Buzzwords vs. Capabilities: Deciphering Technical Complexity

Candace Thornton

Introduction

Property and Casualty (P&C) insurers can benefit from embracing SaaS solutions that streamline operations, enhance agility, and provide reliable services in an ever-evolving industry.  But when it comes to Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, understanding the technical landscape can be a serious challenge. That said, let’s demystify some of the buzzwords and clarify the attributes of key frameworks.

SaaS Capability Frameworks: The Basics

  • Single-Tenant Cloud. A single-tenant cloud is a type of cloud computing setup where the entire cloud infrastructure is dedicated to a single customer or organization. In this architecture, all computing resources, such as servers, storage, and networking, are exclusively used by that customer.[i] For instance, if you opt for a single-tenant cloud solution, you’ll have your private cloud environment that isn’t shared with any other customer. This provides greater control, security, and customization over your cloud resources.[ii]
  • Multitenant Cloud. A multitenant cloud, as the name suggests, involves multiple users sharing resources. In a multitenant cloud environment, various users who share these resources are allocated their own space. They can store their data and applications separately and securely.3 Choosing a multitenant cloud solution allows users to share the same cloud infrastructure with other customers, potentially lowering costs and increasing scalability. However, customization and control may be limited.4
  • Multitenant Architecture. Multitenant architecture is a feature in various types of public cloud computing, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), SaaS, containers, and serverless computing. In a multitenant architecture, each cloud customer’s data is kept separate, and tenants remain generally unaware of each other’s presence.5 In other words, if you choose a multitenant architecture, you’ll be able to use the same cloud infrastructure while maintaining data isolation.

  • Cloud mix and elasticity. Cloud mix refers to the combination of different types of cloud services, such as public, private, or hybrid clouds, that a SaaS solution can use to optimize its performance and efficiency. Elasticity refers to the ability of a SaaS solution to scale up or down its computing resources automatically, according to the changing demand of its users’ usage patterns.
  • Containers, or containerization, helps expedite testing, development, and deployment via small pieces of software that require less capacity and startup time than virtual machines. Containers are a type of virtualization that allows developers to package and isolate applications with their dependencies, libraries, and configuration files. Containers can run on any compatible operating system or cloud platform, and they can be easily moved, scaled, and updated. For example, if you choose a containerized SaaS delivery model, you will be able to run your applications on any cloud service or device, and you will be able to update and scale your applications faster and more reliably.
  • Serverless, or function as a service (FaaS), is a type of cloud computing that allows developers to run code without having to manage servers, containers, or virtual machines. The code is executed by the cloud provider in response to events or triggers, and the developer only pays for the execution time of the code. For example, if you choose a serverless SaaS delivery model, you will be able to develop and deploy your code faster and easier.
  • APIs, otherwise known as application programming interfaces, are a set of rules and protocols that define how different software components or systems can interact and exchange data. Most insurance solutions are powered via consumable APIs, or have them already fully connected and ready to use. APIs can be used to expose the functionality of a microservice or an application to other developers or users, or to access the functionality of another microservice or application. APIs can be used to create seamless and secure integrations, and to enable interoperability and compatibility. If you choose a SaaS delivery model that uses APIs, you will be able to connect and communicate with other applications and systems, increasing convenience and speeding up workflows.
  • Microservices are a type of software architecture that breaks down an application into smaller, independent, and loosely coupled services. Each microservice performs a specific function and communicates with other microservices through APIs. Microservices can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently, and they can be written in different programming languages and use different data storage technologies. For example, if you choose a microservices-based SaaS delivery model, you will be able to develop and deploy your applications, such as offering more features and functionality, faster and easier.

The Final Word

Since so many SaaS solutions receive faster upgrades via the cloud and through their capability frameworks without impacting users or IT resources, these frameworks are rapidly becoming the standard in insurance operations.

Key SaaS capability frameworks combined with cloud hosting add flexibility, scalability, and speed to market for insurers’ products and overall operations. Insurers who recognize the importance of key SaaS capability frameworks and invest in them for the long term will recognize significant gains in agility, speed, and efficiency to keep pace in today’s competitive P&C market.

[i] Introducing cloud.microsoft: a unified domain for Microsoft 365 apps and services – Microsoft Community Hub

[ii] Ibid.

3 Architecting multitenant solutions on Azure – Azure Architecture Center | Microsoft Learn

4 Ibid.

5 Op.Cit., Architecting multitenant solutions on Azure

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Candace Thornton

Candace Thornton Candace Thornton is Product Marketing & Strategy Director at Sapiens. Her focus is on helping organizations understand industry challenges, market landscapes, and tech trends so they can better navigate development of profitable, fit-for-market solutions that help drive customer experience, distribution loyalty, and employee engagement. Previously, Candace held strategy positions at Verisk, IXI/an Equifax company, Claritas/a Nielsen company, and Competiscan LLC. She is passionate about the voice of the customer and market with credentials in Challenger, Oratium, and additional behavioral sciences.