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In Customer Service Last updated: September 6, 2023
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Helpdesk software allows internal or external users of an organization to get help when they face any difficulty or issue with their products and services. 

Many organizations provide helpdesk to offer support to their users, who can be their employees or customers. Delivering quality support enables them to build trust with their customers and employees alike.

So, companies looking for a helpdesk solution have two options – on-premise and SaaS-based helpdesk software. 

On-premise solutions are hosted and installed in-house that large companies use to provide better-customized solutions and better security to their customers. But, a third-party provider offers a SaaS helpdesk solution with higher scalability, flexibility, cost efficiency, etc. 

Companies can choose any of the types according to their business needs.

In this article, I’ll discuss helpdesk solutions and compare on-premise and SaaS-based helpdesk solutions to help you decide which one will be better for your business.

Let’s start! 

What Is Helpdesk?


Helpdesk software is a solution used to manage, organize, and respond to requests. Some helpdesk solutions are used for internal service-related requests from your team members, whereas some are used for external service-related requests from customers. 

The helpdesk platform is used to enhance your customer experience, regardless of how they engage – in-person, phone, or social media. It includes a wide range of tools, including knowledge base software, live chat solutions, shared inboxes, etc., to help you build a good relationship with your customers. 

What Is On-Premise Helpdesk?


On-premise is the self-hosted and self-installed version of the help desk solution. It includes different functionalities for managing assignments, workflows, and tickets in a single place. In addition, it requires an infrastructure to host, install, and manage helpdesk software. 

Some companies require strict data security, like government agencies. They need to control their own data to maintain a high level of security. Furthermore, if a company has compliance requirements, an on-premise helpdesk solution is the best option to be in control of the data and security needs. 

Examples: DeskPro, Zammad, UseResponse, SolarWinds Service Desk, HelpSpot, Jitbit, ManageEngine ServiceDesk, and more. 

What Is a SaaS-Based Helpdesk?


Software-as-a-service (SaaS) based helpdesk refers to a cloud-based helpdesk software by a third-party service provider that enables businesses to deliver quality support. Here, the service provider installs the software on the remote servers, maintains it, and makes it available to users through web browsers, APIs, and mobile apps. 

Since the software is hosted and installed on the provider’s servers, users won’t need any investment for expensive infrastructure to use the software. In order to use this model, an independent software vendor contracts a 3rd-party cloud provider to host the app. 

Examples: Salesforce, Trello, Google Workspace, Zoom, DocuSign, Netflix, Spotify, MailChimp, Slack, Adobe Creative Cloud, and more. 

On-Premise vs. SaaS: Differences

On-Premise helpdesk SaaS-based helpdesk 
On-premise solutions are installed and hosted in-house.SaaS is installed and maintained by a third-party service provider. 
It requires IT resources to scale and manage.SaaS is easy to access and has the ability to scale according to your business needs. 
You will require an upfront investment for setting up and implementing infrastructure. It is offered at a lower cost based on your subscription model. 
With on-premise helpdesk, you are responsible for maintaining and updating the software.All the maintenance and updates are handled by the cloud service provider. 
To build and manage the solution, you will need to hire a team or outsource the task.The maintenance and support are included in the subscription. 
You will get complete control over the customizations and solutions.You will get less control over its customization and solutions. 
It offers improved compliance and data security along with internal requirements with all the data stored in-house.Data security can be at risk as it’s stored somewhere else in the service provider’s servers. 
It takes more time to implement the hardware installation process.It can be implemented faster with zero disruption to the workflow.
You will be required to be available on your office premises in order to access the software. SaaS applications can be handled from anywhere using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.  
On-premise solutions are costly since the companies need to purchase the hardware and pay for setup and maintenance.SaaS solutions have low entry costs since the company takes rent or subscriptions to access the features. 
The cost of recovery systems is quite high. It sets up a duplicate data storage for backup.Storing data in the cloud means the data is backed up automatically so that in case of any disaster, you never lose any data. 

Where On-Premise Helpdesk Solution Is Better

Businesswoman telemarketing staff working with coworker in call

In general, large enterprises prefer to install their own technologies in order to stay protected. It’s popular in financial sectors, insurance services, government organizations, defense institutions, etc.  When dealing with sensitive data like bank accounts, passwords, names, addresses, etc., most organizations prefer an on-premise helpdesk. 

