Over the past decade, N-iX has helped dozens of companies develop or migrate their products to Cloud, taking advantage of Software as a Service business model to the fullest. In this article, we would like to explore the key benefits of cloud computing and SaaS, ways to ensure the high performance and robust security of your cloud solutions, and success stories of companies that choose SaaS and Cloud. Let’s dive in.
Brief market overview of Saas in Cloud computing
The demand for Software as a Service in cloud computing is rising as businesses prefer to rely on third parties to manage their software updates. More and more companies scale up their SaaS environments—such businesses as Zoom and Shopify have already made use of the technology and increased their operational agility. IT leaders who adopt SaaS tend to be successful in terms of customer reach: according to Gartner, by 2023 end users will spend more than $208B on SaaS applications.
Pros and cons of SaaS in cloud computing: Why do enterprises choose it over the other models?
Sometimes, even huge vendors have difficulties choosing between IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS in cloud computing. To help you figure out what will best work for your business, let’s look through every major cloud service model and overview its key characteristics:
- With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), clients get computing, networking, and data storage resources delivered to them over the web. This way, they can manage their infrastructure without physical access to the data centers. Enterprises store the organization’s data on the provider’s servers and if they need to they can manage them using API or a dashboard.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) stands for cloud computing services that provide an on-demand environment (application development platforms) and tools and are accessible to customers over the internet. PaaS lets engineers to implement custom software online without worries about managing the server infrastructure, data storage, and databases.
- SaaS or Software as a Service in cloud computing presupposes that the third-party vendor provides a client with a ready-to-use applications hosted on a cloud. In other words, a SaaS offering covers an already operating software and not just a set of tools aimed at building one like it is with PaaS or IaaS. Software as a Service comes up with the highest degree of the vendor’s involvement among all cloud computing models. Your SaaS provider manages both software and hardware, ensures the application’s and data security, as well as is accountable for the system’s maintenance.
So, you decide between Iaas, Paas, and Saas in cloud computing according to what extent you want to contribute into the project. Going for SaaS architecture in cloud computing will be beneficial for enterprises that are eager to provide minimum input and yet utilize the applications at a reduced cost. Top global enterprises such as Netflix are using SaaS solutions to deploy a huge number of servers and provide their users with great customer experiences regardless of their location. This is entertainment, but what about some other industries that leverage the benefits of cloud computing and SaaS? If speaking about other most successful SaaS examples in cloud computing we definitely should name Google’s G Suite and MS Office 365 by Microsoft. These cloud-based office solutions are the cornerstones for collaboration and communication in corporate environments.
More on the topic: SaaS software development: benefits, challenges, and best practices
Main advantages of SaaS in cloud computing
1. Cost optimization
One of the greatest benefits of SaaS in cloud computing is cost efficiency. With SaaS, client considerably cuts down the expenses on the utilized licensing, as they pay only for the software they use. Compared to the traditional on-premise solutions where you have to make upfront payments for a license, subscription-based SaaS allows you to spend periodically (usually every month, quarter, or year). If you choose to implement a SaaS model in cloud computing, you will be able to make regular smaller expenditures rather than experience budget squeeze once in several years.
Moreover, SaaS provides a substantial decrease in maintenance expenses, since the technical support is on the provider’s side and the price is divided between all service users.
2. Timely updates and easier maintenance
By implementing a SaaS model in cloud computing, you may be sure your software always remains up-to-date. In the case of subscription-based SaaS, maintenance is on the provider’s side, so the client automatically gains access to the latest versions of the software. For companies, it’s the opportunity to save on costs and effort related to the solution updates since they don’t have to buy and install every new upgrade package separately. If CI/CD pipeline is configured properly, SaaS updates can be automatically deployed even every hour.
3. High accessibility
In a world of remote cooperation, you want to be able to access and alter your data regardless of location. So another reason to go for SaaS in cloud computing is its availability—user needs only a device with a stable internet connection to access the cloud-hosted software and continue their work from anywhere.
What is more, some SaaS solutions are able to partially run offline and then automatically update once you connect to the web. However, the user’s operations are usually limited to basic functions.
4. Sufficient scalability
Cloud computing and SaaS are associated with scalable environments that allow to integrate with other SaaS offerings. Therefore, as your business expands, you won’t have to buy additional servers or software licenses. To meet the growing demands, clients can just invest in new subscription-based features on the go and vice versa—downgrade services as the need for them reduces.
5. Flexible access configurations
One of the important advantages of SaaS in cloud computing are flexible configurations of the application’s access levels. In other words, you can grant access to properties stored within the app to a specific group of users. For instance, when utilizing Microsoft Office 365 you can share Word documents with specific users, members of your organization only, or anyone with the link.
