10 Critical Requirements for Cloud Applications
True Multi-tenancy. Multi-tenancy is the only proven SaaS delivery architecture that eliminates many of the problems created by the traditional software licensing and upgrade model—period. Multi-tenancy ensures that every customer is on the same version of the software. That means no customer is left behind when the software is updated, and in my experience that fosters a fantastic community for sharing knowledge and resources with other CIOs, all of whom are using the same version of the software.
The multi-tenancy debate is not about the technology. Its about the benefits multi-tenancy brings to customers, vendors, and the SaaS ecosystem in terms of integrations and the value they bring to customers. For the SaaS vendor, multi-tenancy is about scale and cost, and having to support just one version of the codebase, and by doing so freeing resources to focus on product innovation.
Regularly Delivered, Vendor-Managed Updates. A cloud application is a single version of software that is regularly updated, often several times a year, for all customers, at no additional charge. Change every four years is not a sustainable model (and never really was) as our industries are constantly evolving and innovating, and business partners and customers won’t wait four years for us to change. We need partners that keep pace with us, not ones that require us to slow down in order to keep pace with them.
That to me is one of the biggest advantages of SaaS over traditional software delivery models. Having the ability to innovate fast and deliver constant new value to our customers at a phase of multiple new features every week. Given, some are small capabilities but some are big, significant new value that we deliver at no cost to our customers and with no impact on their priorities and internal resources – big benefit. Having the ability to respond quickly to customer requests and deliver new value quickly versus the typical 2-3 years upgrade cycle with on-premise software is a big part of what makes SaaS so attractive.
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