Multi-tenancy still an issue, in 2009? …Really?

Sometimes when you are in the trenches, part of the teams developing the latest software, reading about the next big thing in app software 12 months before anyone is actually deploying it – you lose sight of the reality of the CRM world.

In the real business world, small business are not as hip to concepts like the cloud, virtualization, platform-as-a-service, etc. as the rest of us teach heads. The lag time between new technologies being developed and being deployed is pretty palpable.

So, at first I laughed at this article that brings up the multi-tenant debate yet again. I mean, geez, for some of us with our heads in “the cloud” and thinking about the next generation of development, deployment and access of web apps – multi-tenancy is a non-issue.

But for smaller business, making tough decisions about their revenue stream in a tough economy – it may still be important.

I think the article is OK…it doesn’t simply spout the party lines of the most vocal SaaS multi-tenant promoters. The piece does point to the major drawbacks of multi-tenant SaaS – namely lack of user control and universal outages.

The article misses some points, as it ventures into platform-as-a-service about vendor lock-in. Multi-tenant platforms and applications lock users in, as we know, and make it difficult to port either your data (if you’re a small business user) or your intellectual property (if you’re a developer) off of their systems.

Again, you would think that in a world where open source, virtualization and more readily available cloud-based developer resources are available to all – the multi-tenant debate would finally be crushed. But there are still some small business just looking for a great application to manage their revenue stream.

Fortunately for them, there are a lot of great choices these days, some SaaS, some multi-tenant, some open source, etc…