The Future of SaaS and Kubernetes: Trends and Predictions

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a popular and convenient way of delivering applications over the internet, without requiring users to install or maintain them on their own devices. SaaS providers can offer scalable, secure, and cost-effective solutions to their customers, while also benefiting from faster development cycles and lower operational overhead.

Kubernetes is an open-source platform that enables SaaS providers to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of their applications across multiple clusters of servers. Kubernetes provides a consistent and reliable environment for running SaaS applications, regardless of the underlying infrastructure or cloud provider. Kubernetes also offers features such as service discovery, load balancing, health checks, configuration management, and security policies that simplify the development and operation of SaaS applications.

As SaaS and Kubernetes continue to evolve and grow in popularity, what are some of the trends and predictions that will shape their future? Here are some of the possible scenarios that we can expect to see in the coming years:

  • More SaaS applications will adopt Kubernetes as their preferred platform. According to a recent survey by CNCF, 83% of respondents said they use Kubernetes in production, up from 58% in 2018. The survey also found that 78% of respondents use Kubernetes to run cloud-native applications, such as SaaS. As more SaaS providers recognise the benefits of Kubernetes, such as faster time to market, improved scalability, and reduced complexity, they will migrate their existing applications or build new ones on Kubernetes.

  • Kubernetes will become more accessible and user-friendly for SaaS developers and operators. One of the challenges of using Kubernetes is its steep learning curve and complexity. To overcome this barrier, Kubernetes will offer more tools and services that simplify the creation and management of SaaS applications on Kubernetes. For example, Kubernetes Operators are custom controllers that automate the lifecycle of complex applications on Kubernetes. Operators can handle tasks such as installation, configuration, backup, recovery, and upgrade of SaaS applications, without requiring manual intervention or scripting. Operators can also provide domain-specific knowledge and best practices for running SaaS applications on Kubernetes.

  • Kubernetes will enable more innovation and differentiation for SaaS providers. As Kubernetes becomes more standardized and commoditized, SaaS providers will look for ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors and deliver more value to their customers. One way to do this is to leverage the extensibility and flexibility of Kubernetes to create new features and capabilities for their SaaS applications. For example, SaaS providers can use custom resources and custom controllers to extend the functionality of Kubernetes and create new abstractions and APIs for their applications. They can also use service meshes to enhance the observability, reliability, and security of their applications. Service meshes are a layer of infrastructure that sits between the application code and the network, providing features such as traffic routing, load balancing, encryption, authentication, authorization, monitoring, tracing, and fault injection.

  • Kubernetes will foster more collaboration and interoperability among SaaS providers. As more SaaS applications run on Kubernetes, they will have more opportunities to interact and integrate with each other. This will create a network effect that will increase the value and utility of each SaaS application for its users. For example, SaaS providers can use service brokers to expose their applications as services that can be consumed by other applications on Kubernetes. Service brokers are agents that manage the provisioning, binding, unbinding, and deprovisioning of services on behalf of applications. Service brokers can also enable cross-cluster service discovery and communication among SaaS applications running on different clusters or clouds.

  • Kubernetes will support more diverse and hybrid cloud environments for SaaS providers. As SaaS providers expand their customer base and geographic reach, they will need to run their applications on different clouds or regions to meet the varying needs and preferences of their customers. For example, some customers may prefer a certain cloud provider for its performance, reliability, or compliance; some customers may want to run their applications on-premises or on edge devices for security or latency reasons; some customers may want to leverage multiple clouds for redundancy or cost optimization.

Kubernetes will enable SaaS providers to run their applications on any cloud or infrastructure that supports Kubernetes, without requiring significant changes to their code or configuration. Kubernetes will also provide mechanisms for federating multiple clusters of servers into a single logical unit that can span across different clouds or regions. Federation will allow SaaS providers to manage their applications as a single entity across multiple clusters, while also enabling cross-cluster service discovery, load balancing, failover, and migration.