In software as a service system, there are some parties like- actual software vendor, cloud provider, and end users. How comfortably the end users will use your software depends on how effectively you design the SaaS architecture.
What is SaaS architecture and how does it work?
SaaS architecture is the method of how a cloud provider will deliver software access to his client. Using a “multi-tenant approach” is a common thing in this regard. Meaning- a SaaS application will be available on a host server and all the subscribed clients.
Those subscribed clients are cloud tenants in other words. Hence, we call the approach a multi-tenant one. Again, all the users will use the same cloud instance. yet the process will segregate the data of different customers. Using as-is architecture or “Application Programming Interface” (API), commonly companies customize SaaS tools.
With this method, SaaS vendors are liable for all the updates, hardware, and other technical issues. And the customers will have immediate access to what the cloud provider changed or what updates they have made.
Through this multi-tenant approach, you’ll be able to make software available to a huge number of users at a time. And this is highly profitable for the cloud provider who hosted a certain software.
Challenges & Risks of SaaS Applications
Take a look at major SaaS challenges & risks that you should take care of if you’re about to market your software with the SaaS model.
1. You don’t have full control over service
You know software as a service is a 3rd-party vendor-relying business of delivering software access. There may be service disruption or unwanted changes may emerge at any time.
If you’re the software vendor you’ll not have any control over it, as it’s under the control of the cloud provider. Yet, if that happens, it will directly affect the end user’s comfortability using the software.
If the cloud provider doesn’t take care of service access smoothening now, it will also be harmful to the reputation of the actual software vendor. Accordingly, users face complexity in using your software (through the SaaS model), they’ll obviously search for alternative others.
2. Sometimes immediately updating don’t happen
If the actual software developer brings a new version of the software the liability of updating the existing cloud system lies on cloud providers. Still, the cloud system may not be ready to cope up with the updates.
Even sometimes cloud providers may need extra training on how to update the system. That obviously requires extra time but almost all the users may know about the update on the day it was brought.
So when users see that they don’t get all the updated features in a cloud service provider site, they will stop using your software through the cloud system.
3. Window switching problems
If you are the real software vendor and providing the access to users through the SaaS model then switching cloud providers might cause some difficulties.
In that case, you have to transfer a huge amount of data (relating to your software). Another problem is that after switching to the new cloud provider, you will lose your old customers. If you want to retain your customers you have to promote the new cloud provider site to the old customers.
4. SaaS Security and SaaS privacy-the biggest challenge
Software as a service-related security and privacy issues are different from that of traditional ones. Here two types of security issues are related- one is code related security issues and the other is cloud service related security issues. But in the case of traditional methods of software use, there is no issue of cloud service related security.
How to meet SaaS challenges?
Challenges still exist in software as a service system but here is how you can significantly overcome those.
1. Select the right cloud provider platform
Not all the top rated cloud provider platforms are best for hosting all types of software. Actually, it depends on what type of software you’ll host. The best way to find the best platform based on your software is to take a look at the other SaaS businesses.
You have to research what cloud services are used by the software vendor (of software similar to your). By researching this issue you’ll be able to understand what cloud service you should use for hosting your software. And you also learn- what platform is the best for which type of software.
2. Choose the one which can meet your requirement exactly
Specifically, it is the most important issue in overcoming existing SaaS challenges. Go through the service level agreement (SLA) thoroughly, try to understand whether it is possible to enforce it completely.
Try to select only old and reputed cloud providers who will not move on to something new in the near future. Indeed, moving larger software files is really difficult and it may cause inconveniences to users.
3. Consider server uptime
Choose only those cloud service providers who have satisfactory server uptime. Otherwise, your software users will not be able to get access to the software whenever they need it.
4. Select a cloud provider for a longer period
If you choose a cloud provider for a longer period it will provide you with some extra conveniences. You’ll be able to create a huge customer group within such a long period and they’ll be comfortable using your software through the cloud service platform.
5. Maintaining SaaS security
Before choosing a cloud provider to host your software you should consider some important security issues. These are key management, encryption, IAM (identify & access management), and the like.
Consequently, you should check whether the cloud provider company will fulfill data residency requirements or not.
Security issues monitoring at a regular interval come in handy all the time. Do that if possible.