearly every industry. Businesses of all sizes must be more agile to succeed and survive in this intense operating environment. Economic uncertainty The continuing financial crisis has created a business climate in which it is essential to limit major capital investments and reduce ongoing operating costs. Rising end-user & executive expectations Corporate executives and end-users want IT to play a more effective part in helping them do their jobs and expect their applications and systems to be easier to use and more powerful. Changing organizational needs New tools and techniques are required to support an increasingly mobile and more dispersed workforce. These macro-market challenges are compounded by the introduction of new social and mobile technologies into the workplace that are complicating the management responsibilities of IT. As a result of these challenges, many IT organizations need more user-friendly ITSM systems that can enable them to better monitor and manage the performance of their operations on an ongoing basis. They also need to perform these tasks in a more cost-effective manner, out of the box to keep pace with today s rapidly changing needs. THINKstrategies, Inc., p.2

3 Why the Time is Right for Cloud-Based ITSM Solutions Today s business challenges demand that IT organizations adopt ITSM platforms that can be implemented more easily, utilized more quickly and operated more economically. While traditional, on-premises ITSM solutions have plenty of functional capabilities to address today s business requirements, they often require specialized skills to customize, deploy, and administer. Given the growing pressures to reduce operating costs, many organizations cannot afford to invest in these skills and need an ITSM platform that is easier to implement and maintain. An AlixPartners/CFO Research survey of 150 senior finance executives found that 63% believe their companies are spending too heavily on keep their IT services up and running, and a greater share of their expenditures should be directed to improve-the-business IT projects. 1 IT organizations facing budgetary constraints are also looking for ITSM systems that don t require substantial upfront investments in license fees and implementation costs, and ongoing maintenance fees to keep up and running. A growing number of IT organizations are looking for ITSM solutions that permit them to achieve a quicker time-to-value at a lower cost-of-ownership with more flexible functionality to meet their evolving requirements. The Advantages of Moving to a Cloud-Based ITSM Platform Fortunately, a new generation of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ITSM solutions, delivered via the Cloud, is enabling a growing number of IT organizations to respond to these challenges while eliminating many of the risks historically associated with selecting, implementing and administering ITSM platforms. SaaS solutions are designed to be quicker to implement and more user-friendly, so they can be adopted more easily to ensure a faster time to value. SaaS solutions also eliminate many of the upfront costs and ongoing complexities associated with traditional, on-premise software. SaaS ITSM solutions offer the additional advantage of allowing organizations to procure the platform on a pay-as-you-go basis, eliminating the burden of prepaying annual support maintenance fees from capital budgets for software they may not fully utilize in the future. This permits IT organizations to deploy their ITSM solutions in a step-by-step process that reduces the risk of failure and makes it easier to scale their operations. This pay-as-you-go, subscription pricing also shifts the burden of success onto the ITSM vendor which must work harder to ensure customer satisfaction in order to avoid costly defections. A recent study by the investment firm, Cowen and Company, found that SaaS applications can cost up to 50% less to deploy and operate than traditional on-premise software. 2 Cloud-based ITSM solutions also permit better user accessibility across a highly dispersed IT organization, while offering the auditability and access management controls IT organizations need to ensure security and compliance. 1 AlixPartners/CFO Research Press Release, March 5, 2013, 2 Enterprise Software Vendors Face Deflation: Advantage SaaS, ZDnet, October 11, 2013, THINKstrategies, Inc., p.3

4 Dispelling Common Cloud Security, Reliability & Manageability Concerns CIOs and their associated IT organizations that are still reluctant to consider Cloud-based solutions generally have concerns about the security, reliability and manageability aspects of these ondemand alternatives. Many of these concerns stem from the remote delivery model of the leading Cloud solutions. CIOs and IT organizations that are accustomed to deploying and administering their own ITSM systems on-premise are uncomfortable with the idea of relying on a SaaS solution which is delivered and maintained by a third-party. The truth is that many IT organizations are already having a tough time keeping pace with escalating security threats, the constant threat of system downtime and managing an increasingly dispersed mobile workforce. Most IT organizations don t have enough security specialists to combat the latest security attacks. A 2012 study of 70,000 security breaches across 1,600 companies over a 12-month period conducted by Alert Logic found that on-premise applications are more susceptible to malicious attacks than Cloud-based applications. The survey found 46% of corporate systems were hit by brute force attacks compared with 39% of Cloud providers. The study also found malware penetrated 36% of on-premises systems, and only 4% of Cloud providers systems. 3 IT organizations are also growing tired of spending the bulk of their time and resources keeping their systems up and running, which many studies estimate to be 75-85%. As the Cowen and Company study shows, Cloud-based ITSM solutions can reduce the ongoing operating costs, so IT organizations can shift their focus to more impactful projects. These IT organizations can gain greater control over their operations with a Cloud-based ITSM platform because they no longer have to worry about getting their ITSM software deployed and keeping the software up to date. Instead, they can focus their energies on taking advantage of the advanced functionality provided by the Cloud-based platform to meet their specific security, performance and management needs. Cloud-based ITSM platforms offer sophisticated access control, authentication and activity tracking capabilities to combat unauthorized entry and monitor system usage patterns. Today s leading platforms not only provide detailed log records, they are also easy to configure to ensure the proper alerts are in place in the event of an illicit attempt or inadvertent mistake. Cloud-based ITSM platforms can also be accessed remotely by IT staff and other authorized personnel via a web interface. This permits more rapid response to issues and alerts, and encourages greater collaboration across the IT organization and better transparency among corporate end-users and executives. The added reporting and analytics capabilities of the best Cloud-based ITSM platforms gives users even more information and insight to make timely decisions, and determine how to budget for the future to meet their evolving corporate needs. The multi-tenant architecture that underlies the best SaaS solutions also enables users to immediately capitalize on the latest innovations which are available with every software update. 3 Cloud Apps Somewhat More Secure Than On-Premises Apps: Survey, Forbes Magazine, 9/19/2012. THINKstrategies, Inc., p.4

