Help Desk Solutions: On-premises vs. Cloud-based

April 18, 2013 No Comments

Featured Article by Vinod Mohan, Senior Product Marketing Specialist at SolarWinds

Most IT pros find it hard to decide whether to implement on-premises help desk software or go for a cloud-based solution. This dilemma is common, given the diversity of help desk products and services available in the market. But you don’t have to fret. There’s no good or bad distinction here between the two. It’s just a matter of defining your requirements before making the right selection for the help desk solution that fits your needs.

While there are many functions you know you want your help desk service to perform, choosing the type of software to carry out those functions is a separate decision that must be made before making a purchase.

Rather than attributing pros and cons of on-premises vs. cloud-based help desk solutions, this article analyzes the differences between them to give you a clear understanding of the factors to consider before making a decision.

To keep the comparison straightforward and simple, we’ve presented our analyses in a side-by-side tabular format.

Web help desk Help Desk Solutions: On premises vs. Cloud based

There will always be a divide between those in favor of cloud-based help desk services and those who favor local, on-premises solutions. However, the trend toward SaaS solutions is changing – or evolving – for the better, as many organizations prefer on-premises help desk software over a SaaS service.

The total cost of ownership (TCO) may appear less expensive with a cloud-based solution, but in the long run, on-premises help desk software will typically cost much less.


5-year TCO of cloud-based help desk software:

- A fixed subscription fee (billed at any interval) means the resulting annual cost is fixed.

- Let’s assume the annual cost to be $n.

- After 5 years at the same subscription price, the total cost would be $5n.


5-year TCO of on-premises help desk software:

- Pay for the first-time purchase and annual maintenance fee for one year.

- Let’s assume the annual cost to be $m with a renewal cost for the next 4 years to be 20% of the list price.

- After 5 years, the total cost would be [$m + (4x0.2)] = $1.8m.

Even as ‘m’ is slightly higher than ‘n’ in some cases, in the long run, the TCO would typically be less expensive with on-premises help desk software because of the lower annual renewal costs vs. fixed annual subscription fees.

On the whole, the right choice will be based on your requirements for security, price, and use—and whether the help desk software meets those requirements.



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