Work-from-Home Trend Puts SaaS in the Crosshairs

Cloud monitoring can help assure direct access to SaaS business services from remote sites over SD-WAN.

Work-from-Home Trend Puts SaaS in the Crosshairs

The COVID-19 pandemic drove massive growth in the global remote workforce, a change that seems likely to persist into a post-pandemic world. That shift also fueled a greater reliance on a mixture of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and on-premises services. In fact, according to a recent report, overall spend per company on SaaS products was up 50 percent in 2020. Reliable, fast access is essential to core business operations, putting pressure on IT teams to make sure that remote users maintain a high-quality user experience when accessing services over a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN).

Reports of Slow Workflows Can Lead to Finger-Pointing

When employees working remotely begin to report suboptimal workflow performance in critical SaaS services, IT must find out what is causing the problem. Poor performance of SaaS business services, whether in the form of slowdowns or even unresponsiveness, can ultimately impact employee efficiency and motivation. This, in turn, can affect the ability of the business to meet the demands of its customers.

Without visibility into vital cloud services, IT has no means to determine the precise source of the problem, which can then result in a finger-pointing scenario between IT and the SaaS service provider. It’s not hard to envision a scenario in which IT thinks the root cause of a sluggish application lies with the SaaS provider, while the provider suggests that the internet links from the company’s remote sites, or the Wi-Fi within the site, is the cause of the problem.

Service Edge Visibility Is Key to Cloud Service Performance

IT can address this issue by implementing service edge instrumentation at remote locations, while also conducting synthetic tests to assess the end-user experience. This approach can quickly detect and visualize performance issues such as application delays with SaaS workflows. Armed with these invaluable insights, IT can identify and document when a third-party SaaS provider is responsible for an issue. Cloud monitoring enables IT to close visibility gaps, identify root causes, and designate remediation ownership. In the previously cited example, that visibility would enable IT to rule out other potential performance issues, such as Wi-Fi or the internet, and demonstrate that intelligence to the SaaS provider. After all, hard evidence has a way of shutting down the finger-pointing cycle.

Cloud monitoring is especially important for businesses that rely on multiple SaaS providers. As is often the case, providers may be unaware of the performance issue within their own service, so it falls to a business customer’s IT team to pinpoint the problem. With evidence in hand, IT and the SaaS provider can then collaborate to quickly improve responsiveness of the service for end users—a win-win for both the enterprise and the SaaS provider.

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