Welcome to part three of our six-part series examining the advantages cloud native development conveys to SaaS providers. In part one, we took a brief look back at the obstacles caused by monolithic legacy apps and looked at the first cloud native benefit: reduced barriers to entry. In part two, we considered the many benefits of specialization of labor.
SaaS Applications Enable Organizations to Construct Best of Breed Environments
Leveraging SaaS applications enables organizations to construct a “best of breed” infrastructure, comprised of the best tools for each use case, from contact center management, to accounting and sales automation. This has driven organizations to adopt an increasing quantity of apps. A 2021 report showed that businesses use an average of 80 IT-sanctioned SaaS apps, a 5x increase in just three years and a 10x increase since 2015.
Discussing lessons learned from his SaaSOps journey, Marques Stewart, Senior Director, Network & SaaS Operations at Achievement First, stated, “The beauty of a best-in-breed SaaS stack is that, while giving up control, IT teams are able to focus on what they do best, and it keeps them engaged. SaaS providers are always innovating, bringing on features you may want or ones you’ve never thought of. It’s important to be willing to accept that change and be able to change quickly.”
For companies developing SaaS apps, there are multiple parallels with this configuration and the benefits it delivers. Cloud native development enables you to more easily select the best of breed for your individual applications components.
Cornucopia of Technology for the Taking
According to Gartner, Amazon Web Services has been a leader in the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market for 13 years with 38.9% market share in 2021. As the market leader, AWS has hundreds of products and pre-built microservices in their ecosystem. All that is required of SaaS providers is to select their preferred best of breed capabilities and connect them together.
While “paradigm shift” may be an overused platitude, it’s an accurate descriptor here. With microservices, all of sudden your work is not about building all the components, but connecting the dots with components that already exist. This is infinitely easier and faster, which we’ll delve into in part five of this series, “Easier Growth.”
AWS Lambda Best of Breed Success Case
Qrvey was founded in 2016 by a team of technologists with decades of development experience – experience that predates the existence of microservices. Unlike some tech companies, Qrvey ‘eats our own dog food.’ We don’t just promote microservices, we use them ourselves.
Our platform is serverless running on AWS Lambda. We selected Lambda because of the efficiency and power of the serverless model. For most server-based applications, the servers typically operate at only 10% to 20% capacity. The actual unused capacity is higher yet, since you must also have failover or redundancy environments setup. While guaranteeing multiple 9s of uptime is vital, the reality is that those servers merely sit there waiting for a failover or disaster event to be invoked. This all equates to a substantial amount of computing resources that remain unused the vast majority of the time – yet you’re still paying for it all.
By switching to Lambda, we’re able to run all of our necessary functions fully on-demand, whether it’s data processing and transformations, analytic functions, or automation business logic. Lambda allows Qrvey to automatically provision just the compute resources needed for the task to complete. Resiliency is handled with built-in fault tolerance.
This is a complete game changer for our customers since, particularly in a deployed model, we can help them optimize their TCO as well. This infrastructure also benefits Qrvey by allowing us to implement best of breed technologies to support different functionalities. We can leverage different languages or optimization techniques where necessary, and incorporate components like AWS Comprehend for natural language and AWS Rekognition for image and video processing.
Ensure they All Play Nicely Together
The ability to select from a library of excellent components is definitely a plus – hence why we’ve listed it as benefit #3 of cloud native architecture.
DevOps must adapt to this, which requires specialized skill sets and integration of complex service meshes, load balancers, API gateways and network/firewall automation tools. SAP author Sanjay Patil writes that if the teams in charge of microservices work independently, it may lead to overall inefficient designs, complex operations, and technological bloat.
This leads us to our tip:
TOP TIP: Select the right tool for each job.
With cloud native development, each service can essentially be independent, enabling even the technology to be different. The independence of cloud native components provides product teams with the opportunity to build features leveraging the right tech for each job. This can mean picking from existing cloud services, leveraging other cloud services, or even finding expertise among a wide variety of 3rd party vendors.
Don’t forget this freedom. Take advantage of this opportunity and evaluate your options. Start by defining your objectives then establishing evaluation criteria so you can select the best possible solution to meet each requirement.
At Qrvey, we like to think we’re the best of breed when it comes to analytics. We allow SaaS companies to create richer products and bring them to market faster, while lowering development and deployment costs. Register for our daily demo to see our embedded analytics in action.