In short, where security and privacy are the major concerns, using an on-premise helpdesk solution is better than SaaS-based. Thus, many large companies prefer to install and develop their own IT infrastructure due to data security requirements and being from highly regulated industries like healthcare, finance, 

Besides, companies that have their own support team and resources to regulate and maintain hardware and servers are likely to be more interested in using on-premise solutions. 

Let’s discuss why an on-premise solution is beneficial for large companies. 

  • Infrastructure in place: When you have Linux or Windows servers along with an SQL server in place, going with the self-hosted version can save you effort, time, and money. This avoids spending time on installations or buying any additional licenses. 
  • Customization: You can easily configure several things inside the ecosystem with the use of an on-premise solution. For example, you can change email server speed, set up size limits for file uploads, choose how your files are stored, and more.
  • Source code: If you have developers, you can change how features work or add new features. Almost every software offers source code to your developers so that they can adjust the software according to your business-specific needs. 
  • Control your data: If you want the flexibility of controlling your own database, you can use an on-premise solution. This lets you secure your customer’s personal data. You can maintain your own backup and recovery functionality to keep the security up-to-date. 
  • Security and compliance: Since large companies use on-premise solutions, they can easily secure their companies and customers’ sensitive data. 

Where SaaS Helpdesk Solution Is Better

Business people with headsets smiling at camera in office

SaaS is a handy and pretty straightforward solution. The service is available over the Internet so that you can start easily, no matter where you are. Thus, startups, small-sized companies, and even medium-sized companies prefer to use SaaS solutions for their customer support. It gives you the flexibility to choose your services, features, backups, and more. 

Let’s discuss the benefits of using a SaaS-based helpdesk.

  • Easy to use: Setting up and configuring the SaaS system is easy and straightforward. You won’t need any hardware and to spend hours of time on installation and maintenance.
  • Scalability: When business grows, the requirements rise. With a SaaS solution, you need to upgrade the pricing as per your needs. 
  • Accessible: You only need a secure internet connection to work from anywhere you want via laptop, mobile, tablet, desktop, and more. 
  • Low setup and infrastructure cost: With a SaaS helpdesk solution, you can pay for only the services you use. Thus, the overall setup fees are very cost-effective. 
  • Security: Third-party service providers offer security and compliance to your business so that you can easily let your users share their information.
  • Frequent and automatic updates: You will find automatic updates of the software so that you don’t have to do it manually, and you can focus on the work. 

Best On-Premise Helpdesk Software

So, if you prefer on-premise solutions, check out some of the best on-premise helpdesk software.

#1. Deskpro

Get an all-in-one helpdesk solution for your business with Deskpro available on-premise. It delivers an amazing customer experience to your internal or external users with its dynamic and flexible helpdesk software. 

You can host your information and get the option of exporting the entire database. It will give you complete control over your data while deploying a self-hosted helpdesk on your server infrastructure. Deskpro offers a customizable solution to fit your organization’s needs and improves communication with your users. 


Furthermore, you can centralize all your conversations with the helpdesk and capture every message.

Deskpro helps in reducing support costs and saving time with the help of automation tools, boosting overall productivity. When your team has advanced tools, they can provide amazing support. 

  • Automation: Deskpro allows you to reduce repetitive tasks and boost efficiency with powerful automation. 
  • Reports: Deskpro’s custom and in-built stats let you make informed decisions to improve the team’s support capabilities. 
  • Customer satisfaction: You can gather feedback from your users directly and track the overall performance of your support team to give customers what they want.
  • Messenger: Communicate with your customers instantly via integrated live chat that comes with more functionality. 
  • Customizations: You can create a helpdesk of your own with endless capabilities to fit your business needs. 

Give your team the control, customization, and power they need to build customer relationships with Deskpro’s free plan. The paid plan starts at $29/month/agent, which offers essential features. 

#2. JitBit

JitBit helpdesk software is built for IT teams to handle customers and resolve their issues faster. The solution is simple, takes less time to set up, and is amazingly powerful. You only need to forward the support emails to the application and start managing all the tickets.

