Big SaaS-pectations


Nathan Godsall, Director of Solutions Engineering, Riverbed APJ

When speaking to customers at the moment, I often catch myself drawing comparisons between their networking issues and luxury cars.

I find the similarities between a 40-year-old Holden Camry and a lagging on-premises network rather uncanny. What I’m in the business of doing is figuring out how even the most traditional, tech-resistant businesses can feel like their network drives like a Ferrari.

The main way organisations are looking to rev the engine and accelerate their productivity is through software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.

According to Riverbed’s Future of Work Global Survey 2020, 42 per cent of business leaders globally put “increasing the use of cloud services or SaaS apps” as their top priority for the next two years.

The current crisis has meant businesses are leaning on the likes of Office 365, Microsoft Teams and other cloud platforms to stay connected and maintain performance throughout extreme disruption.

It’s no surprise then that the public cloud services market has grown an overall 6.3% in the past year, one of the few ICT sectors that is experiencing growth, according to a recent Gartner report.

Businesses are moving away from traditional on-premise software in favour of installing multiple SaaS applications that provide services ranging from finance to HR, sales and more. As remote work proves itself to not be a phase, but rather a movement, SaaS applications are going to continue to take charge.

The cloud sector will only continue to grow and vendors will only continue to innovate, creating systems and platforms that accommodate for the new normal and create as seamless an experience for workers, no matter where they are logging in from. As the conveyor belt of shiny new SaaS platforms continues to churn out enticing new capabilities, businesses need to prioritise how they are organising their applications to ensure both their employees and customers high expectations are met.

A swing and a miss

In a recent report by ESG and Riverbed, it was revealed that 73 per cent of global organisations are experiencing poor SaaS performance on a monthly basis, with 90 per cent indicating that this performance degradation is impacting their business.

With the exorbitant spend going into these platforms, this simply should not be the case.

Diagnosing the problem can be tricky. It could be one of many reasons and often the cause of poor performance isn’t clear.

Businesses might try short term solutions, such as adding more bandwidth, instead of fixing the underlying problems that come with an old school or overcrowded network. By this point, it’s too late, you’ve missed the shot. When employees are forced to make up for lost time caused by poorly performing applications, this hurts productivity and minimises the opportunity for business growth.

The inconvenient truth

This doesn’t mean businesses should shy away from a cloud-centric future but it does show why businesses should be clear about the potential impact that moving applications to the cloud can have on overall performance. Doing so will put you in a better place to develop a network plan that ensures nothing is compromised.

The current state of the world is already taking a toll on productivity and profitability and businesses should not let preventable obstacles take a toll too. Businesses can, and should, take back control over their cloud performance. Tools like our very own SaaS Accelerator help to do just that – improving performance by 8-10 times.

Faster SaaS apps mean less time waiting and more time creating. It means employees can spend more time solving problems, collaborating, and engaging with clients. It could mean the difference between watching the spinning wheel at your desk or logging off early to catch the sunset or cook dinner for the family.

From a customer perspective, faster SaaS could be the cornerstone to a major sale – businesses should never underestimate the value of a swift customer experience on purchasing propensity and NPS (Net Promoter Score).

In today’s cloud-first digital age, it is finally possible to have your cake and eat it too. You can meet employee, customer and stakeholder expectations without paying through the nose for it, driving that Holden Camry like a Ferrari.


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