Hosted? Single tenant? Multi-tenant? As long as an SaaS solution, for ITAM/ITSM or any other application, works, who cares about the plumbing underneath?
Hosting is not SaaS
On-premise software developers confronted with the growing role of the cloud have begun offering their legacy on-premise solutions in a hosted environment. For many, this is probably a stopgap, a placeholder until they can develop a true SaaS solution from the ground up. Others may have no plans to develop a cloud-born application, preferring instead to keep to what they might consider a conservative course. After all, this cloud thing might not work out, right? And even if it does, why mess with success? Just slap the software on a server and call it a day.
While this approach may suit software vendors who are struggling against the inertial force generated by years of on-premise solutions, it results in higher costs, poorer integration, and sluggish innovation for customers.
Why You Should Care?
Operational costs of Multi-tenant SaaS architecture goes down over time – A big bonus of multi-tenant SaaS is that costs tend to fall over time, as opposed to hosted solutions, where new tenants mean additional servers, support, and other costs. Because multi-tenant SaaS runs on a shared codebase, costs are relatively stable as the number of tenants increases, generating economies of scale that are passed down to users as competitive pressures grow.
Integrating SaaS applications is easier. Whereas “pure SaaS” solutions benefit from standards like SOA and REST, making it easy to integrate with other solutions that use the same interfaces, on-premise software that’s simply picked up and moved to a hosted environment suffers the same integration challenges (proprietary APIs, SDKs, etc.) it always has. And customers shoulder the same responsibility for building and maintaining these integrations that they always have.
Then there’s innovation: because hosted solutions are almost genetically identical to their on-premise forebears, they are chained to the same, roughly 18-month innovation/product development cycle. Built-in-the-cloud solutions, on the other hand, often release new versions on a quarterly (or even bi-weekly) basis. Thanks to standardized APIs, a limited support burden, and other advantages, these vendors can devote a greater share of their resources to getting solutions for today’s most pressing needs into the hands of their customers.