Companies are no longer dependent on software that needs to be installed and activated with a license key; software-as-a-service (SaaS) has changed the way we access and use software applications. The same model of subscription-based services has been replicated across the IT landscape. Now we have infrastructure-as-a-service for compute, print, and storage, while platform-as-a-service is used for application development and middleware storage.
How many SaaS applications do you use for work on a daily or weekly basis? I use Office365 and Zoom for communication, Okta manages my identity and single sign-on to the various applications, I rely on ADP and Jobvite for employee and personnel tasks, and my expense reports are submitted through Expensify. This is only a small fraction of the SaaS applications in use at Catchpoint; co-workers are using Salesforce, Marketo, and Zendesk, to name just a few.
In the State of the SaaS-Powered Workplace, Better Cloud surveyed over 1,800 IT professionals to understand the challenges that SaaS presents in the workplace. The average number of SaaS applications used by organizations doubled from 8 to 16 in two years, and 73% of organizations stated that nearly all of their applications would be SaaS by 2020. Those companies that are currently running primarily on SaaS use an average of 34 different SaaS applications. That’s a lot of SaaS.
Savings in capital expenditures and administrative overhead, plus gains in flexibility, agility, and capabilities will continue to make cloud-based IT-as-a-Service a viable alternative to traditional on-premises IT. But there are also challenges that come with a reliance on SaaS solutions.
Organizations are starting to change the way IT does its job, with administration and management of SaaS applications playing a much more prominent role. This has led to companies re-examining the roles, responsibilities, and processes to adapt to the growth of SaaS. The monitoring strategy is one process that can’t be overlooked when it comes to the management of these SaaS applications.
Security and service reliability are the most important criteria when organizations opt for IT-as-a-Service. The service provider is expected to maintain excellent service levels, which facilitate positive end user experience. This makes it necessary to implement a service level agreement (SLA). SLAs can specify what services the provider will furnish, the availability and uptime of those services, application or service response time and other specific performance benchmarks, and the number of concurrent users that can be supported. Service agreements may also include a provision for notification schedules in case of maintenance windows or scheduled outages, as well as promised help desk response and resolution times.
Organizations need a way to monitor the last mile of service delivery and ensure the service provider does not breach the SLA. Measuring performance from the end user’s perspective can identify potential performance issues. Receiving alerts of performance degradation outages before employees are impacted and sharing that information with providers can lead to quicker problem resolution.
Enterprise nodes from Catchpoint – whether they consume points or have a monthly fee – give companies the flexibility to monitor SaaS applications from the locations that matter most, such as branch offices, retail locations, data centers, and even airplanes or buses. Enterprise nodes are connected to Catchpoint’s globally distributed Command and Control systems for scheduling tests and logging metrics captured during test runs, just like our synthetic testing. Deploying an Enterprise Node in your office provides deep visibility into the performance, availability, and reliability of your SaaS applications for your employees, thereby eliminating some of the blind spots inherent with SaaS.
In addition to monitoring the performance of SaaS applications, Enterprise nodes can also be used to:
- Validate first mile and data center performance
- Monitor performance of non-SaaS applications used by employees
- Improve application and website quality by discovering issues in Development and QA environments prior to deployment
- Monitor external API dependencies
- Test CDN edge server performance
To learn more about monitoring your SaaS applications with Enterprise nodes, contact your customer success manager.