Overcoming issues with upgrades
Picking up a topic that had got lost in the wrong thread last week …
Having been bitten painfully in the rear by issues with upgrades to both cloud (SaaS) and on-premise software, I asked:
“How about giving SaaS users an option to pre-test a new release [using a copy of the user’s own data and configuration], as a form of beta-testing, even if many users wouldn’t bother? Impractical or essential?”
The question arose because SaaS users do not usually have a choice of when or if to be upgraded. So there isn’t the option to wait and see if other users have issues before upgrading. Nor is it possible in advance to establish what changes are needed to user procedures (which the vendors cannot see), unless users have sight of the new software before release.
Two SaaS vendors replied with these useful points:
- SaaS vendors have total control over the operating environment and visibility of how the software is being used
- Bugs happen, all of the time
- As on-going SaaS subscription revenues are at risk, vendors take greater care with new releases, especially replacing or removing functionality
- SaaS goes on short release cycles, with smaller changes to the code, so these are easier to test
- If any bugs do slip through, SaaS vendors can make fixes live more quickly
- Saas vendors follow widely varying processes when putting new functionality or bug fixes live
- Some allow a small number of users access to the functionality before it is let loose in the full production environment (but this is not usually an option for all users)
- If you want to minimise risk then you must make sure that you understand the quality of service provided by the software vendor
Their full responses are in the “None of us have SaaS businesses, sorry.” thread.
Any other comments on upgrade issues from a user’s or vendor’s perspective?