The Impact of Cloud Technologies on ITSM

March 14, 2013

The results of the FrontRange Solutions and THINKstrategies 2013 Cloud Management survey are in. Join us as THINKstrategies’ Managing Director Jeff Kaplan overviews industry findings from more than 350+ respondents on the key trends, drivers and maturity of Hybrid ITSM and Cloud Management.

Transcript:

Jim: Welcome, everyone to today's BrightTALK event. Thank you to everyone for taking time out of your busy schedule to attend today's presentation where we'll be discussing The Impact of Cloud Technologies on IT Service Management. My name is Jim Blayney, I'm the director of product marketing for the HEAT service management solutions here at FrontRange, and will be one of your co-presenters today taking you through the presentation. We are very pleased to have Jeff Kaplan of THINKstrategies with us today. Jeff, of course is a long time pioneer and thought leader in the industry known for evangelizing business benefits of today's leading edge technology innovation. As part of our discussion today, we'll be taking a look at the results of a survey conducted by THINKstrategies and FrontRange to better understand the impact of cloud technologies on ITSM needs for IT organizations. Jeff, I know we're gonna cover our company's live coming up but care to say a quick hello to the audience before we get started.
 
Jeff: Absolutely. It's a pleasure to be with you Jim. I really appreciate the time that folks are taking out of their busy schedules to join us here today because I think we have captured some interesting information which really speaks to the timeliness of this topic.
 
Jim: Excellent. Okay. So, the goal of today's session in addition to understanding the impact of cloud technologies, but also what some of the key business drivers and characteristics are of IT organizations looking at, or having already implemented cloud solutions. So with that, let's go ahead and get started here. All right. So as I mentioned, we're going to take a quick look at some of the current challenges that IT organizations are facing. And then Jeff is gonna actually take us through the survey findings and summarize those at the end and then we'll spend just a few minutes to take a look at how FrontRange is helping IT organizations meet their current challenges. Lastly, of course we'd love to hear from you guys, and answer any questions that you may have. So feel free to ask us questions using the question control at the top of the viewer there. So we'd love to hear from the audience.
 
All right. So just a quick company slide on FrontRange, whether you've heard of us or not just to kind of refresh everyone's memory here, we've been in the market for over 20 plus years. And what that really translates to is a company that's been around, and seen the market grow and evolve. And as a result we've done the same in terms of the company. In terms of delivering the preeminent helpdesk solution for over 20 years, we to have evolved to now become the only ITSM provider that delivers service management solutions with fully integrated voice automation and client automation capabilities on premise and in the cloud. So you can imagine, after 20 plus years we do have quite a few customers 15,000 to be exact, that are using our helpdesk service management and client management solutions every day. And we're headquartered in Silicon Valley and have offices and partners around the world. So Jeff, care to give us a quick overview on THINKstrategies?
 
Jeff: Yeah, I'd be happy too. The THINKstrategies business was born about a dozen years ago at a time when we're just coming out of the dot com bust and a number of organizations were trying to determine how to best manage their IT environments. If you remember back then you know that there was talk about utility computing and application service providers as well as managed services. And there was a lot of questions about how organizations are gonna manage what was becoming a hybrid environment. Of course, over the past three or five years in particular, the rapid growth of cloud and SaaS alternatives has really become a pervasive trend across the industry almost every segment in the industry. And what THINKstrategies has set out to do is help organizations understand the business implications as well as the IT management ramifications of those trends. And as a trusted advisor and consultant to a wide array of companies, what we try to do is help them understand how they can leverage tools like what FrontRange has to offer, and best practices like we're going to talk about during the course of this discussion. So that they can better take advantage of the exciting new business opportunities that are being created by the cloud.
 
The Consulting business which I created a dozen years ago is really built on previous 20 years or so of work as both an industry analyst at IDC, Dataquest and META Group as well as some number of as I like to put it real jobs in which I helped organizations grapple with these issues over the past three decades or so. So it's a pleasure to be a part of this discussion, and it was really a lot of fun to work with Jim and the team at FrontRange to conduct a survey. And Jim do you want to tell them a little bit about the challenges we were trying to get under or get a better feel for rather that really lead to the survey itself.
 
