What’s fueling the forward march of System Center?

As someone who sits on the customer development side of Cireson’s business, naturally I spend a vast majority of my time talking with IT professionals….to state the obvious. Whether it’s Helpdesk Managers, Systems Engineers, Network Administrators or of course CIOs & the like…..these folks are usually focused heavily on Cireson’s many bright & shiny augmentations for SCSM, primarily speaking to Service Desk functionalities with a segueway into IT asset management applications, or vice-versa. Because there tends to be strong agreement that System Center is an extremely powerful & flexible solution for practically any IT process one can dream up, there are infrequent headwinds for giving the platform a good hard look. This power & flexibility is especially true when speaking about the potential for process automation, and it’s a clear topic in which System Center commands attention.

Where the conversations get a bit more nuanced is on the subject of tactical deployment and day to day usability…..because a fundamental reality of IT solutions and software as a whole is that power & flexibility often comes at the expense of out-of-box experience. As I’ve mentioned, I’m fortunate to play for a team that’s been able to address an ever-increasing percentage of a typical end users’ concerns about SCSM’s end-user experience “off the shelf,” but what’s extremely interesting to me is what’s driving so many folks in SCSM’s direction to begin with?

In my view, which is shaped heavily by what customers tell me every day, top reasons are as follows:

Any maturing organization on the planet is facing what often seems like a dauntingly complex set of IT initiatives & challenges. This is not news – considerations have to be given in nearly equal parts to disciplines like configuration management, virus protection, operation monitoring, service desk coverage, systems management, asset management….you get the idea. In the small handful of years that SCSM has been around, part of the reason it’s gaining such a swift groundswell of deployments is its beautifully simple licensing model. With System Center 2012, if you deploy Configuration Manager, Operations Manager, or Service Manager, etc….you’re automatically licensed for all 8 products in the SC platform. This alone is reason enough for most folks to give a 2nd look.

Industry momentum swinging back to on-premise solutions:
While it’s a given that the past 5+ years have seen a steady move to SaaS solutions (in a number of categories, not just ITSM), it’s now clear the pendulum is swinging back toward installed applications…..between 20-40% of companies (depending on which market research study you read) that chose cloud/SaaS products recently are likely to revert to on-premise over the next couple of years. While some of this is related to technical advantages of running your ITSM in-house versus outside, one can’t deny the role of ROI advantages in this conversation. The fact is, over a 3-5 year period, on-premise frequently comes in at less than half, or even a third, of a comparable SaaS offering. Even year 1 costs can be comparable. These are statistics that IT budget holders are increasingly unable to dismiss.

Increasing desire to deploy a “closed-loop” set of IT solutions:
System Center can effectively establish native integrations connecting large swaths of a CIO’s jurisdiction and eliminate the need for multiple vendors. For example, you could engage a Service Desk (the number to choose from is well into triple digits) or Configuration Management vendor, etc…..but why not take a holistic approach that can accomplish both….then field a service or change request and build a high degree of automation into the fulfillment of that request? Fewer “silo’d” solutions means greater efficiency, clearer visibility, and lower cost, almost every time.

So while this these factors mentioned above are certainly not an exhaustive list of what’s driving organizations into the SCSM camp, they do tend to surface in a majority of conversations we’re having. Feel free to give us a call, we’d love to hear why it’s captured your attention!

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