SaaS Applications Evolve As Challenges Test IT Teams
by Christine Cignoli on

If you’re keeping up with application development trends lately, you may have heard the term “progressive web apps” come up. This concept of progressive apps is a new type of web app standard that aims to make web apps more like native applications. These aren’t entirely brand-new, written-from-scratch applications, but are instead improved over time—progressively—with modern features. The result is an app that’s hosted entirely on the application’s servers, but works on offline devices using Cache API and IndexedDB technologies. What’s exciting about these apps is that they may solve the app store interoperability issue—so one progressive web application could support iOS, Android, Microsoft and any other current (or future) platform. Microsoft plans support for progressive web applications starting in its next Windows 10 update, scheduled for next month, and will add these apps to its app store and allow them to be searched using Bing.

Along those lines, here’s an exploration of some of what makes SaaS application use so challenging. As this model gains more and more traction in enterprises and starts to mature, its ease of use and prepackaged nature brings some downsides. They likely sound familiar for anyone using SaaS and cloud apps: lack of visibility, compliance, costs, customization and more. Shadow IT, or “secret SaaS” here, remains an issue for lots of businesses where various users subscribe to apps and services that IT doesn’t know about. When it comes to security and compliance, SaaS apps may not be up to snuff, though IT likely won’t know that until there’s a problem. And the ease of use and adoption of SaaS makes it easy for it to become complex and more expensive as users add features and automatic renewals charge companies even if they aren’t using the app anymore. One useful tip to combat these challenges is to read and know your SLAs, along with continuous monitoring that detects every app in use.

Here at AppNeta, we’re thoroughly enjoying watching the Winter Olympics. There are plenty of signs of new technologies during this 2018 Olympics, such as snowboarders wearing tracking devices for judging and virtual reality viewing options, not to mention the athletes themselves staying busy on social media. This doesn’t make cybersecurity efforts any easier. These various technologies open up new ways of hacking data and shutting down services, and the location of the Games, near the North Korean border, adds to security challenges. The concentration of people, devices and networks at the Olympics will challenge the cybersecurity experts hired for the event, and some organizations have purchased cyber insurance in case of attack.

Finally, in networking planning news, many IT professionals are actively considering intent-based networking and network automation projects for 2018. Network upgrades are naturally part of planning, since high-performing hardware will be essential for modern networks. 44% of respondents in the TechTarget IT Priorities survey said they plan to upgrade their networking foundations, including new servers and adding analytics functionality. Luckily, almost half of respondents will see an increased budget this year. In addition to upgrading to support future-looking networks, survey respondents also said they are shoring up existing networking solutions, like VPN remote access and NAC security capabilities, for 28%. These priorities reflect a lot of what we hear from prospects and customers: SaaS and cloud, combined with remote locations and employees, are bringing new challenges to network management. It’s going to be a busy year for IT networking teams.

Filed Under: Industry Insights, Networking Technology

Tags: intent based networking , SaaS issues , web applications