Jim: Absolutely, thanks Jeff. Yeah obviously some of the key challenges that we see IT organizations facing and facing today, are around really the basic deployment of their solution. And what we mean by that is, you know, IT organizations that purchase applications whether they be network monitoring tools, service management applications. But to be quite honest they still have not fully deployed them and a lot of that can be attributed to you know those solutions either being too overly complicated, too costly to manage and to maintain. So with that, you know secondly maybe even as a result of those organizations not being able to fully deploy those solutions, we're now seeing business units in departments, even individuals for that matter actually going outside of IT to acquire the solutions that they need. So in the end there's an enormous pressure being placed on IT organizations every day. And so we talk about the consumerization of IT. Really it's allowed individuals, departments and business units as I mentioned to really kind of pursue their own paths if you will in terms of technology and applications to meet their business requirements. So enormous pressure is being put on IT organizations today, and of course they've got to figure out how to manage all that to some degree otherwise things are gonna get pretty [inaudible 00:06:53]
 
Jeff: You know, Jim there was another survey that we had talked about when we first got together to talk about the project that we're going to report on today. It was a survey that I saw back in the November timeframe I believe of last year. And it was a survey conducted by a research firm called Gatepoint Research. And one of the data points was an article I was reading about the additional management requirements that are being brought on by the cloud and I thought it was very interesting. And it really prompted our thinking about the survey that we're going to talk about today because the findings were pretty dramatic when they responded.
 
So they were asked whether they thought they were gonna need new management tools to support the additional cloud service requirements that are being brought on by the consumerizations of IT and other forces you just outlined, almost two thirds of the respondents said yes they were definitely gonna need new management capabilities. What was just as interesting was 30% said they were unsure. So what I think we have an opportunity to display In this talk is some of the findings that we were able to gather from our survey that I've actually pulled back some layers of that onion to better understand where people are at today and some of the thinking they have in terms of how they want to evolve knowing their tools. But their skill sets when it comes to managing those tools as well.
 
Jim: Good point, Jeff. You can obviously see the impact here, that's really kinda driving and pushing if you will. You know based on cloud technologies, kind of making their way into IT organizations within the company. And really how these organizations are gonna have to change or modify or amend their skill sets just to manage that impact. So just a quick slide on the results, the purpose itself. So we wanted to obviously know more and better understand some of these challenges and pressures that we've been talking about. So obviously we joined with Jeff and THINKstrategies to help us put this survey together. And survey a number of IT professionals around the world to really get a clear picture of some of those challenges that they are facing. And again we had just under 350 respondents worldwide actually respond to that survey. So a great response there.
 
Now in terms of demographics, we were able to draw from a pretty broad spectrum as I mentioned. We were able to get results from an international audience ranging from smaller companies of less than say 500 employees all the way to large organizations of 5,000 employees or greater. So that was a great demographic there. And those titles, their professional titles range from individual contributors to the executive level. So all in all I thought it was a very good cross-section of respondents specific to this category, and to this particular challenge if you will. So before we actually get...go ahead, Jeff.
 
Jeff: Jim, I just wanted to interject here and add a little point about that. What I loved about the demographics in terms of those titles, was how many of those participants in our survey were hands-on folks. The folks were really dealing with this stuff on a day to day basis, those individual contributors and managers. I thought that really lends a lot of credibility to some of the insights that we're gonna provide in the upcoming slides.
 
Jim: Yeah absolutely. So before we actually get into the actual survey results, and we thought that we would actually poll our audience members to get a feel for where they stand regarding cloud solutions and the impact of cloud so to speak to kinda make you guys in the audience part of that report if you will in terms of the survey results. So we're going to go ahead and just put a quick poll up. And if you can just select one of those radio buttons and we'll get a quick perspective on our audience here. Okay. All right, Jeff I don't know if you can catch that but it looks like we've got some votes coming in.
 
Jeff: Actually, where I'm sitting I'm not seeing the poll questions. So I may not be seeing everything that everybody else is seeing here.
 
Jim: You may want to just click on the votes button. You probably see those come up.
 
Jeff: Okay. Good. Let's see here. Okay, I got it.
 
Jim: So half the audience has voted so far. It looks like we're split about 50/50. I don't know if we're going to get any more votes on this.
 
Jeff: There it is. Very interesting.
 
Jim: Okay, so split 50/50. So here we go, we've got a few more votes coming in.
 
Jeff: Late precincts are beginning to be reported here.
 
Jim: Exactly, exactly they're the outliers. Well, okay I tell you what, I'm gonna go ahead and close this particular poll but it seems to me Jeff that we're split 50/50. So whether our audience members have either deployed or are looking to deploy a cloud based solution, it seems to me that this kind of falls in line with some other reports that we've seen in the market today where there's still a lot of customers. A lot of organizations out there looking at cloud, having deployed cloud. But to be quite honest they're still kind of within the firewall and utilizing premise based application.
 
Jeff: And you know the state of the art, so to speak, or the state of the science Jim is that, there're multiple ways to skin that cat so to speak. And what I think this quick poll indicates is that, people are looking for choices and that's one of the data points that we're going to talk about later as we unveil the survey results as well.
 
