Legacy vs Cloud ITSM: what’s the difference?

9 min read
19-Jul-2022 16:41:53

We all know the importance of ITSM in enhancing service delivery and experience for both your internal and external customers. To this end, technology plays a crucial role in ensuring organizations can successfully implement their ITSM strategies. For years, enterprises have relied on legacy ITSM systems to carry this out.

What is Legacy ITSM?

A legacy ITSM system often refers to older ITSM solutions that are continued to be used by an organization and remain critical in ensuring the execution of daily IT service processes. Legacy ITSM systems can be commonly found used by large, long-running enterprises.

Despite the outdated technologies of legacy systems, they continued to be used due to their importance in key operations. But as technology continues to progress and industry trends evolve, many organizations have transitioned to cloud ITSM solutions.

What is Cloud ITSM?

Cloud ITSM or cloud-based ITSM is exactly as it says on the tin: it enables organizations to perform and manage ITSM processes on the cloud. This means you can obtain and store ITSM-related data over the internet, enabling better availability and accessibility wherever you are.

Cloud-based technology has been the talk of the town for a while now and it’s not surprising why. Cloud services have provided many benefits across the entire business makeup: from marketing to finances and HR, and especially to IT.

The difference between legacy and cloud ITSM systems

The key difference between legacy and cloud ITSM systems is the concept of multi-tenancy. Legacy systems are usually deployed on-premise, which is when one instance of the system is kept within the organization’s own hardware. This means the platform is maintained and managed separately for every organization that owns it.

Cloud-based ITSM software, on the other hand, is designed to accommodate various instances of the system, enabling vendors to serve multiple organizations without sacrificing security for each enterprise they serve.

Why does this matter? While legacy systems enable organizations to decide how to manage their platforms, their upkeep can be time-consuming and expensive to do, with enterprises playing catch up as new tech and ways of working continue to emerge. But with cloud-based ITSM suppliers able to serve multiple clients simultaneously, maintenance and service improvements are much easier to handle.

The risks of legacy ITSM

We’ve briefly mentioned some of the disadvantages organizations can face using legacy ITSM systems, but certainly, you could be leaving your business open to even more risks by keeping to legacy systems.

· Lack of vendor support

With Saas, Paas, and Iaas models enabling software vendors to provide their services and applications in a more efficient and effective manner, many are investing their resources to improve this aspect of their offerings while slowly discontinuing their legacy/on-premise services and support.

Unless they have people specially trained for the system ready at hand, organizations that run business-critical operations on legacy ITSM are at a high risk of not finding the right level of expertise to fix an issue should it crop up. This can dramatically increase the duration and impact of service disruptions.

· Incompatible with other modern software you use

As you continue to build out your IT capabilities, you will most likely adopt more modern technologies. But outdated legacy systems more often than not don’t have the right functionalities to integrate well with these new tools.

This could mean having to allocate more resources to devise a way to make everything work together, losing out on precious time and energy that could’ve been better used for mission-critical activities.

· Vulnerable to security threats

Out-of-date systems mean that not only feature updates but also their security patches are finished. Cybersecurity threats have become more sophisticated over the years, continuing to probe for vulnerabilities across an organization’s IT infrastructure.

The lack of these essential security updates means that legacy ITSM systems are prone to modern security issues that not only leave them defenseless against cyberattacks but also security compliance risks.

· Difficult to scale

Another risk in continuing with legacy ITSM systems is it becomes increasingly difficult to scale as time goes on. Your organization’s growth and development can be hindered by clunky systems that can’t be adapted to the changing needs of your business.

This could mean that as the rest of your business operations move forward, your IT service processes remain outdated and inefficient, falling short of end-user expectations.

· Insufficient capabilities to support changing ITSM requirements

Lack of feature updates means that legacy ITSM software will not have the suitable functionalities to meet key ITSM requirements, if not now, then in the future. ITSM frameworks like ITIL have had multiple iterations in the past and will most likely continue to do so, as technologies advance and how people interact with them changes.

But with legacy ITSM stuck in the past, organizations still using them will have a harder time keeping up with such developments.

· Increasing total cost of ownership

Legacy systems become more expensive to manage and maintain as time goes on, with organizations having to increase the resources they need to allocate in ensuring good performance and uptime. Consequently, this drives up the total cost of ownership year after year as the software becomes outdated.

· Too much complexity

As mentioned, legacy ITSM systems can be difficult to adapt to changing circumstances. IT departments often have to figure out various ways to make the system work as they’d like, leading to complex processes. Disjointed integrations, complicated workflows, and non-intuitive interfaces are just some of the things users can experience with such old platforms, which inevitably cause…

· Unpleasant user experience

Employees are constantly using modern technology on the daily, both at work and in their personal time. This helps shape their expectations of how the user experience should be. ITSM systems with outdated processes and functionalities can only create a frustrating experience for everyone involved.

The benefits of cloud ITSM

Cloud-based ITSM systems are safeguarded from a lot of vulnerabilities legacy ITSM systems have, making a migration to the cloud a logical choice for many enterprises.

· Easier updates

The multi-tenancy nature of cloud ITSM makes it easier for ITSM suppliers to update their products for all their clients. This helps ensure that you have access to the latest capabilities to keep up with new challenges and ensure your ITSM processes are future-proofed.

· Optimized processes

Using modern cloud ITSM software removes the added complexity of workarounds that can be experienced using legacy systems. This provides you with the ability to focus on exploring how you can optimize critical processes and eliminate inefficiencies.

· Centralized information

The best cloud-based systems offer capabilities that enable more seamless integrations, allowing you to gather ITSM-related data in one place. With a single source of truth, you can easily extract information for compliance activities, pinpoint areas for improvement, and minimize incorrect or duplicated data input.