5 A Cloud-Based ITSM Platform for Every IT Organization An additional myth about Cloud-based solutions is that they are primarily geared toward small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) which can t afford the luxury of acquiring and utilizing the most sophisticated enterprise software solutions. The truth is that IT organizations of all sizes, across nearly every industry are experiencing the benefits of moving to a Cloud-based ITSM platform. While SMBs can take advantage of the same features that are being made available to the largest enterprises, many large enterprises are recognizing the business benefits of migrating to Cloud-based solutions. For instance, one of North America s largest food companies, had the financial resources to invest heavily in its IT operations, but did not want to waste money implementing and maintaining its ITSM systems. It decided to migrate to BMC s Remedy OnDemand solution so it could utilize all the ITSM functionality it needed without having to worry about keeping the system up and running, or regularly dealing with software updates and upgrades. As a result, the IT organization can now focus its efforts on supporting the company s more strategic needs. Even government agencies at the federal, state and local levels are becoming more comfortable with Cloud-based solutions, and adopting Cloud-first procurement policies. In response to these new initiatives, BMC now offers Remedy OnDemand for the public sector. For instance, Leeds is the third largest city in the UK providing services to residents, businesses and visitors. Leeds City Council has used BMC Remedy ITSM for many years. In an effort to keep a keen eye on tax payers money, align with ITIL best practices, update their software to the more recent Remedy release, and avoid the time and cost that an on premise upgrade or migration would require to their heavily customized implementation, they chose to make the move to Remedy OnDemand. As a result of now being on the SaaS based latest version of BMC Remedy, they are enjoying minimized costs due to leveraged out-of-box functionality, patching that occurs automatically, faster access speeds, and higher user adoption rates for self-service all in a subscription model. Summary & Conclusions With businesses across nearly every industry facing escalating pressures and the nature of the workplace fundamentally changes as a result of a more mobile and dispersed workforce, IT organizations must also change the way they acquire and manage software and systems to support their internal and external constituencies. Few can afford to make significant upfront investments in their ITSM platforms or spend the extended time to get these platforms up and running. Instead, they need to redirect their energies and limited resources on IT initiatives that enable them to better support their corporate end-users and executives so they can achieve their business objectives. Today s Cloud-based ITSM SaaS solutions are designed to meet these objectives. They have been designed from the ground up to be easier to deploy and use so IT organizations can more quickly leverage the features they need at a lower cost. They can also be configured to meet a wide array of IT management needs, spanning SMB and large-scale enterprise environments across an increasingly dispersed workplace. These platforms have also proven to be even more secure and reliable than their on-premise predecessors. And, they have demonstrated that they can produce measurable business benefits, including significant cost-savings, productivity improvements and higher customer satisfaction. THINKstrategies, Inc., p.5

6 Most importantly, Cloud-based ITSM platforms eliminate many of the risks which have prevented IT organizations from taking advantage of the latest innovations in the IT management arena. The SaaS subscription model allows the IT organization to benefit from the IT management functions they need without having to worry about deploying and keeping the software up to date. Instead, the ITSM solution provider assumes responsibility for delivering the value the IT user needs. It is for these reasons that a growing number of CIOs and IT organizations are adopting Cloud-based ITSM solutions to keep pace with today s escalating challenges and support their corporate objectives. About THINKstrategies, Inc. THINKstrategies, Inc. is the only strategic consulting services company focused entirely on helping its clients capitalize on the unprecedented business opportunities created by the technology industry shift from a product-centric to a services-driven orientation and an on-demand delivery model, such as Cloud Computing, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Managed Services. THINKstrategies mission is to help our clients re-think their corporate strategies, refocus their resources and re-align their operations to achieve their business objectives. THINKstrategies helps enterprise decision-makers with their sourcing strategies, IT solutions providers with their marketing strategies, and VCs with their investment strategies. THINKstrategies has also created the Cloud Computing Showplace online directory and best practices resource center to help IT and business decision-makers find and fully leverage today s leading SaaS, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions. To learn more about the Cloud Computing Showplace, go to For more information regarding our unique capabilities, visit or contact us at THINKstrategies, Inc., p.6

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