Jim: Okay. All right so with that I appreciate everyone taking time on that poll. And now what we'd like to do is I'm gonna go ahead and pass this over to Jeff. And Jeff is actually gonna take us through the survey results from the survey that we took. And we'll take a look at some of the detail here and kind of what the response was. So Jeff I'm gonna go ahead and let you get going.
 
Jeff: All right. I'll take the lead and again Jim don't hesitate to add a point or two wherever you like. But what we want to do is step back and talk to the survey participants about what the key drivers are when it comes to looking at IT service management in general. And then over the course of the questions that we asked during the survey, drill into their concerns and maybe some of the plans regarding moving to cloud and looking at hybrid management alternatives. So you know the first question was to set that context and then determine what the key drivers are. And as you can clearly see, and Jim even indicated in his opening remarks about the overarching trends that are happening in the marketplace. Here there's so many forces that IT is having to contend with. What they're looking for more than ever is flexibility in the way which they acquire and configure their IT service management capabilities. And unfortunately in the past, too often those platforms tended to be what I referred to as the ERP systems of the IT world, very cumbersome to deal with. And as Jim indicated very costly as well. So first and foremost, people are looking for something that is more flexible, something that is also more scalable, and can grow with their businesses. And of course related to all that, something that is more attractive from a pricing point of view. Jim will push us on to the next slide and we'll…
 
Jim: Yeah. I was just gonna mention here that just in terms of flexibility ease of configuration, I think really you know what it comes down to is organizations are looking for applications that are fit for purpose but then also provide that level of flexibility that they need to kinda grow with and mature with. So I'd totally agree in terms of the results here.
 
Jeff: Yeah. And I also think it indicates...by the way Jim you're in this new world of the cloud growing, what's the word, flexibility and attitude, also that people are still trying to determine what the right deployment model is depending upon their environment and how that environment evolves. Just thinking of evolution. The other thing we wanted to do was find out where the respondents are in the evolution of their maturity as organizations. And this is fascinating because, the responses were I thought rather candid about where they sit in the maturity lifecycle or hierarchy, you'll see there that over half admitted that they're really only at a level one maturity level and are hoping to obviously move up the maturity ladder during the course of the coming year.. And well there were maybe about a third or so, a little bit more than a third who said they were at level two, over half want to attain that status by year end as well.
 
And what's also very interesting of course as you could see here is, well the minority is in that level three category. The hope of the respondents is that proportions were more than double over the coming year. Now in order to achieve those objectives of course, it takes only a different set of skills and a different structure. But it takes a different set of systems to support those activities. So it's great to see that this audience recognizes where they're at, at the moment. Those that they have to get better and have pretty ambitious goals about where they want to be a year from now. Jim, any thoughts about what this data meant to you?
 
Jim: No. I think this kind of, this in alignment with kind of what we see in the market as well is that you know for the majority of customers that are out there utilizing service management products, we do see that again going back to the first slide, they haven't been able to actually deploy the full solution as expected. And then second to that, they just have not been able to evolve as quickly as you know anticipated or the expectations were when they first you know purchased their service management solutions. So this is a realistic view if you ask me in terms of where most customers are at and IT organizations are at. I do like the fact that we do see some level of progression and expectation that they do want to mature to the next level over the next coming year. So it kind of falls right in line there.
 
Jeff: It's great. All right. So the next question was all right, so where are you now? And we're gonna ask the question where are you headed? But right now, where are people and not surprisingly the overall response showed that about three quarters of the respondents who are still relying predominantly on the on-premise type solution. And only about 10% or so were already using a cloud based alternative with the remainder being in that hybrid world in which they're using really a mix of deployment types of methodologies in order to support their IT service management needs. And this I don't think was surprising, it confirmed what we've seen from the other market research firms that are out there. But it does show that you know the cloud is making a substantial penetration in the marketplace. And as we'll see in some upcoming slides, we can expect that that's going to continue to be the case.
 
Jim: You know, I think this kind of just you know partly is exactly what we or it essentially tells us that most customers, most IT organizations are actually still looking at the on-premise based solutions. Not to suggest that they're not looking for a movement to the cloud or maybe a hybrid approach but they're currently sitting you know behind the firewall with install based applications. And you can see that there will be a progression based on earlier survey results of you know do they anticipate moving to the cloud? Again having that 50/50 minute. So we know that that 73% is probably gonna go down over the next year or two.
 
