Among the many technological advances to remake field service, cloud computing ranks up there with the proliferation of mobile devices as the largest potential boon to the sector.

In a new piece for Service Management 365, a UK-based field service news publication, Saul Sherry writes about the advantages cloud computing’s flexibility, scalability and rapid implementation offer field service businesses — and why so many UK companies are finally shedding on-premise systems in favor of programs in the cloud.

Among the major benefits Sherry discusses are the cloud’s scalability and flexibility and pay-as-you-go structure, allowing users to increase or decrease their services as needed. Need to hire a few techs on a short-term basis to deal with a special project? No problem. Just pay for a few additional licenses until the project’s complete.

Michael Liebow, writing for GigaOM, picks up on the emerging trend of IT cloud adoption. Liebow predicts even more adoption during 2011, driven by an increased pace of cloud product releases. His predictions are a reflection of the enterprise IT market but point toward a larger trend, which we’ve covered previously on The SmartVan, of cloud-based products aimed at niche users, such as field service techs.

Flexibility’s an especially important advantage in a weak economy. Sherry writes: “In an already unpredictable business world, where market climbs and dips are second-guessed against a backdrop of austerity measures and cutbacks, flexible licensing grants a buffer.”

On the cautionary side, however, Sherry points out that cloud-based systems often work best as a complement to existing, on-premise systems as opposed to an outright replacement strategy.

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