5 reasons to NOT choose a hosted help desk solution…

Written by on August 31, 2012

You’ve probably figured it out already – customer support is the next game changer in your business. Which means you either already have a help desk solution (that you love or hate), or are looking for one right now. And that opens up another Pandora’s box of questions: should you download, install and maintain your on-premise help desk software on your own turf, or should you trust a solution hosted on the cloud?

We’ve spoken quite a bit about why a hosted help desk software makes a lot of sense for most businesses. But to be fair, there are some arguments to go with an on-premise solution too, so we thought we’d cover the 5 biggest reasons to not choose a hosted help desk software:

1. You have a humungous team sitting in one mammoth office

The biggest advantage you get with a hosted solution is the ability to access your help desk from virtually anywhere. That means a hosted help desk is great for teams on the move, and support agents spread across geographies. So if your help desk consists of a huge bunch (and we are talking thousands here) of agents working from a single floor, the “anywhere access” part gets bit miffed. Then again, if you have policies and mandates that help desk agents are strictly to answer support calls and emails only from office, and during business hours, you might be better off with a dinosaur of an on-premise software.

Instead, if you think customer support is more than just a day job, and ideas like “bring your own device”, and agent productivity ring a bell, a hosted help desk solution might not be such a bad idea afterall.

2. Conformance is what you care about, not performance

For most businesses, their customers have evolved from traditional channels into more sophisticated ones, like Twitter, and the company’s Facebook brand pages. That means for a majority of support teams, their help desk software must be able to evolve and stay updated as rapidly as their consumers. Patching their software, updating versions and waiting for months to get the “complete feature set” just doesn’t cut it anymore. The choice for these businesses is clearly to move to a hosted help desk software that stays on the clouds and is always up to date.

Of course, there is still the other camp of blue suited businesses that enforce conformance to their “set-in-stone” support policies even to customers. These are businesses that would rather direct irate customers on Twitter to open up a support ticket, than solve the problem right there. If your business thinks conformance to the support policies set by the director’s grand dad eighty years ago is more important than making customers ooze with love, you probably should download that 300MB on-premise software right away.

3. Availability isn’t an issue: Your lights turn off at six!

When customers are loosing sleep with some issue in your product or service, progressive and customer-centric businesses want their support teams to be there. The support rep of today has something that goes far beyond just a 9 to 6 job. They need to be able to pick up calls on the drive to work, and answer support queries even when they are watching the opera. And that means they must be able to access your help desk from virtually anywhere, at any time, inside, outside or flying above your firewall – something that hosted software are primarily built for. But that doesn’t mean too much for 9-to-6, desk only support team. Another reasons to consider on-premise solutions.

Then there are a few businesses that can afford hours, or even days of downtime, with their entire support system shut off – an excellent excuse to stick on to that on-premise solution. For everyone else though, help desk solutions hosted on state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure and uptimes exceeding 99% come in handy.

4. You think banks and safety lockers are for sissies

With cloud-based help desks, all your data is stored in servers in high security data centers protecting them from  misuse or theft both online and offline. That means your data is more secure with a hosted service provider than in your own servers. After all, which do you think is safer – the wads of cash sticking out of your trousers, or your money in the bank?

The security of your data is the lifeline of cloud businesses. But if biometric locks, redundant backups, multi-level encryptions and secure data transfer aren’t all that critical to your support team, you might want to keep that on-premise option still open.

5. You want to jump in, change the code, and build your own support software

Hashing out code and building your software is a lot of fun (trust me, we know!). But if you are the kind of person that wants to jump down to the grassroots, drop, edit and change the table schema, and tinker around your software, you’d probably miss that freedom on a hosted solution. Most hosted help desk software worth their salt are built to provide the right mix of intuitive usability with extensive customizability. That means you won’t get to muck around with stray bits of code. Of course, you can still give your help desk a twist by building on APIs that most providers offer, but that’s about it. No drop tables, and please, no compiling the build!

Now that you have figured out why you shouldn’t get a hosted help desk, you can go shopping for a support system that will match the requirements of your organization. And if you are still confused, the Complete Guide to Choosing an Online Help Desk should help you collect your thoughts on this one.

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