Jeff: Okay. So this is an interesting slide, because well it appears pretty clear that the vast majority of the survey respondents were relatively satisfied with the systems. They already have a place in the delivery model that they're currently utilizing with over half of the respondents indicating that they're either satisfied or very satisfied. One of the things I learned back in my marker research days and I still believe is true today is that the neutrality of a segment of the respondents or the neutrality of that segment of respondents indicated does represent a vulnerability so to speak. That it's clear that there's a certain percentage of the respondents who are openly dissatisfied or even very dissatisfied with their current delivery models. But the vulnerability that's represented by that neutral category, could also be taken as an indication that they may be receptive to another alternative.
 
So obviously, as time goes on and the ability of cloud based and hybrid oriented solutions becomes more proven in actual work environments, we may see that some of those folks who are not only openly dissatisfied with their current delivery models but those who are neutral about their current deployments may also be very receptive to do alternatives. So in looking at this data, I thought it was very interesting to see those proportions and we'll see as we go into some of these other slides how that may be have an indicator of growing receptivity towards new alternatives. Any thoughts on that one Jim?
 
Jim: Well, the only comment I have is that I appreciate you having the analyst perspective here because that was a great kind of deep-dive if you will to kind of uncover you know this concept of neutrality and what I really means. So that's my only comment on this slide. I think the next slide is probably gonna take us into a broader discussion here.
 
Jeff: Yeah, it does because what it shows us is that the lifespan of the currently installed IT service management solutions is well over five years and that many of the respondents to our survey are probably thinking about what they're going to do next. In recognizing that their current systems have probably been past their useful life so to speak being given the changing nature of the IT service management challenge facing organizations. And so what's interesting I think is that more and more of those respondents are in a position where they have to be thinking about what their next move is going to be. And thus the timing of this survey and this discussion I think really hit a nerve and that's why we got such a terrific response.
 
Jim: Yeah, I know agreed. And we kind of see the same thing from our perspective that a number of IT organizations out there sitting on you know, I would call it…I would characterize it as somewhat antiquated technology or albeit it probably works and that it goes back to our previous survey results where they're probably on-premise based applications that they've had for five or six years. But the anticipation is that some of those organizations are going to be looking to either move to the cloud and/or extend the reach of their technology in a hybrid approach. So with that, let's go ahead and take a look at the next survey results and Jeff go ahead.
 
Jeff: So what we see is that…what's interesting is that the role of IT service management, the platform itself in many organization nearly half in-fact spans far greater or far more broadly, is probably a better way of putting it, across an organization than just IT alone. And many organizations are relying on these IT service management platforms to perform functions in human resources, facilities management, marketing finance and a few others that we identified in this survey. And that means that you know these aging systems are having an even greater impact in just within the IT organization alone. The strain, if you will, of their antiquated capabilities as you put it Jim are beginning to be felt elsewhere. And that's another reason why I think you saw in one of our initial findings that people are looking for something that's more flexible because it's gonna perform more functions.
 
Jim: Yeah, I know agreed and it really comes down to you know an IT service management platform again that is again configurable, extensible, flexible. But never forgetting and never you know leaving anything in question in terms of it being fit for purpose to satisfy the IT organization's needs but still having that flexibility to support these other functions in business function and departments. So I totally agree on terms of the slide and we pretty much see the same from the vendor perspective.
 
Jeff: Good, great. All right, so what are the top three reasons for changing? Well, obviously in addition to the fact that some of these folks are facing their natural end of life if you will of the systems that they have installed, there are three other important concerns that they have that are leading them to look at new IT service management alternatives. They are as we were just talking about the ease of use and the customization capability, the IT and business alignment issue and that speaks in a previous slide of ours. And as well as integration capabilities within the existing infrastructure. So as they look at making their next move, these tend to be the three primary concerns and criteria for not only changing their IT service management but also selecting the right solution to meet their evolving requirements.
 
Jim: Well, really nothing to add here. I think this has kind of been a build up slide, you know, in terms of the previous result that we've looked at that, you know, again going back to our results here that ease of use, customization, flexibility, fit for purpose. And being able to integrate and scale if you will are all key components that kind of drive the ITSM solution criteria if you will in choosing a solution for the business. So with that, we have one more poll question that we want to ask the audience. Jeff, so I'm going to go ahead and bring this up.
 
Jeff: Go ahead.
 
Jim: And what, we'd like to do…I'll just go ahead and start that right now, is really find out what some of the important drivers to moving to a cloud based solution are to the audience. Now, we've obviously polled again over 340 members out there and got some great results. But we'd kinda like to understand from the audience where they fit in, in terms of the overall results itself. So let's see what we have Jeff.
 
Jeff: All right, good, totally. I'll let these votes continue to accumulate. Let's see what we got here. Hold on. Mine is still tabulating. Well, it's interesting because you know a lot of folks will tell you it's all about agility and certainly the results so far seem to bear that out. That agility seems to be the top concern among the folks who are listening into this session.
 
