8 min read

The Business Value of Moving to a Multi-Tenant SaaS ETRM System

Learn how investing in a cloud-native, SaaS ETRM cuts costs, reduces implementation timelines, and enhances security, risk management, and more.
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Over the past couple of years, cloud computing has dominated the tech industry. A Gartner study projects that “95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud-native platforms” by 2025.

What does this mean for companies managing trades and risk with an ETRM system?

The finance industry is shifting, with on-prem legacy solutions migrating to the cloud, and some new small to mid-size cloud-native ETRMs emerging.

Since our founding in 2012, on the other hand, Molecule has leveraged cloud-native technology – we’re one of the few multi-tenant, SaaS ETRM systems on the market. Since we were built in the cloud, we’re ahead of the curve with optimizing ETRM software in a cloud-native environment.

In this blog post, we’ll highlight the benefits of moving to a multi-tenant ETRM system if your single-tenant solution is falling short. After all, your team shouldn’t be limited by your ETRM – it should be making everyone’s jobs easier, not harder.

What does it mean for an ETRM system to go cloud?

Before we get into the benefits of the cloud, it’s important to know what it means to fully leverage the cloud.

Cloud software delivery models are now common – but not all “cloud” ETRMs are alike. "Cloud" can simply mean that server hardware is in a data center owned by Amazon, Google, or Microsoft. That’s table stakes for cloud computing. To fully benefit from cloud technology, one has to take tenancy into account.

There are two types of tenancy:

  • Single-tenancy: hardware may be on shared infrastructure, but software is on a single instance that serves one company
  • Multi-tenancy: hardware and software are on a shared infrastructure that serves multiple companies

Most ETRMs – even “cloud” ones – are single-tenant, meaning that each customer has their own version of the production software. This means that upgrades are slow, software code may be forked, customers completely manage their own master data, and they often pay full freight for server capacity, even though it is usually underutilized.

Even worse, single-tenant cloud solutions often do not have the ability to scale capacity in response to heavy workloads. This means that the ETRM can get slow during end-of-day processing or other periods.

Molecule, on the other hand, is a multi-tenant SaaS application. As we’ll discuss in this blog, a multi-tenant SaaS model will transform how your company approaches implementations, operations, and updates.

Here’s why.

A multi-tenant cloud ETRM system is more accessible.

Users of single-tenant on-prem ETRM systems can only access software from the in-house network or a VPN. On the other hand, users of a cloud-native, multi-tenant ETRM can access their accounts from anywhere on any device.

For example, Molecule customers can check their position, P&L, and other important reports from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a good internet connection and the correct credentials.

A multi-tenant cloud ETRM system is secure.

Since multi-tenancy prioritizes accessibility, some companies can be hesitant about the security of cloud computing. "If it can be accessed from anywhere in the world, is it that easy for anyone to access my private data?"

When you’re considering the security of the multi-tenant cloud, think about Gmail. You can log into your account and check your email from anywhere, but that doesn’t mean anyone with a Gmail account can see your private emails. Just because the multi-tenant cloud is “public” doesn’t mean your data will be as well. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Even though Molecule’s software is multi-tenant, we protect companies’ identity and trade data by keeping them confidential from other customers. We spend an enormous amount of resources designing, building, and testing secure software – in obvious and less-obvious ways. The obvious ways are things like automated and manual security testing, enforced coding standards, penetration testing, AI-based monitoring, and more.

The less obvious ways? For example, although we have built-in integrations and master data, that master data is restricted so as to prevent guesses as to what other people trade. As another lighter example, we have made a habit of referring to customers by code names, lest even a verbal conversation reveals details that it shouldn’t. We’ve turned that practice into a celebration by creating mission patches for each customer.

On-prem ETRM systems can be vulnerable to additional security risks.

If you’re using an on-prem ETRM, you are storing all of your data on the physical, on-site server. Although it may seem more secure, data is more vulnerable to internal security risks. With an in-house server, you may have less control over who can access the server and the sensitive data it holds.

In the Molecule app, on the other hand, we assign one member of your team as the organizational admin. Then, your organizational admin can assign different roles to your team members based on our designated user types. Each of these roles falls under the following category:

  • Read-Only
  • Reports-Only
  • API-Only
  • Front-Office
  • Mid-Office
  • Back-Office
  • Admin

Different aspects of our application require different permissions, so your organizational admin determines which of your team members has access to different functions in the application. This is one way Molecule uses the cloud to give our customers full control over their ETRM experience.

