Cloud Migration Manual: The Adjustment to SaaS Model

Moving to SaaS software is a huge step to take, and it requires deep analysis and proper process setup. This post intends to guide you on how to move to SaaS.

What Is SaaS App?

In a nutshell, SaaS stands for Software-as-a-Service and clearly means that the application is provided as a service, not a standalone application. In fact, it is a cloud-based app that can be mainly used thanks to the online connection through an internet browser or similar platforms.

Such an approach is growing its popularity recently, allowing it to cut some expenses and potentially increase the target audience. Actually, SaaS technologies are mostly beneficial both to the developers and the users. First of all, the cloud-based format allows avoiding buying and supporting servers and other hardware required to maintain the app. Developers simply rent needed technologies from the provider. Therefore, a lot of additional expenses and resources can be saved and spent on improving the software itself.

From the customer perspective, SaaS has some benefits too. For instance, sometimes they can use a browser instead of a standalone app, saving additional device memory. Also, all the updates are performed automatically on the server side, so the users will get an instantly upgraded service with new features or functionality. Therefore, all they need to take care of - is a stable internet connection in order to have a correctly working app or service. 

What Is the Difference Between Traditional and SaaS App?

As was mentioned before, the main difference between these two types is their basement. In other words, they differ in how they are distributed and hosted. Yet, this distinction results in other differences.

For instance, Software-as-a-Service means that the desired app, architecture, or software is can be bought or rented for a certain amount of time. It means that the customer can get a ready-to-use solution that does not require any additional actions or development from scratch, “you buy it - you use it” - is the slogan for SaaS we propose. 

The final distinction is the online mode. While most SaaS solutions require a stable internet connection for correct working, traditional apps can be used online and offline. Hence, they are less dependent on the network connection. Frankly, there are some alternative SaaS, which is able to work without an internet connection, however, it is not the main topic of today’s article. 

So, after we described the specifics of the SaaS technology, briefly explained the benefits of such distribution and hosting methods, and considered the main differences between Traditional and SaaS apps, it is just time to explain how to migrate from one to another. 

How to Migrate?

Consider if Your App Is Ready for Migration

First of all, obviously, you have to examine if your software, as well as users, are ready for such a move. Apart from general questions about your motivation and capabilities to perform such a transfer and if your users will accept such a move, there are also some practical points worth considering.

For example, in case you want to have full control over your data - you would like to keep a traditional architecture. Basically, SaaS implies that various third-party companies and providers can require access to such data as well. Additionally, your future providers will be able to perform various updates, which may result in losing some data.

Alternatively, you have to be able to provide solid full-time support. Such architecture is not cheap, most likely it will impact the cost of the services for the end-users. Therefore, your customers will definitely require advanced support and the best product quality possible. As a result, try to consider and calculate if you will be able to provide such high demands physically. 

Finally, you have to understand that SaaS is oriented toward long-term cooperation. Thus,  you will probably have to require your users to pay in advance. Yet, if your audience is using your product for short-term actions, they will unlikely keep using your app and find alternatives that meet your requirements. So, you have to take into account the term of using your app first. 

Set a Road Map and Prepare to Change App

During this stage, you will need to count all your belongings both virtual and physical. In other words, you will have to conduct an inventory and figure out how much hardware you have, what features you provide, and what support. Also, you can consider what shall you keep and what you can get rid of. 

After that, you will have to plan the required processes and actions you have to perform. Make some research on how exactly your services interact, examine the market you are aiming at, etc. After you have gathered all the needed stats and got acquainted with them, you are free to estimate the main transfer stage and how much time will it take to switch to the SaaS architecture.

Find Your SaaS Provider

Then, before an actual transfer begins, find the SaaS provider that meets your requirements. At this moment, the best solution is to consult with various specialists and providers in order not to miss anything and find a host that will be the best solution specifically for your case. In fact, there are differences between the SaaS technologies, and not all of them will suit your product. 

Outline the Data Migration Process

When migrating your application to a prototype, tenant data representation, compression, and transfer are critical. Tenant data storage options come in a range of shapes and sizes, each with its own set of pros and cons. The method through which you migrate will be influenced by the solution you choose. There are three of them:

  • Each SaaS user (tenant) has its own dedicated server or infrastructure in a single-tenant architecture. This approach requires no reworking (essentially, the architecture remains the same) and provides end-users with various benefits, including data security and customization capabilities.
  • A layered migration model implies that your solution is migrated layer by layer. With this method, you may gradually transition layers to a shared multi-tenant architecture while keeping other levels single-tenant.
  • Data storage is converted to a multi-tenant scheme in a data migration model, while the other layers use a single-tenant architecture.

Remember that cloud data storage offers up endless possibilities, and cloud integration services are growing to suit those demands, especially cloud storage providers that offer as-a-service solutions for particular hybrid API integration challenges.


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Relevant Blogs:

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Automating Microservices on AWS 

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Five Minute Cloud Lambda Function

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