Jim: Interesting. So we've got a few more seconds here in terms of getting all the votes from our audience. But it looks to me like you're right, I think we're gonna be set with C there in terms of agility and its importance in terms of choosing a cloud based solution. Now Jeff when we talk about agility and actually I'm gonna segue here into the next slide here. I'm gonna go ahead and stop the audience voting and close that poll. Thanks everyone for participating. But as we kind of move to the next slide here, in terms of agility maybe you can kind of expand here on survey results kind of you know combined with our own poll if you will.
 
Jeff: Yeah. Sure, I'd be happy to and I think that the differential if you will, between our quick poll results now and the overall survey results that we captured over the period of December through January are an indication as well as an indicator of the different dynamic of the demographics if you will of our audience today in this webinar versus the overall survey. By that, I mean that what we saw in the overall survey of course was there was still a predominant reliance on on-premise solutions. And in our quick poll of you as our audience in today's session, we saw a greater usage of cloud based alternatives. Obviously, our audience today on this webinar are beginning to appreciate the attributes that that kind of a cloud based alternative in hybrid solution can bring in the way of agility.
 
The overall survey results obviously show that alignment of IT to the business, security and budgetary considerations outweighed the agility piece. And I don't know about you Jim, but I certainly don't find that to be a surprise. You know, for decades now we've been trying to ensure that IT is properly aligned with the business and that's almost a no-brainier. And in today's tough economic times where there's still a lot of uncertainty, you know, budgetary considerations obviously have to be high on people's lists. And with the cloud still an uncertainty in and of itself when it comes to security concerns, there's no question that that's a top consideration when people are trying to figure how to manage a cloud based or even a hybrid environment.
 
So those are kind of the table stakes when it comes to the primary reasons for looking at specific delivery models. And I think the value add tends to be the agility, the reliability and more importantly the integration capabilities of these kinds of alternatives.
 
Jim: Yeah, I know. I think you're absolutely right Jeff. I think the only thing to add here is that you know based on the respondents and you know the results that we're looking at here in terms of IT alignment and budgetary concerns, I do think that that is really kind of dependent upon the person, the title if you will in terms of the respondents and what they're looking for. Obviously agility is important but again you know based on your comment earlier about the kind of economics of it all, I do think that budgetary concerns as well as alignment to the business are you know very high level strategic concerns whereas agility might be little bit more at the IT level and the flexibility if you will in terms of how they want to actually deploy their applications. But that actually segues into our next survey results slides talking about some of the key stakeholders and maybe you can kind of comment on that.
 
Jeff: Well, this is an interesting one because it does speak to the growing impact if you will of the diverse set of participants that we had in the survey itself. You know, we're finding just like on the business side the end user in the business is having a greater influence in terms of the overall decision making process. Well the same thing holds true here that the IT manager with a hands-on experience of working with these kinds of service management solutions, is going to influence the decision making process. And it's going to affect everybody because as our previous data point shows, IT service management may span more than just the IT organization and touch other segments of the business and other business processes as well. So as a result, you're going to have not only the CIO of course signing off on these systems but you can have other folks interested in those selection decisions as well.
 
So I think what we're finding as a result is that people are recognizing that IT service management in today's hybrid environment is not only a requirement as the new kinds of features and functions that we've talked about. It is only a requirement from an IT centric point of view. But they're increasingly important from an IT and business alignment standpoint. And once again that was beared up by that previous data point. Any thoughts you have on that one, Jim?
 
Jim: No, I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head there in terms of you know who the key stakeholders are and you know who the constituents are you will in terms of the buying process and purchasing process and decision making process around IT service management solutions. Now, in terms of the next data point that we want to talk about, we wanna kinda of also uncover if you will some of the key criteria if you will when IT organizations are looking for an ITSM vendor.
 
Jeff: Yeah. You know what's interesting about this one is that my roots are actually on they support services side of the technology industry. And I've always believed that you can match feature for feature you know company by company in terms of the vendor offerings. But where the rubber really meets the road and what really differentiates one company from the other is the quality of their support. And lo and behold, there it is at the top of your list. You know in today's world and especially with the complexities associated with a hybrid environment increasingly what we are seeing is that support is continuing to be a primary concern. And the criteria therefore for selection when it comes to an IT service management solution. And of course again from a pricing point of view and a cost standpoint in today's economic environment with all of these uncertainties of being able to acquire and utilize the IT service management solution at a reasonable total cost of ownership, is important as well. And the rest of these obviously speak for themselves.
 
Jim: I can't argue Jeff with the findings nor with your perspective in terms of the results themselves. But it's a great kind of segue if you will in terms of summary and really kind of summarizing the findings of the report itself.
 
