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Want your App Delivery to Kick SaaS? Avoiding the Challenges and Pitfall of SaaS Delivery - Part 2

2nd of a 2-part blog post. Read the first one now! It's all about the user experience

At Akamai, our observation through in-depth discussions with our 150+ SaaS Provider customers, and ongoing engagements with analysts and press, is that the best way for SaaS Providers to increase customer retention and minimize churn is to have a maniacal focus on the end-user experience.

Even though the adoption of SaaS apps amongst Enterprises and SMBs is growing at an impressive rate, there are still major concerns that organizations have when consuming SaaS apps. As you can see in the chart below, according to the Exoprise Cloud Trends Survey 2014 of IT and Business Managers, Security, Performance, and Availability are the top 3 concerns that organizations have when considering the adoption of Cloud apps and evaluating potential SaaS vendors. 

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Consumers of SaaS apps want their end-users to be able to access these SaaS apps from any device they are using for work, from anywhere they may be traveling on that given day. The SaaS consumers want to feel confident that their end-users are having a lightening-fast experience, so as not to be wasting the time of their most valuable resource - their employees - by waiting for SaaS apps to load. Security is a no-brainer - SaaS consumers want to know that their SaaS Provider is doing everything possible to ensure the utmost care and protection is being given to their data, which lives in the SaaS Provider's data center. Finally, we've all read the headlines - Cloud-based apps can be prone to failure and downtime. As a consumer of a SaaS app, I want to understand what my SaaS Provider has done, from an architectural standpoint, to be able to seamlessly weather any downtime or outages - all I care about is that the SaaS app is always online.

As a SaaS Provider, it's important to consider how you will address these end-user concerns head-on. What is your strategy to assure prospective customers that your SaaS apps has rock-solid security, rocket-fast performance all over the globe, and 100% reliability and uptime?

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done for SaaS Providers. SaaS Providers deliver their applications over the Internet, and managing the Internet connection between a customer's device and the datacenter where the SaaS app is hosted creates significant challenges. Why? Because the Internet was not designed to handle the demands and requirements of SaaS delivery. Given the legacy architecture and logic of the Internet, the selection of routes between users and data centers is extremely inefficient. The transmission of data can be slow and error prone. The Internet itself, and large, multi-tenant SaaS data centers are prone to over-congestion and downtime. Mobile devices have very different operating systems, browsers, and connection types, which introduces additional complexity. The Internet offers no inherent web security protection, and SSL can be complex and costly to scale in a SaaS environment. Finally, it is very difficult to gain granular visibility into what is happening, or to manage and control SaaS applications being delivered over the Internet.

Akamai can help

Akamai enables SaaS Providers to deliver all their SaaS Applications to any user, on any device, anywhere in the world by overcoming the inherent challenges related to Internet performance, reliability, and security. Additionally, Akamai has built a set of SaaS Provider-specific capabilities, bringing together Akamai's globally distributed Intelligent Platform with a comprehensive, integrated collection of performance and reliability capabilities designed to meet the unique demands of delivering SaaS Applications today and tomorrow.

Akamai empowers SaaS Providers to scale your business globally and instantly enter new markets without building out infrastructure, provide a high performing and engaging user-experience which increases adoption and renewals, and ensure the security of your SaaS applications to give your customers peace of mind when moving to the Cloud. 

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