Whether you’re running an IT staff of 5 or 50, you know about the benefits of help desk software. With the right platform in place, you can increase your efficiency and effectiveness in answering questions, solving problems, and fixing issues for both internal and external audiences.
So far, so obvious. But even once you’ve made the choice to add a help desk platform to your software portfolio or upgrade from your existing solution, the work is far from done. Now, you have to make sure that you can find the exact right option for your needs.
Plenty of variables go into that decision. You likely have a set budget, and need a platform that is optimized for the size of your business and potentially even your industry. But don’t forget about one crucial component: deciding whether your software should be installed on your own servers, or whether you can benefit from a web-based help desk software instead.
In almost every case, going with a remote platform tends to be more beneficial. Let’s dig deeper into just why that is the case, considering these 5 benefits of web-based help desk software.
1) Remote Access for All Team Members
Placing a help desk platform on your own servers almost automatically means restricting access only to those on your network. In other words, unless you also plan on extensive VPN usage, you will have to choose between opening up your network to the general public or simply not allowing anyone from a computer not on your premises to access your help desk management system.
Naturally, that can be a problem. Almost half the American workforce now works remotely at least one time per week. That number will only grow in the future. As your team works from multiple locations or even from home, they still need access to the software to accomplish their daily tasks.
That’s exactly what web-based help desk software can provide. Because it’s not based on your server, the access is expanded to members of your team on any network. This increased flexibility can be immensely helpful as you look to expand your team and increase efficiencies.
2) Allow Your Software to Grow With You
Every business goal is, most likely, connected at least in some way to growth. That presents an inherent software problem as you look for solutions that work for your point in time, but not always while accounting for the future. But what happens as your IT team and the number of tickets you look to process grows?
An on-premise solution will always have limitations in this area. Limited storage space and processing speed might not matter now, but will as the number of your customers and sheer volume of projects grows. You need a solution that grows with you, expanding as you need it – which is exactly what most web-based software can provide.
3) Secure Servers on Shared Hosts
Cybersecurity remains one of the biggest issues in managing small businesses today. Almost half of small businesses suffer from a cyber attack, losing millions in revenue and often never recovering from that blow. As much as you can, you need to make sure that software solutions don’t increase potential security problems. That’s especially true for help desk software, which tends to contain sensitive customer information that you cannot risk to leak.
An on-premise solution opens a potential security hole in your system. Web-based solutions, on the other hand, are built on shared servers with strong firewalls beyond the firepower of most small businesses. A more secure server means less worries about any data leaks or breaches, maximizing your security even as you expand to a new software system.
4) Ongoing Vendor Support
Don’t underestimate the power of a vendor who can actually become your partner. Sure, you have an in-house IT team that is both qualified and capable. But there are nuances to every software package that you can’t be expected to know. When something goes wrong, the system crashes, or a patch fails to load, who do you want to turn to?
On-premise often means buying the platform once, then being on your own. The exact opposite is true for web-based solutions, which come with ongoing support for all clients. Around the clock, you’re able to reach out to experts who can help you maximize your opportunities and minimize your problems. They’re help desk experts, after all; is it a wonder that they know how to run their own help desk solution just the right way?
5) Automatic Software Updates as Needed
Finally, don’t underestimate the benefits of working with platforms that keep themselves current. Every help desk platform receives general updates that improve stability and security, while also adding new features. With an on-premise solution, you’re in charge of making sure these updates occur. A web-based alternative, on the other hand, takes care of that process for you.
Naturally, these software updates don’t occur on a daily basis. They also don’t happen overnight, and some involvement on your end might still be required. Still, the benefits of allowing this process to be managed remotely are immense. And, as an additional advantage of the dynamically growing advantage mentioned above, new product features added as part of the update can better support your growing business over time.
Ready to Find the Right Help Desk Solution?
In short, a remote and web-based help desk software almost always has the advantage over an on-premise alternative. Yes, it’s an ongoing cost, and giving up control over the server might make some IT professionals hesitant. Still, all things considered, the advantages far outweigh the potential downfalls of going with this type of platform.
At the same time, not all help desk solutions are created equal. While you’ll find plenty of web-based platforms, some of them are not as easily scalable as others. Use the above points not just to guide you to web-based software, but also to find the right software to maximize your investment. That way, you can make sure that even as your business grows, your help desk will be a core part of your IT operations on an everyday basis.