We are living in a world of acronyms, where it seems everything is being marketed “as a service”. SaaS (software as a service), PaaS (platform as a service, IaaS (infrastructure as a service). It’s true that SaaS has been one of the most disruptive developments in software history. The basic explanation is that a provider hosts software applications on the internet and makes them easily accessible to customers. There are many advantages to this type of software distribution model, including lower costs and the ability for business teams to take advantage of easy to use capabilities. But with so many offerings on the market, how do you choose which solution is right for your business? Here is our take on the five basic attributes any SaaS solution must have:
Interoperability – Enterprises are understandably reluctant to add new applications, which might interfere with the systems already in place. A good SaaS application should be able to seamlessly integrate into the existing ecosystem, whether it is to receive data (ERP, CRM) or push out information (distributors, retailers etc).
Extensibility – The real power of SaaS apps comes from the ability to serve many enterprises which are of different sizes but also at different points in their maturation. The ability to let these enterprises transition to a higher maturity level and take advantage of more advanced features is a crucial feature of SaaS apps that wish to capture the market.
Scalability – Rather than being built for peak load, solutions need to be elastic. They need to be able to scale up during the peak load and then down back to normal during normal hours. Otherwise, the cost of infrastructure for peak load will not be sustainable. This scalability can only be fully implemented with software built explicitly for the cloud.
Security – As cloud resources have multiple virtual machines as a part of virtualization, the risk of hacking increases significantly. Loose audit rules and the ability to access SaaS apps from anywhere add create insecure endpoints accessing the system. Therefore, implementing strong security measures will enable customers to adopt SaaS apps at a faster scale.
Prediction and machine learning – As large organizations are already generating a huge amount of data, it is easy to train the model based on machine learning in the cloud. The ability to predict outcomes will significantly set apart any application from its competitors.
Master Data Management (MDM) has traditionally been the domain of the IT department within organizations and was almost always an on premise only solution. It also almost exclusively catered to larger enterprises that demanded a personalized solution which meant longer implementation cycles. That is all changing and we now see an evolution of MDM being offered in a SaaS model. Modern MDM that is SaaS based incorporates newer technologies like machine learning to give better business recommendations and can be implemented faster to allow enterprises to realize value right away. Learn more about the Riversand MDM SaaS solution here (free download).