A cloud application is a single version of software that is regularly updated, often several times a year, for all customers. To realize the true cost benefits of SaaS, the provider should be managing all of those elements to adopt the latest capabilities in the updates on their own timelines. Software that has to be upgraded at the customer’s expense, even if the vendor hosts it, does not meet the requirements for a cloud application.
The update v. upgrade approach benefits both the vendor and the customer. The customer is not burdened by IT upgrade projects, while the vendor can focus on what it does best, which is maintain its own software. Vendors have a strong technical understanding of the software they developed, but the on-site world requires vendors to share this knowledge with customers, which is not an easy feat. When customers do not have deep insight into the software, or have difficulty obtaining employees or contract workers skilled to work on that software, the result can be problematic and even result in failed upgrades.
Vendor-managed updates deliver continuous improvement and allow companies to stay compliant with new laws and regulations. Traditional software vendors might offer some big, new changes every four to five years. With Locus, for example, customers receive consistent improvements through updates several times a year, and do not have to pay extra for any of them.