If you haven’t already, make sure you check out our blog post “An Intro to Saas”.
Identifying True vs. Fake SaaS
Because software providers are trying to capitalize on customer demand for SaaS, many are saying that they too have a cloud solution to offer. This can make it difficult to differentiate the imposters who talk a good line but don’t have the experience or architecture to back up the claim. True SaaS applications, architectures, and processes must be built from the ground up to produce exceptional results for customers. For companies seeking modern alternatives to the traditional on-premise software and maintenance models, the following are some key characteristics to look for that clarify and identify true vs. fake SaaS.
It’s extremely valuable to know whether the solution is true SaaS (uses a multi-tenant architecture) because multitenancy eliminates many of the problems created by the traditional software licensing and upgrade model. According to Forrester, multitenancy is a key distinguishing feature of true SaaS. And it’s through this multi-tenant architecture that cloud services achieve the high cost efficiencies for which they are known.
Conversely, fake SaaS applications are often a modification of a provider’s on-premise software that is deployed in the cloud using a single-tenant model, because the original software was not architected to support multi-tenancy. This can result in a time intensive, expensive, and complex-to-deploy solution. Additionally, vendors will find it challenging to scale performance and to deliver improvements efficiently to all customers, because there are multiple custom versions where performance can’t be guaranteed.
Customization or Configuration
True multi-tenant SaaS solutions use configuration rather than expensive and complex customization to address the company’s specific needs. Corporate legal departments can easily configure the solution to meet business processes, without impacting the upgrade path.
With fake SaaS, customizations and integrations are not guaranteed to work with future upgrades. Unfortunately this leaves companies paying for upgrades through ongoing maintenance fees yet unable to take full advantage of the new capabilities because the company-specific customizations and integrations will have to be completely re-done. This costs even more company time, money and frustration.
Frequent and Hassle-free Upgrades
True SaaS delivers continuous improvement that allows companies to be current with the latest innovations. Because real SaaS providers only have to maintain one version of the software and can upgrade all customers frequently and concurrently. Customers benefit from not having to deal with IT upgrade projects, and they can quickly start using the latest features without incurring additional fees typically associated with fake SaaS upgrades.
Speed of Deployment
A true multi-tenant SaaS application gives corporations early entrée into the system they are deploying. This gives the business people a chance to offer feedback regarding configuration for business process in a timely fashion. Customers benefit from a deployment experience that is cost effective, easier, faster and can’t be matched by on-premise or fake SaaS providers.
A true multi-tenant SaaS application provides customers a secure platform that is specifically built to help companies lower the cost, time, and risk of integration with existing on-premise and SaaS applications. Corporations can reduce the amount of manual integration time and work required. Fake SaaS solutions have complex integrations that can be a failure point upon implementation or a disruption point as upgrades occur.