I have been noticing an increasing number of legacy software vendors claiming to offer “SaaS Solutions”, giving a false impression to prospects and customers that they are enjoying a “true” multi-tenant SaaS solution experience. Far from it! In reality, these vendors are Single-tenant software providers.
If you are not familiar with the terminology and need to know the difference between multitenant vs single-tenant system, there are hundreds of resources on the topic and the pros & cons of each. This was defined years ago and multi-tenant systems came out on top as the clear winner on almost all counts.
This article will instead focus on “Single-tenant” vendors that claim to provide SaaS solutions to make it look like they are providing the full multitenancy SaaS experience when they are not. If your system is SaaS but is from a single-tenant vendor, then you are not getting all the advantages of a true SaaS Multi-tenant solution, here is why:
1. True SaaS is designed and architected for self-serve and instant time to value, while “SaaS-ifying” or hosted solutions by single-tenant vendors requires setup and provisioning of servers, this wipes out the time to value proposition, adds costs, and requires IT and Cloud expertise from both the vendor and the customer.
2. Scalability, True Multi-tenant solutions are set up and geared to support thousands if not millions of users in terms of deployed resources, whereas “Hosted” Single Tenant SaaS solutions are provisioned to only serve that one customer, relying on requirements set when buying the instance, leading to nearly continuous slow performance and scalability nightmares.
3. True Multi-tenant SaaS solutions are built with cloud security in mind from the start, otherwise they can’t convince anyone to give up their data centers and IT control, whereas Hosted Single Tenant Solutions don’t, as they were built to be hosted in an on-premise server and will require a lot of direct attention and additional security measures to be performed separately, adding more to the risk, agony, and cost factors.
4. Upgrades: If you suffer every time you want to go to the latest release and it takes you more than a couple of hours, then you are not on a true multitenant SaaS. True Multi-tenant improvements and fixes are pushed to one environment once and hence allowing all customers to enjoy features much quicker and with very minimal scheduled downtime, Single-tenant Hosted solutions, on the other hand, need to be done separately for each customer, after collecting information about configurations each customer has made with an effort to customize a patch/upgrade that will end up causing delays, limiting innovation, and costing customers more money.
If you are in the process of purchasing a SaaS EQMS/EHS system, make sure you ask your vendor if their system is a “True” multi-tenant system, meaning that there is one instance of the software serving all customers, one that enjoys all of the benefits of being multitenant, and not what some vendors try to fake, offering a single-tenant instance serving a single customer or in some cases a handful, where they make you share resources with two to four other customers on one cloud server to cut their costs.
If you are already using a legacy single-tenant hosted “wannabe” multi-tenant system, then you should be able to relate to some or all of the issues I mentioned, therefore, do your company and users a favor and plan your next move to “True” multitenancy SaaS.