Key challenges of implementing a SaaS model in cloud computing and how to deal with them
1. Compliance-related issues
Adhering to governmental data protection regulations for your industry is of the utmost importance if we speak about cloud computing and SaaS. However, it might become uneasy if you keep your business data in the service provider's data center. To avoid any compliance-related hindrances, make sure that your outsourcing company has a solid understanding of the data regulation rules for your domain.
2. Low control level
Since the vendor engaged in SaaS in cloud computing takes charge of your data storing, you completely rely on them in terms of cloud security measures and product maintenance. At the same time, in-house applications offer a higher level of control over the processes. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your SaaS management is in the right hands and that your tech partner will be able to manage critical situations that can put data protection at risk. Look for enterprises that use security solutions such as Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB), Cloud Workload Protection (CWP), and Cloud Security Posture Management (CSPM) to monitor activity and enforce security policies. One more aspect that points to the high degree of customer data security is when your vendor’s development team use the latest versions of SaaS frameworks and libraries.
3. System availability
Another challenge related to SaaS in cloud computing is software accessibility. You want a solution that will remain responsive regardless of whether a new system version is being released, or not. Some of the SaaS applications don’t offer full accessibility during the deployment phase. Your task is to find an engineering team that will build a zero-downtime so that you ensure an excellent customer experience.
Who is responsible for the quality of Software as a Service in cloud computing?
To build a robust SaaS application, you need a strong team of tech professionals at every step of SDLC: from Product Discovery to the final release and maintenance. Typically, a SaaS development team consists of:
- Solution architects that work out a technical concept of a solution and make informed decisions concerning the SaaS architecture in cloud computing;
- DevOps experts that integrate all components of your solution and work with servers;
- Cloud software developers that are responsible for writing the code;
- A delivery manager who plays the role of a mediator between a team who develops Software as a Service in cloud computing and a client;
- A project manager that is a key process management figure leading the projects related to SaaS in cloud computing;
- Testers evaluating the performance of SaaS solutions.
Global enterprises that benefited from SaaS in cloud computing with N-iX
N-iX specialists delivered the project to Fluke, a US-based enterprise that supplies professional electronic test tools and software for measuring and condition monitoring.
The client’s main requests were to get better visibility into asset condition and guarantee high performance, customization, and scalability of Fluke solutions. Another challenge was to increase the integrity of their applications with CMMSs such as SAP, Emaint X4/X5, and IBM Maximo.
Our engineering team has provided Fluke with critical asset information in real-time and developed mobile solutions for better asset maintenance. In addition, we have applied the best practices for securing SaaS architecture in cloud computing. N-iX specialists have ensured high-security standards for SaaS solutions by utilizing data encryption both for data in transit and at rest.
As a result, the client was able to reduce unplanned equipment downtime, cut down on maintenance costs, as well as to enhance the performance and scalability of Fluke products. The client also upgraded the security and reliability of their SaaS applications in the cloud.
2. Code Worldwide
Code Worldwide is a UK digital transformation vendor that helps companies improve their marketing strategy through data and technology. The enterprise’s key product is adZU OS—a SaaS web platform for marketing automation that is used by 10,000 businesses in 113 countries.
As for the key project tasks, the client needed to upgrade their solution’s scalability, improve the system’s performance to match the growing number of clients, and enable integration with key technology platforms. The starting point of cooperation with N-iX was the integration of the adZU OS platform and the company’s client system. To do this, our engineers have developed an API and implemented data synchronization. Moreover, the N-iX team integrated the SaaS solution with Facebook and the Google marketing platform. Our developers have also optimized database queries and refactored the front-end part of the solution to improve its performance and scalability.
Another challenge was to ensure the support of a considerable number of tenants, namely, tenant onboarding and setup, issue fixing, deployment, and AWS infrastructure. With the help of N-iX engineers, the company managed to orchestrate the system’s support, set up an effective communication between services, as well as to ensure their stability.
Why rely on N-iX experts to implement your SaaS cloud service model?
- N-iX Cloud team can help you with a smooth transition to Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) business models;
- Our in-house team counts 400+ Cloud experts that specialize in cloud modernization strategy development, infrastructure setup, architecture redesign, migration, and system maintenance;
- N-iX boasts 150+ Cloud specialists certified by industry leaders, such as Google, Microsoft, and AWS;
- We offer a wide range of DevOps services, namely cloud adoption (infrastructure set up, migration, optimization), implementing and streamlining CI/CD processes, security issues detection/prevention (DDOS & intrusion), firewall-as-a-service, and more;
- N-iX has received the Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform Competency status and is a recognized AWS Consulting Partner and a Google Cloud Partner;
- The vendor adheres to security standards and regulations, such as ISO 27001:2013, PCI DSS, ISO 9001:2015, GDPR, and HIPAA.