Executive Viewpoint 2013 Prediction: Corent Technology
Prediction #1: SaaS Providers Will Increasingly Start with an Isolated Tenancy Model
The key trend of ISVs becoming SaaS providers instead of, or in addition to, software providers will continue to accelerate. That is not a surprise given the rise of the SaaS business model. The proportion of ISVs who go to market as SaaS using an isolated tenancy model will increase. By going into the SaaS market with an isolated tenancy model, software providers can mitigate their risk and investment by avoiding the expense of a transformation of their software to support multi-tenancy. As the SaaS business expands verifies that they can penetrate the SaaS marketplace, they will gravitate towards making the investment to transform their software to support multi-tenancy. This will require an approach that enables the management and operations platform for SaaS to be capable of handling tenants in any tenancy model throughout the transition.
Prediction #2: Multiple Tenancy Model Support Will Become the Norm for SaaS
As SaaS providers penetrate the market they will prefer to use an approach that allows them to maintain the ability to support legacy customers and their application customizations by allowing them to become tenants with their own isolated tenancy model instances that are provisioned and managed as part of the overall suite of SaaS application offerings. Hybrid approaches in which some tenants are using the isolated tenancy model, and others a multi-tenant model will become the norm.
Prediction #3: Software Vendors Adopt SaaS Enablement Technologies
The ISVs who are transforming themselves to be SaaS providers will increasingly look for SaaS operations and management capabilities as part of, or as an augmentation to, the cloud PaaS capabilities to enable the SaaS specific business functions, rather than developing those capabilities on top of their own applications. This is primarily a function of speeding time to market and keeping focus on core application/industry competencies, rather than attempting to build a SaaS management and operations infrastructure themselves. SaaS providers have additional responsibilities over their prior role as software vendors, and must be able to provision and manage their tenants, define and manage subscription offerings, monitor and report operational status, perform metering and billing functions, and upgrade the tenant applications, often across heterogeneous environments and often multiple clouds. The buy vs. build decision for those critical capabilities needed by SaaS providers, now that they are doing the day to day operations and management, will tilt towards buy.
Prediction #4: SaaS Becomes Multi-Cloud and Multi-Geography
The ability to manage a SaaS environment that extends across multiple public, private or hybrid clouds will become increasingly important. Since SaaS offerings are inherently worldwide, it becomes advantageous to be able to centrally manage tenants, while locating applications geographically in order to provide minimal network lag time for customers. This capability will also be critical for locating instances of applications and their data in countries that impose compliance or other legal restrictions on the location of customer (tenant) data.