Choosing a Tech Platform in 2022
Today it seems that software solutions targeting enterprise operations are doing so with the positioning that the solution(s) is housed in the “cloud”, but what does that really mean? Well, it means different things to different people, and the complexity goes up when trying to compare solutions (apples to apples) vs infrastructures (apples to oranges). That said, it is very important to understand and incorporate into your buying criteria.
We come across this topic a lot when working with clients or prospects on solution evaluations, and you’d be surprised at the amount of misleading information being presented to the market. As an example, just because a sales rep presents their solution to you as a SaaS solution (software as a service) does not mean that it is a cloud-based solution. And, if it was a cloud-based solution, what type is it? Is it an old clunky technology stack that has been ported from private servers to public cloud and or private cloud? The fact is, each deployment and instance is different, and if done properly would present huge advantages to the provider and the end users. That said, not all cloud solutions are equal.
In the transportation technology industry, solutions have been consolidated, ported, integrated and glued together after years of acquisitions, generations of technical debt and decades of sins and scale issues. The opportunity to completely rebuild a technology stack while paying customers are using it and relying on new features and continuous availability is scarce. That is bundled with the likelihood that R&D funding is most likely allocated to the platforms generating the most revenue (aka: legacy platforms), and the opportunity to invest needed resources and focus on building something from the ground up is equally unlikely. So why does this matter to you as a transportation company or services company that is evaluating providers before making a material investment into technology? It’s simple — if a solution was built from scratch using the newest technologies such as cloud services, high-performing software languages, and processes such as the use of microservices, then it will perform better, update faster, and provide scale and velocity to the provider. This in turn means more features, less bugs, and better reliability for you as the end user.
The truth is, cloud computing today takes many shapes. As an example multi-cloud and hybrid cloud solutions offer technology companies further flexibility when it comes to performance redundancy and costs. Hybrid cloud combines both a public cloud infrastructure with that of a private cloud infrastructure. The combination of the two enables extensive computing (which can be costly) to operate in the private cloud while the main functionality and hierarchy live in the high availability public cloud solution. This offers the ability to provide end customers with data intensive solutions like analytics and visualization tools like BI without slowing down the core functionality of the system.
Another common deployment is the multi-cloud infrastructure. It combines two separate public cloud architectures to provide redundancy, and load balancing across disparate networks, which provides end users with a high-reliability and high-performance experience, free from major outages — we have all heard about them in the news — that cripple access to mission-critical tools such as driver log books and load assignments.
So, in summary, not all cloud solutions and deployments are created equal. Your larger legacy options, with their long lists of customers and cluttered logo slides, are more often than not ticking timebombs waiting for another rack to be thrown at a pervasive problem that can not be fixed, but rather needs to be replaced.
At Pedigree Technologies, we are a cloud-since-birth technology company, meaning our solutions were built from the ground up in the cloud, and have been iterated over the years using only the best processing and infrastructure advancements available; we never had to undergo a server migration from our closets or “data center” to a cloud provider.
What is a data center by the way?! I sure hope our competitors stop listing that as some type of advantage versus the costly lease space and redundant headcount it really is.
Do your homework, and when you’re evaluating options and you are checking the box for “cloud hosted”, remember that cloud hosted does not mean it’s a true cloud solution — and if it is, it’s crucial to ask what kind and why and which services are running on which parts. Ask the tough questions and see how they respond; if it truly is an advantage, then their sales staff will be educated on it and use it as such. Reliable infrastructure is not a bullet point on a slide, but the foundation of the solution you are seeking.