The cloud has allowed us to adopt a much more agile approach to SaaS, and one of the coolest things to come with the rise of cloud computing is multi-tenancy. In contrast to single-tenancy, which is somewhat of an old way of looking at software’s capability, it allows for a much more scalable and cost-effective solution. This style of tenancy also still allows you to customize as much or as little as you need, just like in single tenancy, so you get the most out of your solution.
But wait! You may be surprised to know that some of the leaders in cloud SaaS, including ServiceNow and all of its solutions, are not multi-tenant but, in fact, only single-tenant. Single-tenancy is, indeed, a powerful ITSM model. But where it fails is its inability to empower the consumer through actionable metrics, also known as: Benchmarking.
What is Multi-Tenancy?
Okay, let’s get definitions out of the way. Like its name suggests, the easiest way to think of multi-tenancy is, well, to think of an apartment building. Think of the app or instance as one big building with multiple apartments. Each tenant is allowed to have their own space to use exclusively and securely, and they’re even allowed to customize it to fit their needs. The owner is in charge of all the maintenance, and at the end of the day, it’s up to them to make sure the building is running. They maintain plumbing, the door locks, stairs and elevators, and more — all of the things the residents don’t really want to worry about.
What is Single Tenancy?
In contrast, a single-tenancy solution is more like buying your own house. Your own house means you are in charge and own the source code. Owning the source also means that you own everything, from the higher upfront costs to all of the maintenance. You’ll bear the brunt of either hiring a third party to make changes or fix bugs, or be forced to hire a team of in-house developers or move a team off of their day to day work just to help your service desk. But, the plus side is that your app is like an island unto its own, and you’ll have a powerful ITSM solution on your side.
What’s the Real Impact on the Enterprise?
So, both single and multi-tenancy have invaluable metrics on your company’s performance and how the ITSM solution is helping you optimize your work day — yet only one has access to the data to empower your workflows with continuous improvement.
Let’s circle back to the analogy of ownership. While your neighbors can’t see into your apartment (your app and data), your (owner) ITSM company knows all about your apartment. They have access to invaluable information and data related to each company, from how quickly their tasks are being resolved to whether or not they have a first touch resolution system in place, and any inefficiencies in between.
They’ll also be able to track this data and gather larger trends based on industry standards pulled from the metrics — and this is where benchmarking comes in.
Using Data to Fuel the Enterprise
Single-tenancy apps like ServiceNow have all of that powerful data right at their fingertips — yet they can’t do anything with it. Without multi-tenancy, they don’t have the ability to look into the data of their tenants and create benchmarking information to help their clients reach their best potential. Their customers generate metrics and data every day when they use the app, but a single-tenant solution doesn’t have the ability to put all that information together and analyze it for benchmarking. These apps sell software, but don’t give their customers the actionable insights they need to improve throughout their enterprise.
In contrast, multi-tenant apps like Samanage use the database of customer metrics to build industry benchmarks. Your business’ data remains secure and safe, but our software allows you to see how you stack up to other companies in your industry and point to areas where you can improve. The goal of every business is to edge out the competition — what would you do if you could see where your rivals fell on a scale of efficiency and how you stacked up to them?
About Matt Cox
Matt leads the sales engineers and support team for SolarWInds ITSM. His team works with customers to create tailored technical solutions for specific business needs. He once went hang gliding off a cliff in Ecuador.
Read more articles by Matt