Jeff: Well, let me take the first crack at this and you can add your thoughts Jim. But you know it's obvious that organizations recognize that they need to improve and strengthen their IT service management capabilities. And that's they're pretty honest about you know where they're at when it comes to their maturity levels and they want to improve their capabilities and recognize that their traditional on-premise IT service management solutions, many of which go beyond their useful life are no longer meeting their IT as well as end user requirements. So as a result, they're looking for a new generation of IT service management solutions that can assure them greater reliability and security. While at the same time better align the IT operation with the needs of their constituent business units. And again, in this increasingly hybrid world they understand that well, there are a series of very specific functional capabilities they expect those IT service management solutions to have, it will really depend on the level of support that they can gain from their vendor as to how they properly deploy those solutions. And leverage those functional capabilities so that they can get the best return on investment while at the same time controlling their total cost of ownership.
 
And if they can, you know, obviously achieve those objectives they are obviously going to be able to meet their business requirements as well. So I thought that the survey really helped to document if you will and quantify you know how today's rapidly evolving cloud trends are impacting IT organizations. And how those organizations are beginning to and in fact are already in the process of reevaluating their service management requirements and systems in order to keep track of or keep pace with the escalating demands of their businesses. So I think we did pretty well Jim. Any thoughts yourself?
 
Jim: No, I think you know just to kind of encapsulate that, I do think that you know IT organizations today need solutions that are truly fit for purpose that do provide them the level of configuration and scalability that they need. And into the last bullet point there, to really talk about total cost of ownership and you know when we looked at the results and we looked at how long some of these respondents were utilizing existing application, premise based applications for the last six years or even beyond that, I do think that there is this evolution and evolutionary need to kind of refresh and kind of take a fresh look at the way that they are actually going to deploy their solutions. And you kind of mentioned that hybrid approach as kind of a method to actually measure up against some of the demands that are actually being placed on IT organizations. So with that, we have one more summary slide here if you care to comment on that.
 
Jeff: Yeah. That actually builds on that last point you made Jim which is that as our audience in today's webinar clearly indicates and the survey results show as well, organizations are recognizing that they need a new type of IT service management solutions to address their increasingly hybrid cloud operating environments requirements. And as they try to find a new equilibrium, if you will, of traditional on-premise systems and cloud services, finding the right kind of IT service management that could span those two worlds and provide if you will single pane of glass to help the IT professional and operations manager better utilize those mixed resources is obviously the objective.
 
And satisfying that need isn't easy because it entails a combination of not only new systems management features but new methods of delivering that functionality. So that IT managers and professionals can take full advantage of them in a way which they could be far more effective. Because, to be honest they're not fighting IT service management system. Instead, it's a more user friendly solution that can enable them to perform their function more effectively. So, I think that there's no question that the interest is there, the demand is there as our audience indicates the movement is there for this new breed of IT service management solution that can address those hybrid operating requirements. Any thoughts from you Jim?
 
Jim: Well, no. I was going to say that I think you've captured it all right there. I think it's been fantastic that we've actually been able to go through these results and really kind of get to a culmination kind of to an end point where you know I think what IT organizations are really kind of looking for are the right applications or solutions if you will that provide them the flexibility and choices that they need at the time that they actually need them. So really what it comes down to is what makes sense for the business and kind of looking you know to the future. So I think, this kinda summarizes the findings and with that I think Jeff to your point, what we'd like to do next is really kind of take a quick look at really what we consider to be the FrontRange difference.
 
And how do we actually meet the needs if you will of the market for customers out there, for IT organizations out there and maybe why we're a little bit different than other vendors out there in the market? So we're just going to have a few slides here to kind of cover really why we believe that we are the vendor of choice and actually how we actually make a difference. So with that, we've talked a little bit around hybrid and kind of what hybrid means, that you know the mix of application solutions if you will between cloud and premise based solutions. And kind of why that actually makes sense for IT organizations today. We've talked about organizations that are still utilizing somewhat older antiquated technology. So they can't really scale, they can't really configure them and they haven't been able to deploy them. And so how do they actually begin to evolve if you will and reach out and scale with new technologies?
 
And the reality is cloud-based solutions are kind of a means to get there. But you can't bite the whole apple and swallow the whole apple. You kinda have to take the right you know number of bites if you will. In that, you really want to actually deploy those applications to the cloud. That makes sense. And of course, you're gonna involve some of the other applications as well over time. But the mix if you will of both premise and cloud based applications really seems to be the method today that most IT organizations are really looking at in terms of deploying their ITSM solutions. And this was a quick survey that we did with the CIO Magazine. You can see here. It's pretty much a 50/50 mix here in terms of organizations looking at both cloud-based and premise-based applications and having them work and integrate together which is key. Excuse me. A key business driver is having those integrations.
 
