Field service management in the Cloud

At Diabsolut FSM, we firmly believe that organizations need to choose software that meets their business needs first, then select the delivery model that best suits their business – not the other way around. As more companies invest in FSM software, they have choices to make about how they license the software and where the software resides:  either on hardware they own themselves or in data centers operated by their software vendor or a third party.   We spoke with Ed Brennan, ClickSoftware’s cloud evangelist to get a better understanding of the benefits of field service management in the cloud.

Why have large utility and telecommunication companies been reluctant to move to the cloud?

For large utility and telecommunication companies, their FSM solution is a mission-critical and complex application which they simply can’t function without and, as a result, the move to the cloud often meets with internal resistance because of the application’s strategic importance. Furthermore, organizations in these heavily regulated industries are forced to capitalize their IT expenditures, putting them at a competitive disadvantage by making it more challenging for them to adopt subscription-based cloud services. However, regulations are slowly shifting to allow companies to take advantage of the cloud, eliminate capital costs and operationalize their expenses, helping them to deliver services at a lower cost.

Is security still a concern for many companies?

While security outside of the enterprise wall used to be more of a concern, many companies are now realizing that security is better served in the cloud.  Many of the high-profile data breaches that have occurred in the past few years have happened as a result of the companies concerned hosting their own software in their own data centers.  The cloud offers a far more secure environment for customers because infrastructure-as-a-service vendors have a higher level of security than most companies could provide or afford, with greater expertise and more specialized technical staff.

What are the benefits of embracing the cloud?

There’s a whole host of measurable benefits for companies who are willing to adapt to a cloud model for their field service platform. Key benefits include:

  • Continuous application delivery
    With the SaaS model the application is hosted by the vendor who is responsible for maintaining and upgrading the software, ensuring that it’s reliable, meeting agreed-upon service level agreements and keeping the application and its data secure. There’s no downtime because SaaS solutions typically offer automatic, frequent upgrades as part of the ongoing subscription charge.
  • Lower cost of ownership – switching to a cloud model eliminates the high capital expense of building infrastructure. Because they’re using remote resources, companies can simply pay for what they need without having to buy hardware to host an application or provision internal IT resources to run it.
  • Scalability – Cloud infrastructure offers greater flexibility allowing companies to quickly scale their operations up or down to support fluctuating workload. Organizations can move more quickly without having to devote IT resources to managing infrastructure. This flexibility in computing power also allows for complex simulations that are simply not feasible in legacy data centers.
  • Continual innovation – SaaS solutions give enterprises a competitive advantage by providing immediate access to the latest, most innovative technology available through seamless upgrades.   By automatically being on the latest software version, there’s no disruption or waiting to take advantage of the newest features at the click of the button.

It’s clear that the cloud is steadily gaining momentum as a valid platform for field service organizations and Gartner predicts that by 2020, more than 80 percent of software vendors will change their business model from traditional license and maintenance to a subscription model of software-as-a-paid-for-service.

To find out more about how you can unlock the value of the cloud to achieve field service excellence, contact us today.

Ed Brennan is the official cloud evangelist for ClickSoftware, where he works to shape and deliver ClickSoftware’s Cloud strategy, build broad use of cloud technology offerings around public and private cloud, and influence the direction ClickSoftware’s Cloud platform will evolve into.

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