One of the things I enjoy most about running is the time I get with my own thoughts. I've found that I usually come up with my best ideas while lost in the rhythm of a good jog. Over the past year I've run about 200 miles, so I've had plenty of opportunity to ruminate on the path that powderDesk™ needs to take. During the concept and design stage of powderDesk, last summer, I decided that we should focus our efforts on creating a solution that would be as versatile as possible.
A need for versatility is one of the main reasons we decided that powderDesk would be available both as an on-premise virtual appliance and a cloud based SaaS option. For the last few years it's become clear that demand for cloud based tools has grown faster than some product developers have been able to keep up with. I wanted to ensure that we didn't miss a golden opportunity, so we've prioritized our development path and adjusted our broader product vision to mesh better with modern needs.
It's understood that organizations of all types, shapes, and sizes, are looking much harder at their bottom line in the current economic environment. So, really, it's no surprise that SaaS demand is growing in the ITSM space. There is always a cost to running apps in house, but ITSM tools are often more expensive to run locally than other types of apps because ITSM functions as a back bone and ties into every department in some way. In addition, the expanded use of virtualization and the decreased cost of cloud computing in recent years means that we've really passed the point of diminishing returns. As recent as 5 years ago a product like powderDesk would probably see 80% of customers running on-premise with only 20% running SaaS. In 2014, I anticipate the split will be more like 60/40 and in 2016 I think we'll see things flip in the other direction.
I'm reminded of a blog post I read a few weeks back from Alex Godin in which he made the (very accurate) claim that "Good products have features, great products have stories". I see the shift towards SaaS ITSM as a larger user story that's actively being written by thousands of organizations world wide. While running at sunrise this morning, I spent time thinking about the "new day" ahead for ITSM and I see a bright future for SaaS in this space.
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CEO of Spire Business Services