Now, in terms of HEAT and kind of why we're different and why it's important, you know I've talked a little bit about you know flexibility and how important that is. And of course we know that IT organizations are kind of expanding the reach of IT and kind of aligning themselves closer to the business. And what that really means, is really being able to provide services and service delivery if you will to other parts of the organization. And again they need a solution that is fit for purpose that allows them to do that but also be able to have the flexibility and configuration around that. Of course, flexibility also means you know from a budgetary constraint being able to utilize both CapEx and OpEx expenditures to actually deploy those applications. So that's very important in terms of flexibility.
 
When we talk about advanced, we know that there are a number of organizations out there very sophisticated in terms of integration and processes and things like that. Well, in terms of FrontRange and what we've done in terms of our integrations, we've actually embedded our voice automation software as well as our client management capabilities to support that advanced and really full feature rich environment for service management solutions. So, we believe that we've got a very complete solution for the market and again to meet those evolving business needs.
 
We've talked a little bit about maturity and really took a quick look at the results there. And we realize that there is no one-size-fits-all. And that's important because in terms of a vendor like FrontRange, we have to deliver again those fit for purpose applications that meet customer requirements. And again when we talk about ITSM maturity, it's important to understand kind of where you fit in and of course doing that kind of self assessment. Sometimes it is somewhat painful but the reality is most, if not the majority of respondents in our survey today were pretty much sitting at level one and kind of moving to level two and wanting to obviously get to that level three through five if you will that full blown service management service realization if you will. But that takes time and it also takes some level of technology in terms of technology enablement to get an organization to kind of move in that direction. So we provide applications and solutions that really fit each one of those levels of maturity. And that's important because you don't want to have an application that again is the whole enchilada. And you've got to try to deploy the whole thing. And that's just a recipe for disaster and probably not one for success. So we want an application and solution that you can actually deploy in terms of progressive manner based on your maturity.
 
So the FrontRange difference here is that it really starts with a platform and really having a strong robust and extensible platform that delivers not only service management but integrated client management capabilities for not only internal IT but also to support different functional areas like HR facilities, customer service for that matter. And what we're really talking about here is being able to do that with this platform and being able to deliver not only on premise and on cloud but also through a hybrid approach which is critically important. As we took a look at the survey findings, to really derive the value that you need at the time that you need it from the solutions that you've purchased. We've talked a little bit about integration being critically important and not all applications are going to move to the cloud. There are times when the solutions that you have and it could be ERP, It could be finance, it could be a number of applications that you're probably gonna want to keep behind the firewall but yet integrated with your service management solution. And that's what really this hybrid approach is all about.
 
So just to kind of summarize here, customers are looking to standardize on the next generation service management solutions. We realize that, and you know these solutions have to allow for multiple deployment models. Whether that'd be cloud on premise or a hybrid approach. And so they have to be fit for purpose. We realize that we want to deliver solutions for IT organizations that make sense for them at the time that they need it. And they have to be able to bridge both the service management and client management divide because you know there's no reason to have these disparate applications to departments working independently when you can really derive true value from an integrated solution.
 
So we really are looking at deploying the next generation solution for customers and IT organizations out there today that really kinda allows them to unlock and derive a higher level of value from those solutions. Then again, just to recap on FrontRange, we've been around a long time 20 plus years as I mentioned. We are the preeminent global leader of hybrid ITSM solutions and again kind of looking at being able to deliver a mix of capabilities, whether that'd be helpdesk service management or service desk solutions, we can deliver those on premise, in the cloud and also as a hybrid solution as well giving you the flexibility that you need at the time that you need it which is critically important.
 
So that that was just a quick summary if you will in terms of FrontRange and how we kind of feel that we're somewhat different than other vendors out there and that we're actually making a difference. So we're really happy to actually be able to participate with you Jeff in terms of the survey and also in terms of the presentation. Now, with that, I know we've got a few minutes here and I think we've just got a few minutes to kinda cover a few questions. Any comments Jeff before we actually get into any of the questions?
 
Jeff: No I think, why don't we jump to the questions and then we can do closing remarks afterwards?
 
Jim: Fantastic, okay. So there is a question for you Jeff, I think this is best suited for you since you're the cloud expert. Can you give us a quick explanation of private versus public cloud?
 
