Demystifying multitenancy: 4 keys to saving time and money

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<< Demystifying multitenancy: Introduction

<< Demystifying multitenancy I: The technology behind a multitenant system

<< Demystifying multitenancy II: Configuration and maintenance 

<< Demystifying multitenancy III: How does this technology contribute to the HR management of your business

Do you want to save time and money in your company? Seriously consider systems using multitenancy technology. In our first two articles we unraveled the mysteries behind this model, and in the third one, we  showed how it is efficient as a technology base for HR software. In this new post here, we will give you four keys on how the  efficiency of multitenancy allows companies to save time and cut costs in managing resources.

Processes: From a business perspective, processes drive businesses and not all organizations have the same processes; however they may have many similar ones. So how do software providers offer standard processes that also lend themselves to specific differences that customers need? The beauty of multitenancy systems is that they do just that: they can abstract and isolate processes and data, while also loosely coupling them for this purpose. General processes to specialized versions of the same process can live side by side and even be changed easily without adversely affecting one another. So, if for your company you choose to adapt specific parts of some of the global processes defined in a standard product based on multitenancy, it’s no problem. You can replace these parts for your company without affecting any other logic elsewhere. This kind of magic lets the analyst consider adapting a process free of the headache of checking and controlling the impact on dependencies, etc. This obviously saves enormous implementation costs and speeds up development significantly.

Configuration: It is very common for big organizations to fine tune many configuration parameters of standard software to suit their particular needs. The challenge is this configuration should be flexible enough so that patterns found in other big companies can be reused. It is interesting to be able to do some even finer tuning to change a subset of configuration parameters, without losing general configuration changes. For example, if there’s a new global parameter in the latest update, you can use it for your organization and also possibly override it at some particular subsidiary or department level. And if that global parameter changes again later for some reason, your override remains intact. Clearly this kind of superior flexibility—only possible in multitenant environments—also delivers substantial cost savings at configuration time, precisely because the multitenant system is designed to evolve and grow through adopting patterns and rules, as well as collectively sharing best practices with more and more customers.

Maintenance: This is probably the most important feature of a multitenant system. thesetype of systems provide a high level of flexibility for defining new features, configuring them, while sharing knowledge and processes across a large number of companies. In other systems this can spin out of control when the volume of customers grows and maintenance becomes cumbersome. The solution to this problem is multitenancy. When reusing components in a multitenant system, the maintenance effort falls dramatically, cutting hours and hours of fixing, adapting and tweaking the software to suit your organizational needs.  In a pure multitenant environment, the bottom line is that the money you pay scales proportionally according to the number of new features developed, and maintenance effort of these new features is just the merest fraction. In other words, you pay for new developments and the ratio for new features and maintenance is very low.

Usability: Another typical software requirement is that each customer wants specific features and configuration that affect the overall usability. This is not exactly business logic, since the processes underneath are essentially identical. Instead this is about the way end users perceive the application which looks quite different depending on the customer connected to the system. Usability here governs a wide range of features, from changing simple colors and icons through to defining a variable number of extra fields, or the type of security to be applied to low level components. All these type of requirements are easily managed in a multitenant environment, where again we can share and reuse patterns. These usability features are horizontal and available across the entire system which keeps the business logic isolated from such usability requirements.

Multitenancy delivers unique keys for greater efficiency and cost savings: isolated processes, flexible configuration, low maintenance and adaptable usability. Customers should seek out systems that leverage multitenancy if they want to save time and money, and still enjoy functionally rich software tailored to their specific business requirements.

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