The primary focus is email, but JitBit also has integrations, chatbots, a knowledge base, and live chat. It polishes its email ticketing system and supports MS Exchange, SMTP, POP3, IMAP, and more. Also, it has in-built email flood, deduping, and anti-spam protection. 

YouTube video

Set-up is fast and allows your team to start processing the tickets within seconds. JitBit has automation, integrations, and email processing at an affordable price. You can detect bottlenecks, analyze the load, and export the complete report to the Excel or CSV format. 

JitBit offers free mobile apps for Android and iOS users so that you can easily support customers from anywhere and anytime. Its mobile app lets you view tickets, update ticket details, reply to tickets, attach files, assign technicians, and more.

Furthermore, you can automate all your repetitive tasks and save time with JitBit’s powerful automation. You can ask JitBit to assign technicians automatically, send automatic replies, set automatic due dates, and more.

JitBit provides one one-time license that includes one year of version upgrades and support starting at $2199. 

Now, let’s look at some of the best SaaS helpdesk software.

#3. Freshdesk

Scale your support experiences with Freshdesk and allow your support teams to deliver consistent and timely support. It gives you everything you want to resolve issues quickly and manage complex tasks. 

Whether you need to manage tickets, automate workflows, or engage with customers, Freshdesk provides you with the advanced tools to meet your unique needs. Automate everyday tasks with custom widgets and a scalable knowledge base so that customers will find their answers faster. 


You can integrate custom applications to help your business deliver a better self-service experience to your customers. Moreover, you can enable your team to eliminate redundancy and run on autopilot using AI-powered automation. 

Freshdesk enhances efficiency and productivity with generative AI, enabling your team to deliver accurate answers. You can allow your team to engage with the right experts using collaboration tools and provide more consistent and faster service on complex issues. In addition, you can utilize AI-driven insights to understand potential issues. 

Freshdesk helps you analyze interactions, monitor quality, and provide better support. Freshworks Customer Service Suite allows you to deliver exceptional customer service. From no-code bots and AI-powered conversations to efficient ticket management, this Suite allows you to enhance productivity. 

Sign up today for a free trial of 14 days and deliver consistent and timely support. 

#4. Zoho Desk

Simplify your customer service operations and deliver better customer experiences with Zoho Desk and enhance your productivity. You can improve customer service and delight your customers every day. 

Zoho Desk empowers your agents with helpful context and powerful tools so that they remain confident, organized, and productive. With Zoho Desk, you can build better customer relationships for a more sustainable, healthier, and stronger business. It further helps you track your customer’s interests and understand their needs to consistently deliver value. 


Even when you are away from the desk, you can manage customer support with Zoho’s Desk’s mobile applications. It supports iOS and Android. You can immediately close tickets and get a complete view of the services easily.

Zoho Desk enables you to implement useful customer service software 50% faster. It offers a dedicated training program with an easy-to-understand learning curve. Additionally, it provides customizable workspaces that help you work across any brand, department, and industry. 

You will get the most affordable plans with Zoho Desk to retain your customers. You can experience the true strength of it by taking a free trial. There will be no hidden costs, no hassle in switching plans, no rigid contracts, and no setup fees.


On-premise and SaaS helpdesk solutions are two options that companies can opt for. Both offer almost the same functions but differ in terms of installation and implementation. So, choosing one among them depends upon the requirements of an organization. 

A company that’s capable of maintaining the servers, hardware, and software by itself in its infrastructure and requires better security and customization can choose an on-premise helpdesk solution

But, if a company wants better flexibility, scalability, and accessibility at an affordable price, choosing a SaaS helpdesk solution could be a better option for them.

  • Amrita Pathak
    Amrita is a freelance copywriter and content writer. She helps brands enhance their online presence by creating awesome content that connects and converts. She has completed her Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Aeronautical Engineering…. read more
  • Narendra Mohan Mittal

    Narendra Mohan Mittal is a Senior Digital Branding Strategist and Content Editor with over 12 years of versatile experience. He holds an M-Tech (Gold Medalist) and B-Tech (Gold Medalist) in Computer Science & Engineering.

    read more
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