If your company is upgrading its EHS software, you and your IT/Security team will have questions regarding data security, reliability, and access.
Most modern EHS software applications are multi-tenant. However, there are a range of benefits to single tenant that make it the preferred option for enterprises.
Particularly, single tenant in a familiar cloud platform like Microsoft Azure.
What is single tenant?
Tenancy refers to software architecture and hosting in the cloud.
The terminology lends itself well to a metaphor about living situations. In single tenant, each customer lives alone in a building with its own security system which is isolated from neighbours. In multi tenant, customers live in different apartments inside a building and share facilities.
Expressly, a single tenant customer has its own server, database, and applications, whereas multi tenant customers share servers, databases and applications.
Either way, the building is constructed and maintained by a cloud service provider, such as Microsoft Azure. Azure is the underlying platform that allows EHS software on Microsoft 365 to exist.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a set of cloud services that allows organizations to build, manage and deploy applications through Microsoft-managed data centers.
Currently, Azure is the second biggest cloud infrastructure provider, serving 20% of the market.
For Microsoft 365 enterprises, choosing Azure to host your EHS software ensures alignment with IT. This means you’ll be using the same data centers that host your email servers, plus many more benefits:
- Configure back up and recovery contingency as per existing IT policies
- Scale up infrastructure requirements to ensure excellent performance
- Choose which Microsoft data centers host your data
- Use existing security protocols established by your IT team to access your EHS data
- Rest assured that your data resides in data centers that 95% of Fortune 500 companies use
As you would expect, Microsoft takes great effort to protect your data. Microsoft invests $1BN per year in Azure cybersecurity and safeguards your data with comprehensive compliance coverage including ISO 27001, SOC 2 and more.
In addition, the service has grown to support a range of features in Azure-hosted applications, such as single sign on and workflows.
This makes Microsoft Azure a great option in which to host your single tenant EHS software.
Single tenant advantages for EHS software
Azure single tenant holds several advantages, especially for EHS software in enterprises.
Among EHS decision-makers, the preference for single tenant, or “private cloud”, is growing. In 2017, Verdantix reported that only 10% found private cloud EHS software acceptable. In 2019, that had grown to 58%. Comparatively, only 27% found multi tenant, or “public cloud” acceptable, up from 1% in 2017.
- Stronger security
- Performance reliability
- No forced updates
1. Stronger security
Single tenant tends to be the preferred approach for security-conscious organizations. In fact, Gartner found that security is software buyers’ top concern in 2022.
Although EHS software is not a mission-critical application, it does hold some personal and sensitive data that you may want complete control over.
In this case, single tenant is advantageous over multi tenant. For example, if one multi tenant customer’s data is compromised it can implicate the others on that shared tenant, which could result in a breach of data protection regulations such as the GDPR.
Alternatively, single tenant isolates each customer’s data, minimizing the risk of a data breach that affects multiple customers.
2. Performance reliability
One of the biggest complaints we hear from organizations using multi tenanted EHS software is performance.
When multiple companies are running processes on a tenant at once, the result can be performance degradation. For example, this can be particularly pronounced at the end of the month when hundreds of customers run the monthly EHS reports.
However, in the case of single tenant, a less intensive workload avoids stressing resources. Waiting a long time for data to load should be a thing of the past, like using Excel for EHS management!
Therefore, single tenant protects your EHS software’s performance from being affected by other customers.
3. No forced updates
One of the advantages of multi tenant SaaS is the ability for the vendor to upgrade all customer systems at once.
However, particularly for enterprises, not all upgrades are welcome. Many large companies prefer the option to regulate how upgrades are applied.
Since upgrades can require user training, control over this is a big advantage of single tenant EHS software. Having 10,000 employees suddenly face a change in interface is not ideal when confusion acts as a barrier to employee engagement.
Instead, single tenant puts the EHS department back in the driver’s seat of what upgrades happen and when, so you can appropriately plan for budget and training.
Who should use Microsoft Azure single tenant?
Typically, midsize to large organizations with over 500 employees and a dedicated IT team benefit from single tenant EHS software.
However, most EHS software providers offer ongoing support of the system they provide, even in the case of single tenant. For example, at Pro-Sapien we work with our clients’ IT team providing guidance through the entire deployment process.
As we’ve seen, Azure single tenant EHS software provides many advantages, particularly for Microsoft 365 enterprises—not to mention the increased employee engagement brought about by utilizing the apps used every day such as Teams and Power BI.
Single tenant Azure is just one consideration when choosing EHS software. Get more advice from an EHS professional who recently went through the process in Safety Management Software: 9 Tips for Success.