Pros and Cons of Self-Hosting Your Help Desk Platform

For a long time, SaaS help desk software options dominated the industry. It was a new solution on the market that came with multiple beneficial functions to speed up and facilitate support tasks.

However, developers eventually recognised its flaws and started creating safer and more suitable self-hosted help desk software for businesses of certain sizes. The basic support functions remained intact; however, the advantages from the IT professional perspective are enormous.

While your support agents may not see the difference between the two, your IT and legal experts will definitely notice the distinction. They will have more obligations, but your company will have more control over your data processing and the overall software use. Legal professionals will enjoy the ease of establishing in-house data privacy and protection compliance.

Your financial department will deal with a different price and one solution is slightly more generous in terms of scaling up your usage. Additionally, your IT department will argue that it pays off. On the other hand, you may face concerns regarding the server competence and higher responsibility that comes with additional software tasks. Thus, self-hosted help desk software may be more suitable for companies that can handle the additional work.

Let’s see if self-hosted help desk software works for you!

A. Self-Hosted Help Desk Software Pros

As its name indicates, with a self-hosted help desk software you will have more control over your company’s decisions. Let’s learn which ones!

1. Become a boss of your data

The most important self-hosted help desk software benefit is that you own your database completely. There is no longer vendor lock-in, which means you are the one who can decide where and how you will store your customer data. Customer data is an incredibly valuable commodity nowadays; it is wanted by both authorized companies and malicious attackers. With this software, you and your IT team will be the only ones who know where it is, so you will be better able to keep it a secret! You have complete control over the physical location of your customer database; therefore, you can decide which techniques and tools you will use to protect it!

Customer support is the main hackers’ target, and for good reason. This department is the frontline of your data privacy defence, thus you need to make it as strong as possible. That’s exactly where your self-hosted help desk software jumps in to help! Your data storage can be more secure than when it is solely in your hands. You minimize the number of attack surfaces and enable your IT data experts to fully focus on protecting only those. The smaller the number of data entries, the better chance your IT employee will safeguard them successfully.

2. Design your privacy policy

Many companies decide to create their own privacy policies to increase their data safety to the maximum level. Large companies that operate globally have millions of data entries at their disposal, so their responsibility is very high. Their nature is also defined by cross-country or country-specific data privacy and protection laws, such as the European GDPR and Californian CCPA and CPRA. Therefore, they need to make sure they comply with all the relevant ones.

Luckily, Helpy self-hosted help desk software incorporates all the data law compliance needs for your global business. With a self-hosted help desk software, you can tailor your privacy policy to include all the laws you need! This may include, your company's or industry-related privacy rules as well. For instance, if your organisation belongs to the healthcare industry in the U.S., you will need to add HIPAA compliance. Similarly, if you are a financial or educational institution, you are required to comply with GLBA and FERPA.

But most importantly, you will need to incorporate rules that regulate your employee behaviour and work obligations and then transfer those into self-hosted help desk software task assignments and triggers. Don’t forget to ask your customers for the approval of this policy or you risk making your data processing illegitimate!

3. Backup you data

What if you suddenly lose all your data?! Well, if you have a stable backup procedure within your data policy as well as formal methods for storing your data, you will have nothing to worry about. But yes, make sure that you follow those rules!

4. Embrace higher security

Hackers are opportunists, and they are more likely to attack a shared server-based support software than a single tenant solution such as a self-hosted support software. Fewer database entries mean less chances that a hacker will find their way in! On a shared server you have thousands of companies as data neighbours who can find a way into your database easier than if they were to break into your self-hosted help desk software.

Moreover, a single data breach can compromise the safety of the whole server where you store your data too! But a single-tenant solution such as a self-hosted help desk software eliminates all these data breach risks and brings your cyber security to a whole new level! You and the people you authorize are the only ones who can supervise the entries to your database, limit its use and block unwanted guests. No one will care more about your company’s database than you, so you should have complete control over it!

5. Run your support software independently

This self-hosted software program is another way to reduce your cyber attack surface. One day you may make a decision to expand your customer base and your team. These two expansions will only increase your data responsibility. That means that sharing your data with third parties will become more risky! You will need to add more users to your SaaS help desk software and redesign your data policy.

