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Well-known expert on why IT projects fail, CEO of Asuret, a Brookline, MA consultancy that uses specialized tools to measure and detect potential vulnerabilities in projects, programs, and initiatives. Also a popular and prolific blogger, writing the IT Project Failures blog for ZDNet.

3 responses to “Cloud economics: The importance of multi-tenancy”

  1. Vish Agashe


    Excellent Article. I agree with your take that enterprise buyers should focus on features/functions, costs, viability/sustainability of the vendor while making decisions about SaaS purchases rather than going deeper on the architectural aspects such as multi-tenancy.

    I think that as much as Multi-tenancy is a key component in cloud economics, there are other equally critical components such as “Self Service Provisioning and Configuration” (Cost to serve and retain customers), “Innovation at the speed of business…. Delivering product features and functions at much rapid pace than traditional enterprise software vendors did” (customer retention and renewals of customers), “eco-system of partners” (Offering focused/specialized software solutions complementing vendors offering thus reducing cost to develop/serve from the vendor point of view while making best of breed solutions available to customers).

    I would think that some of the above mentioned components should also be carefully looked at by any enterprise buyers while considering SaaS purchases as they will ultimately have impact on many factors highlighted in your conclusion (cost, features, and viability/sustainability).

    My 2 cents…

    Vish Agashe

  2. Sam Bayer

    Multitenancy is the feature. The benefit to the SaaS provider is lower cost and effort of deployment and support. What are the benefits to the customer?

    I would argue that for some applications, especially the hybrid ones that require serious integration with back office systems (like ours), multitenancy is a detractor due to its inability to accommodate individual customizations.

    I believe that with a judicious use of virtualization, good architecture, automated deployment tools and discipline, customers can reap the best of all worlds. The rapidity of deployment of new versions with the personalization associated with local customizations.

    Multitenancy may have launched the SaaS industry, but in the end, it’s too simplistic of an architecture to satisfy the market’s requirements.


  3. Michael Krigsman


    Thanks for commenting and sharing your perspective.

    Whether multi-tenancy is good or bad depends on what you are trying to accomplish. For “pure” SaaS vendors, it’s a necessity to achieve simplicity and the required self-service economics. For hybrids, it’s not sufficiently flexible.

    Kind regards,