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Seven Benefits of Cloud-Native SaaS

Amidst the chaos of these times, it’s nice to see some things getting simpler. The use of cloud technology has now become mainstream within media companies, and with that the highly customized and complex systems deployed by early adopters are increasingly being retired in favor of off-the-shelf, multi-tenant SaaS, Software as a System solution.

But why the move? There are many business benefits driving the adoption of cloud technology. For example, with cloud-native SaaS, there is no need to deploy or manage software or worry about scaling during peaks, resulting in dramatically lower TCO. But those are just a few benefits. To understand them all, we need a list. Here are seven major benefits of any well-designed cloud-native SaaS solution:

Automatic Upgrades and Maintenance

Cloud-native SaaS products are fully hosted for users in the cloud. Vendors take ultimate responsibility for operation of the environment, managing and maintaining it for users across multiple levels of redundancy with multi-tenant architecture. This gives customers continuous access to the latest product releases without impacting customizations. Your IT team won’t have to worry about managing upgrades or maintaining the software.

Scalability

SaaS products scale according to the load you’re generating, automatically spinning up or down virtual machines and load balancing across multiple instances. Your IT department won’t have to deal with provisioning and managing cloud networking resources — it’s all automatically done for you.

Being able to scale resources to meet demand is a cost-effective way to meet dynamically changing workloads. Basically, you pay for the processing power needed. No more expensive hardware idling or production hold ups because equipment is busy.

Being able to scale resources to meet demand is a cost-effective way to meet dynamically changing workloads. Basically, you pay for the processing power needed. No more expensive hardware idling or production hold ups because equipment is busy.

Automation

Because SaaS begins and ends on the Internet, customers are always connected to SaaS vendors through the product, allowing many labor-intensive tasks and processes to be automated through the network. For example, vendors manage software deployments and upgrades, freeing up IT time, on-premises infrastructure and budget.

Economies-of-scale

Unlike SaaS, on-premises software is typically complex and technically difficult to deploy. This is because each customer’s infrastructure is unique and has to be accommodated. This is onerous to the vendor if it must support multiple types of server and network technologies. With cloud-based software, developers can focus on a standard unified infrastructure.

This simple fact is the root of many benefits of SaaS for businesses, including the ability to take advantage of economies-of-scale. The cost savings that cloud-native, multi-tenant SaaS vendors gain from hundreds, thousands, or even millions of customers served from a common set of software and operations, rather than servicing each multifarious IT system, is huge. And that saving is passed on to customers in software licensing costs, professional services and customizations costs, as well as the ongoing IT overhead.

Flexible Billing

The scalability of SaaS also has an impact on the unique way it’s billed. Often called “pay-per-use” or subscription billing, SaaS automatically tracks how much it’s being used by each customer, and can scale subscriptions up and down in response. This frees IT departments from having to provision enough fixed infrastructure to handle peak loads. Cloud software adjusts to high-usage and low-usage times, so the customer only pays for the resources used.

If you isolate yourself with special-feature software, you are likely missing the way other people are solving the same problems you have, and the intelligence of the many. Rick Clarkson, Chief Strategy Officer at Signiant.

If you isolate yourself with special-feature software, you are likely missing the way other people are solving the same problems you have, and the intelligence of the many. Rick Clarkson, Chief Strategy Officer at Signiant.

On a broader level, the ability to scale infrastructure in harmony with the peaks and valleys of revenue generating activities is often a better business strategy than investing in enough fixed infrastructure to accommodate peak activities.

Global Performance

One of the most obvious benefits of cloud-native SaaS to companies with geographically diverse locations and varying computer systems is its consistent performance no matter where you are in the internet-connected world.

High Availability

Another, often unnoticed benefit — something you hope to never notice — is the lack of downtime with cloud-native SaaS. Note that not all SaaS solutions are created equal. If it wasn’t specifically designed to run on an elastic cloud infrastructure, it might not support high availability.

However, high availability is characteristic of any well-designed SaaS, which automatically switches to standby or redundant servers in case of a failure. This self-healing quality of SaaS is noteworthy. Even if something fails, you’ll still have a functioning system. In fact, you shouldn’t even notice.

Overall, cloud-native SaaS enables simplicity and innovation on two fronts, for customers and for SaaS vendors. Customers enjoy more powerful, better designed software and less upfront investment. Vendors can more rapidly design, get feedback and update software to meet the needs of customers. All in all, it is a far more symbiotic relationship compared to traditional on-premises software. And it is likely that the trend of innovation leading to greater simplicity will continue as more of the media industry expands its reliance on cloud technology.

Editor Note:  For more information on cloud-based SaaS, see the Signiant website.

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