Jeff: That's a great question. Well public cloud services are pretty straightforward. These are obviously openly shared subscription based or oriented services that anybody could take advantage of. And you know they've proven to be quite successful. On the other hand, you know there are many organizations and I'm sure many of the people who are listening to this webinar fall in the category where you know you want to maintain a certain level of security, you want to maintain a certain level of proprietary advantage. And therefore you want to take advantage of what's referred to as a private cloud. Now, in truth there are two connotations and two forms of a private cloud. One is that the cloud service provider has partitioned a portion of their service delivery capabilities in such a way that they are dedicated for the use of a specific customer. So that's one form of private cloud and sometimes people refer to that as a virtual private cloud because it's built on a public cloud infrastructure. But again there's an allocated portion for a specific customer's use.
 
But the other form of private cloud, which many folks refer to, is in fact the redesign, reincarnation if you will of their own datacenter into a cloud like environment. So what organizations are increasingly trying to do is keep pace with those locally available services by using some of the same techniques that made them so successful. That is the public cloud providers successful and incorporating those tools and techniques into their own datacenter environment to make them more agile, to make them more scalable, to make them more self provisionable and automated in the way in which they operate. So that obviously, they can be more cost effective.
 
Jim: Excellent. Great answer. And I'm gonna combine two questions here Jeff for you and really it's around integration between premise and cloud based solutions. And then these other question here is around data security and you know not being able to allow to leave outside the firewall. But you know external users need access for that data. Any suggestions or recommendations on how to overcome that requirement. So again integration and kinda data security. I don't know if you can kinda encapsulate those two in a response.
 
Jeff: Well, I'll do my best. Obviously, the question also speaks to the survey results that we saw. First and foremost, we're dealing with a hybrid environment and we'll say you know 90% plus some business in IT environments where there's already existing systems in place, integration is going to be absolutely essential. And is as a result as we saw in our own survey findings a critical criteria for selection is to which IT service management solution, is going to best meet the needs of an organization. Because if it doesn't integrate with the other existing systems in place, then it's really not going to be worth much. So that's almost a no-brainer. And then by the same token, security is increasingly important because we're dealing with a much more dispersed workforce, we're dealing with a much more virtual workforce. And the need for the organization to both support the more dynamic work environment. But at the same time as you pointed out Jim in one of the early slides sort of setting the stage for survey results, here this IT consumerization phenomenon means that there's going to be a lot more apps so to speak coming into the workplace. And you want your IT service management platform to be able to put the right policies and procedures and monitoring capabilities in place to better govern what would otherwise be almost a chaotic or anarchistic environment.
 
So, given the growing empowerment, if you will, of end users when it comes to consumerization effect, we on the IT side need to have better systems in place to manage the security concerns that arise in those situations.
 
Jim: Fantastic. Okay. I think we have time for one more question and actually this kind of dovetails into the previous question around integrations. And the one question this person said, the one question we have yet to get a clear answer from several vendors is how to manage the upgrade process. We're mostly concerned about integrations breaking. So I think I'll address that in terms of you know what the audience and/or this person should be looking for is the ability to actually not only provide those integrations but also look at the process by which they actually move from what we call development, to staging to, production especially in a cloud environment. And then being able to test those integrations obviously throughout those stages. So, you know look for vendors that allow you to do the kind of development that you need and the integrations that you need and you know whether that's a real-time access through web services or you know data sources.
 
But fundamentally, looking at the process by which they actually provide the upgrades and methodology by which they actually upgrade their solution. I think that's critically important and I know from our perspective that's important for our customers that we actually manage that process and ensure that those integrations are maintained throughout the upgrade process. So anyway, with that Jeff I think we're at the top of the hour here. And any closing remarks in terms of the response or survey results?
 
Jeff: Well, I'll only say this. It's been a pleasure to do this survey with you folks over at the FrontRange. It's been a very, I think, rewarding if you will to have results that do speak so well to the real trends that are going on in the marketplace. And I hope that this session helped to convey the implications for both IT and business units as to why the time is right for a hybrid management solution, that can span both the on-premise world of the past and the increasingly robust cloud environment that we are seeing evolve right before our eyes. So thanks Jim, for letting me do this with you and it's been a lot of fun doing this session as well.
 
Jim: Well, thank you and I want to thank everyone for attending today's session. Now, we hope it's been beneficial and I'd especially like to thank you Jeff for taking us through the survey results and providing real insight throughout the presentation. It's been fantastic and it's been great working with you. Just to leave everyone with a quick note here, you can find a copy of today's presentation under the attachment section as well as the survey results. And as well as a short video explaining you know FrontRange in our hybrid solution. It's about a three minute demo, just to kinda take you through that and give me some insight. And of course, if you have any more information or have any questions I should say on FrontRange, please visit us at www.frontrange.com. And with that, I'd like to say thank you to Jeff and on behalf of FrontRange thank you again and we hope to be talking to you soon. Thanks everyone.