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The Case for Cloud-Native SaaS: A Recap from the MACH Alliance Webinar

November 6, 2020

Category: Headless eCommerce

On Tuesday, October 27, 2020 technology leaders from around the globe tuned in to a webinar hosted by the MACH Alliance, a group of independent tech companies dedicated to advocating for open, best-of-breed technology ecosystems. The webinar, The Case for Cloud Native SaaS, included panelists from Four51, Contentstack, Fluent Commerce, and Mindcurv

Across the industry, there is still some confusion surrounding SaaS; what it is, and how you can leverage it. Much of this confusion has come from a concept called “cloudwashing” or the rise in technology vendors claiming their technology is in the Cloud without it being built in the cloud. This webinar aimed to clear the air about what Cloud-Native SaaS really is and the business value, both near term and long term, it can bring. 

Interested in learning more about the Cloud-Native SaaS? Four51 CTO, Steve Davis, recently wrote two blog posts that explain everything you need to know. 

3 Key Takeaways from the Webinar and What you Should Know About Cloud-Native SaaS

  1. There is a difference between “Old SaaS” and “New SaaS” and there is a business value associated with new SaaS. 

The first step in understanding the differences between “old SaaS” and “new SaaS” is understanding what SaaS, in general, is. SaaS is a software licensing and distribution model that’s primarily made available through a browser. A lot of the products that are used today may not even be thought of as SaaS even though they are. The difference comes from how the technology is delivered to you. 

The real business value of “new SaaS” comes from the fact that, by definition, there are no versions or upgrades of SaaS and you are constantly leveraging the native features and functionality of the technology. As the technology vendor continues to innovate, you have instant access to those features. Additionally, because there are no versions of SaaS, you don’t need to go through the dreaded software upgrade projects that take up so much time, budget and resources. The lack of versions or upgrades associated with SaaS allows your business to keep up with rapidly changing markets. 

  1. Modern SaaS tools are more than just the subscription pricing model. 

A common misconception is that businesses are only choosing SaaS for its subscription pricing model and if you are talking about the Microsoft Office’s of the world, that might be true. However, enterprise SaaS and Cloud-Native SaaS are about so much more than their pricing. These technologies are able to carry enterprise level business processes and can help generate revenue. The benefits that come with the Cloud-Native SaaS model are extensive. 

The two main benefits of Cloud-Native SaaS model are the ease of doing business and the additional functionality that you get from the platform. The ease of doing business comes from the simplification of licensing and purchase. With SaaS, you remove the lengthy and cumbersome negotiations traditionally associated with purchasing software. The additional functionality comes from the simplification of delivery associated with SaaS. This includes scalability, outsourced hosting, management of operations, and security. 

  1. There are risks associated with not choosing true Cloud-Native SaaS.

Today, more and more technology vendors are offering SaaS that is “in the cloud.” What these vendors have essentially done is taken a traditional, on-premise software and moved it to the cloud and in turn, they are providing a managed service. Just because this type of SaaS is not cloud-native doesn’t mean that it won’t add value to your business, but you are choosing to not take advantage of the benefits that come with true cloud-native SaaS. 

A commonly overlooked benefit of choosing Cloud-Native SaaS is the cost of future upgrade projects and implementations. And beyond that, evaluating cost of upgrading from “old SaaS” to “new SaaS.” Typically migrating from on-premise software is costly and time consuming, but continuously having to upgrade to the newest version of “old Saas” will cost time, money, and resources as well. A question to ask yourself: what revenue am I going to miss out on while I’m using an old version of this software? How much will another software upgrade cost my business and development team? 

The Case for Cloud-Native SaaS webinar drove home the importance of true Cloud-Native platforms and the impact that it can have on future business success. Businesses looking to tomorrow should be turning to modern technology, like Cloud-Native, MACH architecture for the scale, flexibility, and extensibility you need to meet your business goals.