There are many, many important questions to ask during the SaaS vendor evaluation process. However, questions about the infrastructure the solution is built on may be among the most important. Particularly critical is the need to know whether the provider’s environment is hosted, single-tenant, or multi-tenant.
Why Is Infrastructure So Important?
The foundation on which the SaaS solution is built is vital for a variety of reasons, performance and total cost of ownership among them. For example, solutions that are operated in hosted or single-tenant environments often become quite expensive as customers scale to add new capabilities and/or new users. Additionally, vendors who provide each client with their own customized version of the software often experience difficulties providing ongoing support as they add more and more new customers to the mix.
Choose a Vendor with a Multi-Tenant Architecture
Vendors who opt to make their SaaS solutions available in multi-tenant environments benefit from economies of scale. This, in turn, translates to lower subscription fees for customers. Additionally, because vendors eliminate the time spent managing multiple technology stacks, they can focus more time and effort on product innovation.
Other advantages of the multi-tenant approach include:
- Improved scalability. Capacity can be more rapidly increased, and all customers benefit simultaneously when new hardware, storage space, or processing power is added to the infrastructure.
- Better performance. Because vendors only need to monitor one technology stack, they can more readily detect and rectify problems that are likely to impact application performance.
- Enhanced service. With only one platform to administer, vendors can provide more responsive services, such as troubleshooting and problem resolution.
- Accelerated upgrades. Because there is just one single, centralized place to go to make enhancements, new software versions or patches can be deployed more rapidly. As a result, the entire customer base can more quickly leverage new features and functionality.
Next week, we will discuss how to approach the issue of customer references. Read our prior blog posts to learn more about what to ask in the areas of security, data retention and ownership, performance and availability, support, enhancements and upgrades, integration, usability, and contractual flexibility.
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