Cloud-based Solutions Rise to the Top in This New Era
The adoption of cloud-based software has transformed the way many companies budget, prioritize, and perform. But what does that really mean? In short, the Cloud shifts hosted data from on-premises servers to remote servers hosted on the internet—in the Cloud. The transition to the Cloud doesn’t look like it’s slowing anytime soon; in fact, the global pandemic has accelerated the transition. Since 2009, cloud computing spending has been reported to grow 4.5 times the rate of IT spending and is expected to grow more than six times the amount of IT spending from 2015 through 20201.
As consumers, most of us have come to rely on cloud-based applications in our personal lives for social media, communications, streaming, and storage. We have reached the tipping point where most companies now rely on the Cloud for most of their core business solutions as well. In 2020, more than one-third of companies’ IT budgets go to cloud computing with 90% of companies running at least one application in the Cloud and 60% of workloads running on a hosted cloud service.1 A growing number of organizations are moving their software systems, like product lifecycle management (PLM) and quality management system (QMS), to take advantage of the many benefits of the architecture.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, many industries are experiencing massive economic impacts. Cloud demand has undoubtedly shifted due to these events. According to a survey by Flexera, 30% of organizations expect to significantly increase the use of cloud technologies, while 50% of small businesses say they would spend slightly more or significantly more on cloud technologies due to the pandemic. Once organizations move to cloud technologies and experience the benefits firsthand, they rarely move back.
The Cloud Basics
Cloud computing has become the more common moniker for Software as a Service (SaaS). Technically, SaaS is the name for a method of software delivery and licensing in which software is accessed online via a subscription, rather than bought and installed on individual computers. We will use “cloud” and “SaaS” interchangeably in this post.
There are two different types of architecture for SaaS solutions:
• Multi-tenant architecture
• Single-tenant architecture
Multi-tenant SaaS is a business structure where many organizations share the same software to save and store data. Multi-tenant SaaS also implies that a single instance of the software and its supporting information is used by multiple customers, though each customer’s data is owned by them and safely protected from other users.
In the single-tenant SaaS environment, each team has a dedicated server and supporting infrastructure for their needs.
One of the most common analogies used to describe the differences between the two is the “real-estate” example. In a multi-tenant environment, all the organizations are in one high-rise building with each operating in its own space while sharing the infrastructure of the larger building. In the single-tenant architecture, each organization has its own office building and the server is the street that all the customers operate from, but the inside of each building, while similar in structure, is unique to them.
Each approach has benefits for businesses, but for most organizations, the benefits of a multi-tenant architecture outweigh the benefits of the single-tenant environment.
1. Lower Costs. Multiple customers in the infrastructure means that the cost for the environment is shared, and those savings are typically transferred to the cost of the software. Similarly, there is less maintenance and the platform is easier to integrate with—saving you time and money over the period of ownership.
2. Scaling. Scaling has fewer implications because new users can access the same software as the original users and capacity can grow as needed.
3. Fewer Maintenance Costs. Customers don’t have to pay expensive fees to keep the software up to date. Maintenance costs are usually associated with a SaaS subscription and aren’t charged per case like with a single-tenant structure.
4. Larger Computing Capacity. The multi-tenant architecture provides organizations with the ability to stay in the same data center and infrastructure. Customers don’t have to worry about adding more server or computing capacity.
5. Better Customer Experience. Cloud platforms offering multi-tenant environments tend to provide high-quality customer service. The architecture supports easy setup and onboarding due to the high volume of customers, which in turn creates a need to ensure each customer has a good experience. The multi-tenant environment is largely the same for each customer, with some optional configurations, making it easier to optimize use.
1. Security. Single-tenant environments host each customer’s data separately from any other customer.
2. Restoration. In a single-tenant environment, customers have more control over backups and recovery as one system is backed up to one dedicated part of a SaaS server.
3. Control of the Environment. The single-tenant architecture may provide more flexibility in terms of customization as well as timing and process to apply upgrades and updates.
Core Cloud Benefits
Regardless of which SaaS architecture is best for your business, the core benefits of cloud technologies far outweigh those of on-premises solutions for most of today’s business needs. As Arena Solutions is the only multi-tenant cloud PLM and QMS software provider in the industry, organizations across the globe are benefiting from both the quality of their solution and the value proposition of the Cloud:
- Access anywhere/anytime
- Flexibility and scalability
- Reduced pressure on the customer’s IT staff
- Improved collaboration and transparency
- Built-in disaster recovery capabilities
- Multilayered security
- Fast deployment
For many companies, any combination of two or three of the above benefits would have a significant positive impact on their business. When you add all the benefits together, the time to move your PLM and QMS to the Cloud is now.
Cloud computing has become essential and ubiquitous in every aspect of our lives. The adoption rates show it is also becoming that way for all types of business applications. And it is time it becomes essential for PLM and QMS as well. As product, quality, and manufacturing teams become more distributed, cloud-based PLM and QMS solutions become even more essential to the speed and quality of product development and introduction in the future. With cloud-based PLM and QMS, you, too, can rise to the top.
Learn more about why cloud infrastructure matters and the value of our architecture.
1 - Statista, Rate of public cloud application services/Software as a Service (SaaS) penetration worldwide in 2015 and 2020, by application type.