The SaaS options imply the need to share your data with another company. On the other hand, self-hosted support software allows you to handle your data by yourself, without sharing with any third party! In Helpy’s case, even your support software company will not know what data you have collected!

6. Integrate your self-hosted help desk software as you wish

Another beauty of having a self-hosted help desk software lies in the freedom of use. It enables you to install and place it on your own server protected by your own security wall. Here, you have complete control over your support software operations and, as such, your whole customer support department.

Yes, the whole department! We know how large they can be, and when you successfully manage your support reps but not your software, it will be like you have done nothing for your security. These two must be managed at an optimal level together to reach your maximum security!

7. Add updates that you need

In the fast-evolving tech world, constant updates are understood to be normal. However, your company doesn’t need all of them to achieve business prosperity. With a self-hosted help desk software, you can add only those that you find relevant! Here, you can update your support software on your own schedule without following your vendor's!

8. Control software logins

Now you can completely dictate the access to your database! Using a self-hosted help desk gives you the opportunity to control all the logs generated by the server, and you can decide how long they are kept. This self-hosted software option gives your IT team the power to easily restrict any malicious intention and keep hackers far from your customer data forever.

Even if they manage to step into your database, your security experts will have the best tool out there to kick them out and prevent your database from collapsing. Keep in mind that a data scandal can lead to your company’s collapse too!

B. Self-Hosted Help Desk Software Cons

There is no perfect support software; however, there is a perfect solution for you. Let’s see why a self-hosted help desk software may not work for you.

1. Update responsibility

Updating your support software is a huge responsibility that requires the highest levels of expertise and experience. Thus, you will need to have a team of IT and legal experts that will take care of these updates regularly. Whether your goas is to preserve your competitive strength or to establish a data law compliance, you will need to install the latest relevant software updates or your competition will run you over.

By purchasing a SaaS solution you won’t need to take care or stress about any of these because that will be your provider’s job! Now, if you are a small- or mid-sized business without a department designated to regulate the software use this may not work for you. But if you are a large business with these departments, self-hosted help desk software will be a perfect fit!

2. Forget about the back up

Just as you don’t need to worry about the software updates, you won’t need to worry about backing up your database either if you decide to go with the SaaS option! In other words, with self-hosted software you are responsible for data backups.

3. Maximum security isn’t on your task list

Small and mid-sized companies are usually not on the hacker’s list. They don't collect many customer data because they don’t have millions of customers, thus the amount of effort required to hack small databases and the reward for it are not appealing. On the other hand, large companies operate with millions or even billions worth of customer data. This fact increases a hacker’s will to gain access to it significatly. That said, corporations require the highest level of security that a self-hosted help desk software guaranteentees!

4. Big data centers can be more reliable

Having your own server is great! However, it’s usually not as advanced as those offered by Amazon or Google. They have large and well-developed private-cloud opportunities where you can still self-host. The data is under your control because neither your database nor your server are shared with other private-cloud spot renters. Thus the server that you keep in your basement can be less reliable compared to the advanced technologies the tech giants use. That being said, if you make a serious investment in terms of server ownership, this won’t be a problem at all!

5. You only need to use the software

Observing the above mentioned, if you purchase a SaaS help desk software, you only need to go through the instructions and teach your team how to use the software. However, when comparing SaaS software to a self-hosted help desk software, everything comes down to the level of data control you’re aiming for! If your goal is to establish the highest level of cyber security regarding your customer data, now you know which type of help desk software you need!

6. The price is luring

When you decide to upscale your operations, i.e. add more support reps to your help desk, you will need to pay extra. With SaaS, you may end up paying for each user you add to your team. On the other hand, with the self-hosted helpdesk software solution you pay for a license to use the software and perform the hosting. If you’re adding a lot of agents, you will need to increase your server resources, which will require additional costs.

There is no free way to upscale, only the shared server option is cheaper. However, when you analyze all the security benefits that a self-hosted server enables, this data protection tool may be more cost-effective for your large-scale business!

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