How Serverless Technology Eases Deployment & Management of SaaS Apps

AWS microservices, serverless architectures, and supporting services have helped SaaS companies improve their products, roadmaps, and customer experiences. This can also reduce costs and make maintenance easier. Here, we discuss how to include these functions in your serverless setup and benefits.

The Birth of Cloud Computing

Few might remember that Inc. was once an online bookstore. AWS, launched in 2006, claims credit for creating the concept of public cloud computing.

AWS remains the top player, with a 15% rise in sales to $127.1 billion in Q3 2022. According to estimates from technology industry researcher Gartner, AWS commands about 39% of the cloud infrastructure market in 2021.

This scale enables the cloud computing giant to continually innovate, delivering new features on a near-daily basis. A tech CEO once said that when AWS announces new free features, it can harm small businesses and make entrepreneurs upset. The introduction of serverless functionality is yet another way AWS has been a leading innovator.

The Benefits of Serverless Infrastructure

Serverless Infrastructure fundamentally alters what you’re renting from your cloud provider. You no longer need to own -or even rent- server capacity, which means you no longer have to pay for idle. For an in-depth look at Serverless technology and architectures, read our complete guide on what is serverless software development.

Better yet, you don’t have to manage it. Letting your cloud provider handle these tasks allows your team to concentrate on valuable activities for your organization. There’s no need for your developers to code in the scalability logic, which also reduces the application’s complexity. Combined, this enables serverless to deliver minimal DevOps, rapid feature velocity, and scalability that’s limitless and automatic.

Serverless = Manifestation of the Full Potential of Cloud

The cloud is meant to be serverless. Companies can focus on their application and customer value. The cloud provider takes care of all the necessary management, configuration, and updates. Serverless minimizes DevOps while enabling the rapid release of new features.

Serverless benefits are useless if you can’t use them or if you have to rebuild your app completely to release updates.

However, leveraging AWS to embed advanced analytics brings numerous advantages to SaaS providers.

1.) Works Well with Existing Architecture

Rather than provisioning servers to scale to the maximum capacity required, serverless architecture changes the entire equation. Serverless applications consist of independently scalable and managed functions, allowing you to utilize best-of-breed technology. With the frequent launch of new services within the AWS ecosystem, you can take advantage of the many options.

AWS is also particularly advantageous for embedding advanced analytics. Serverless components are great for meeting SaaS companies’ specific needs, like data security and governance. Ideally, SaaS vendors should keep data within their environment rather than send it to a third party.

If your SaaS application needs multi-tenancy, your analytics must work with your architecture, using SSO to enable user/tenant-based security. Row-level security is also a must. With microservices, you can integrate analytics functionality into your workloads without any additional integration.

SaaS providers often require multiple environments to support the development lifecycle.

2.) No Need for In-House Expertise

Embedding analytics alleviates the need for in-house expertise in data visualization, analytics, etc. Your company doesn’t need BI expertise anymore. With self-service analytics, your end users can also contribute their expertise.

Users can create their own analytics, increasing the value and usefulness of your app. As your users experience increased benefits to their organization, you can also boost customer retention. The ability to bring in both semi and unstructured data adds further value and growth potential.

Embedding analytics of a third-party vendor also lets your team focus on your core competencies. Dedicate time and energy to enhancing your app’s unique value, and expanding your competitive advantage.

Using embedded analytics saves time and money by removing the need to hire and keep a team of analytics experts. Using analytics can save money by avoiding the need to hire or outsource experienced developers with analytics skills.

Finally, developing something doesn’t just cost money upfront. Ultimately owning your analytics component requires maintaining it long term, adding additional costs.

Maintenance is one less thing to worry about when you use a third party. If your vendor provides a clear plan, your team won’t need to spend time maintaining and improving analytics. This will allow them to focus on adding value.

3.) Manageable Cost

AWS describes their pricing as, “similar to how you pay for utilities like water and electricity. You only pay for what you use and there are no extra charges or fees when you stop using the services.

For serverless components in particular, the biggest source of cost savings is the precise alignment between use and fees. This cost reduction is particularly profound with sporadic usage patterns. Why should you pay for nights, weekends, and holidays if you mainly use your application for business during business hours? B2B or not, few applications have consistently heavy usage 24/7/365.

Instead of using multiple servers that are always on, serverless and microservices create a more spread-out architecture. This architecture can grow when necessary and then shrink back down automatically.

You must build embedded functionality for your cloud.

Development teams are increasingly building new applications leveraging serverless, as well as modernizing existing apps. If your app is cloud-native, any functionality you embed must work within this structure so you can continue to attain these cloud benefits.

A monolithic model can sabotage your cloud-native infrastructure in numerous ways. For example, you could go back to paying for idle and have unnecessary additional costs burdening you. By embedding well-architected components into your well-architected app, the incremental cost will be minimal.

For these reasons and many others, Qrvey took a technology leadership approach using serverless technology from AWS to underpin Qrvey’s embedded analytics solution. Ultimately, the end-user experience is what matters most, but managing an OEM solution is also a requirement to deliver and support better experiences. 

Serverless technology offers that forward-thinking, modern technology stack that is vital to empowering SaaS companies to offer advanced and customizable solutions within their SaaS applications.

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