In the enterprise software industry’s rush to fulfill rising demand, some providers may skip requirements that are critical to delivering the true benefits of cloud applications. Industry pioneers for cloud applications that use the software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model know shortcuts don’t exist. Applications, architectures, and processes must be built from the ground up to produce superior, modern alternatives to the traditional on-premise software and maintenance model.
In a research paper on Cloud Applications, Stan Swete and Steven John from Workday, outline the following points as the 10 critical requirements of cloud computing to help organizations distinguish the difference between real and fake cloud applications. If cloud applications and their providers do not meet the following requirements, it’s unlikely they can deliver the full benefits of modern SaaS. So, watch out!
#1 – Providing True Multi-tenancy
The truth is that multi-tenancy is the only proven SaaS delivery architecture that eliminates many of the problems created by the traditional software licensing and upgrade model, so it’s extremely valuable to know whether the provider uses a multi-tenant architecture.
#2 – Regularly Delivered, Vendor-Managed Updates
To realize the true cost benefits of SaaS, the provider should be managing all of those updates at no additional charge, and customers should be able to adopt the latest capabilities in the updates on their own timelines.
#3 – Seamless Integration On Demand
A cloud application provider worth doing business with will share the burden of integration with its customers versus leaving them on their own.
#4 – Business Driven Configurability
A configurable cloud application should include a catalog of choices in business processes that are designed to meet the needs of any organization.
#5 – World-Class Data Center and Security
A cloud application provider should be able to offer world-class security and data privacy better than its customers can do on their own, and at no additional cost. Processes and policies should encompass physical, network, application, and data-level security, as well as full back-up and disaster recovery.
#6 – A High-performance Sustainable Infrastructure
The cloud application provider should maintain a high-performance IT infrastructure, which includes the data centers and databases, operating systems, networks, and storage systems used to run cloud applications and manage customer data.
#7 – Predictable Total Cost of Ownership Model
There should be no surprise costs with cloud applications. Implementation costs should be predictable, and subscription-based pricing should be transparent with no hidden fees.
#8 – Faster Deployment
Since cloud applications don’t require investments and installation of hardware and software, organizations should be able to get them running and productive in a fraction of the time compared with on-premise software.
#9 – Control
Cloud applications should allow organizations complete control of their data, even though it is located off premise.
#10 – Liberation from Non-Strategic IT Issues
Cloud applications should free the higher management and their teams from time and energy spent on non-strategic, back-office IT operations and software coding.