· Improved accessibility

As long as you have an internet connection, cloud ITSM can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on any device. This helps your organization to be better connected, enabling employees to get hold of IT services when it matters most.

· Better flexibility

One of the best advantages of cloud ITSM is the ability to scale with the system as your organization grows. For example, IFS assyst’s simple licensing model enables organizations to easily deploy the system’s full capabilities regardless of company size. With legacy systems, you would have to invest in more hardware or more personnel to cope with expanding demands or infrastructure.

· More cost savings

And speaking of spendings, without these extra investments, you can save a lot on costs. In most cases, you’ll only ever have to pay for the solution features and licenses you use. There’ll be no longer the need to factor in server spaces, external maintenance, and security experts to handle the upkeep of the system.

· Enhanced security

The best cloud ITSM solutions are designed with security in mind. Cloud ITSM suppliers are well aware of their responsibilities to regulatory and legislative compliance. Thus, they often implement best practices that adhere to these regulations.

· Refined service experience

All the benefits just mentioned help contribute to a better service experience for the end-user. By removing the frustrations felt by IT teams and end-users alike, the quality and availability of services are amplified.

Best practices for migrating your ITSM to the cloud

There’s a lot to be gained making the move to cloud ITSM. But ITSM migration can feel like a mammoth task and without careful planning and execution, things can go haywire quickly.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though.

Here are some quick tips on how you can initiate a smooth transition.

· Ask why

Before any key decisions, it’s always best practice to find out the reason for why you’re considering a particular action. For ITSM migration, the risks and benefits mentioned previously are good starting points, but there might be other reasons that are unique to your organization. You should identify those to help direct your approach.

· Involve stakeholders as soon as possible

The next step is getting your key stakeholder groups on board and the earlier, the better. A change like this has a wide-ranging impact across the organization, so it’s crucial this is communicated from the start. This will also help gauge the goals of each group and ensure the project aligns with them.

· Create a wish list

When it comes time to reach out to prospective cloud ITSM suppliers, it’s important you have a wish list in hand. The available choices can be overwhelming and distract you from finding the solution that aligns well with your goals.

· Refine processes before the move

Another thing to consider when migrating your ITSM to the cloud is ensuring inefficiencies, such as performance issues, are removed from your processes where and when possible. Transferring them to the cloud isn’t likely to solve the situation, so better to fix it now and save time down the line.

For more tips on migrating your ITSM, make sure to check out this free guide.

When should you adopt cloud ITSM?

The best answer is yesterday. The second-best answer is today…

Jokes aside, it depends on your organization’s needs and whether it makes sense alongside your business objectives. Some organizations stay with legacy ITSM because it’s what works best for them and as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

But if you’re already experiencing the risks and downsides of staying with legacy ITSM, then it’s worth considering whether it’s time to look towards adopting cloud ITSM. Assess where your business is at in its digital transformation journey to see if it’s ready for the jump and what would need to be done prior to pushing forward with the move.

What to look for in a cloud ITSM solution

· Cloud discoverability capabilities

Cloud discoverability makes managing a multi-cloud environment easier by identifying and tracking cloud instances in the organization. Cloud applications and services are most likely used across your business. With the number of technologies used daily in an organization, the IT infrastructure continues to grow with complexity. Keeping track of them all can be a challenging feat for the IT department.

· Automated workflows

Automation is a must for any leading ITSM solution. IT teams should be automating repeatable, manual tasks where possible to free everyone from mundane activities and focus on more impactful work. Whether it’s for incident management or governance activities, automated workflows should be easy to set up and manage.

· Unified self-service portal

An effective self-service portal helps everyone help themselves. Giving end-users the capability to find solutions to their issues can make them feel more empowered. Likewise, this relieves the burden on IT teams of having to respond to repetitive issues that would take time away from more challenging activities.

· Multi-device accessibility

Being on the cloud, this should be a no-brainer. Your cloud ITSM solution should be readily accessible, whether it’s on a laptop, phone, or tablet. This makes it easier for people to access information and services on the go. This enhances the experience for everyone involved in your ITSM processes, IT and end-users alike.

· Smart monitoring and reporting features

What would be the point of having all your information in one place if you don’t have the right tools to see it? Your ITSM tool of choice should enable you to create insightful reports with ready-to-use templates that you can also customize as you see fit. Having these tools at hand makes it easier to stay on track with your organization’s business goals and improve the quality of your services.

· Regular updates

The best cloud ITSM solution providers should be keeping their clients’ changing challenges and industry trends top of mind. This enables them to design and implement features that help organizations tackle their biggest problems. So, be on the lookout for ITSM vendors that regularly announce release updates and have a clear product roadmap that provides solutions to current and ongoing issues.

· Efficient implementation

One of the advantages cloud ITSM has over legacy systems is the speed of adoption, it’s just much faster to get started on the cloud. Look to reviews and case studies to see how ITSM solution providers’ customers are describing the implementation process, taking note of the time taken to get things running.

· Simple licensing structure

It can be difficult to get a clear view of what value you’re getting for your money when it’s tied up in complex licensing models. It’s understandable that ITSM pricing is based on a multitude of factors, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. You can save yourself a lot of headaches down the line by choosing an ITSM without the confusing licensing system.

Why ifs assyst is the best cloud ITSM solution

Based on the cloud, IFS assyst is helping hundreds of enterprises around the globe transform their IT service management and ESM capabilities. Quick to deploy and easy to use, it has everything you need to design, deliver, and optimize your essential IT services.

Want to know more? Why not get in touch for a free online demo today?

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