Some of today's software product companies (especially in the EQMS space) are “cloud washing” their legacy systems (adding the word cloud to old products) and promoting their hosted systems as the real thing. Simply because they’re using a SaaS business model of pay per-month-per-user, these companies are positioning their products as cloud software. In reality though – these are legacy systems that are not built from the ground up for cloud. These are what we call ‘fake cloud’ solutions.
In the world of enterprise software, it has become an increasingly important subject to differentiate between Real and Fake Clouds.
In the first article of this blog series (give link), we focused on the inherent advantages of building a real cloud-based software product. These products are flexible, truly modern, and digitally connected. Importantly, product upgrades in the case of 'Real Cloud’ solutions are simple and straightforward.
However, let us take a step back here. Why are companies struggling with fake cloud solutions?
For one, legacy software players are 'cloud washing' existing on-premise software and calling them cloud-based software through a cloud access model.
‘Cloud washed’ or ‘fake cloud’ solutions have none of the inherent advantages of a real cloud solution. They may have a pay ‘per-user, per-month' business model, but the disadvantages of fake cloud are many:
- Multiple Code Base/Databases: Companies that offer 'cloud washed' software maintain multiple application code base and databases. This makes the upgrade per customer hard and unreliable. This process is time-consuming and unnecessarily expensive.
- Clumsy Bug Fixes/Upgrades: Product upgrades are also cumbersome in the case of 'fake cloud' solutions. Since these are single-tenant systems, the vendor would have to install upgrades one customer at a time. It is almost like using on-premise software (through with a SaaS business model) in this case.
- Difficult to Integrate/Cumbersome Testing: Integration, Collaboration and Workflow Modifications are expensive and painful. The process of software testing is also not easy, almost ensuring a bad experience for the client.
- Not Secure Enough: Additionally, security and privacy are major challenges in the case of fake cloud systems. Consider this. Irrespective of the security framework you follow - PCI-DSS security compliance or EU-US Privacy Shield, for example – in a multi-tenancy product (real cloud-based) this security upgrade or new certification would automatically be a part of an upgrade. This would have to be manual in the case of a 'cloud washed' system.
We could go on and on. However, you get the point.
Just having a SaaS-based business model does not mean your software is cloud-based. Real Cloud solutions take away all the disadvantages of deploying on-premise software or 'cloud washed' software.
Of course, there may be rare instances where on-premise software is the only way to go. But, in most cases, a highly scalable, secure system built on a real cloud platform like Salesforce.com will be the easiest and most cost-effective.
In our next post as part of the 'Real Cloud' series, we'll talk about why this is relevant in the case of an EQMS Solution.