You don’t have to hire a large team to have experts in cloud security.

Aside from internal security risks, external security risks pose a large problem for companies with sensitive trade data. So, where do SaaS applications come into play?

With cloud-native, SaaS applications, you don’t have to depend on (or pay for!) an internal IT team to monitor your security risks. Instead, you have an entire team of highly skilled experts available as soon as you purchase your ETRM.

How can you be sure they’re really experts?

Look for SOC-1 Type 2 and SOC-2 Type 2 certifications – you can read about Molecule’s here. These certifications guarantee companies are taking necessary precautions to protect customer data and ensure their application and company are safe and secure.

At Molecule, we invest in our customers’ security so they don’t have to. With on-prem solutions, not only do you have to invest in the software itself, but you have to ensure you’re taking these additional security measures.

Here are just a few of the security measures you get automatically with our software:

  • Encryption in transit and at rest
  • 2FA and SSO
  • Firewalls
  • Static code analysis
  • Automated penetration tests
  • White-hat manual penetration tests

We’re also hosted on AWS, which is considered “the most secure global infrastructure.” AWS is SOC-1, SOC-2, and SOC-3 certified, so you can expect multiple layers of security with our ETRM.

Choose an ETRM that’s already an expert in cloud security so you don’t have to worry about how to ensure your data is secure and protected.

Multi-tenant cloud ETRM systems also reduce minor risks.

Multi-tenant cloud ETRMs can also handle minor risks, such as system outages, more easily. With single-tenant cloud or on-prem software, you must deal with everything in-house, which can become costly and time-consuming.

The team managing your data and cloud-native SaaS application, on the other hand, handles everything remotely and monitors the system 24/7. At Molecule, we also implemented a ZDCS program (Zero Customer-Discovered Surprises), where we do root-cause analysis of new issues found weekly.

A multi-tenant cloud ETRM system can be monitored more easily.

In 2022, our application remained up and running 99.99% of the time. Less application downtime means less risk, giving your team more opportunities for productivity and efficiency.

We run regular static and dynamic tests to monitor our application. And, before we release any updates to our system, we go through rigorous testing and procedures to ensure they won’t negatively impact our app or our customers.

If our tests pick up on anything out of the ordinary, our engineering team is immediately notified to resolve the problem.

A multi-tenant cloud ETRM system is more scalable.

Scalability is one of the most valuable benefits of the cloud’s remote servers. Since our application runs entirely on Kubernetes and PostgreSQL and is hosted on AWS, we constantly monitor trade load quantity.

For busier trade days, the Molecule system automatically scales more servers so customers don’t have to worry about slow load times or outdated trade data.

Scalability for single-tenant cloud or on-prem ETRMs must be manually configured; it’s not automatic like it is on the multi-tenant cloud. This can lead to more downtime and higher costs for your company.

A multi-tenant cloud ETRM system promotes adaptability and innovation.

One of the most fundamental differences between the multi-tenant cloud and single-tenant cloud or on-prem ETRM is the ease of updates and emphasis on innovation.

Many on-prem solutions still operate on the same outdated software from their original installation because updates can be cumbersome and expensive. Likewise, you won’t get the same frequency of updates with single-tenant cloud ETRMs because there is no shared infrastructure. With a multi-tenant cloud solution, frequent updates are routine, so they won’t disrupt your operations.

“Our dedication to modern design, ability to automate as much as possible, and commitment to reliability set our ETRM apart from single-tenant solutions.” - Dustin Whipple, VP of Global Sales

How can we prove it?

Molecule releases new updates every two weeks for all of our customers, at no additional cost. We’re always adding projects to our roadmap to expand our ETRM prowess and accommodate our diverse and growing customer base. Over the past few years, we’ve launched four new add-ons, a plethora of updates, new versions of our APIs, and more opportunities for customization.

A multi-tenant cloud ETRM system is more cost-effective.

With a SaaS ETRM, software applications don't have to be built from the ground up for every customer. Molecule has spent the past eleven years crafting the perfect ETRM for companies of varying sizes, trade types, and business needs – all on one application. This will significantly cut costs for your team.

Multi-tenant cloud ETRMs reduce implementation, maintenance, and support costs.

Since customers are hosted on the same multi-tenant platform, there are no additional variable costs with SaaS solutions, unlike single-tenant cloud or on-prem ETRMs. With Molecule, we quote our packages and implementations on a fixed-fee basis, with updates included.

Although our package fees may look similar to on-prem or single-tenant cloud solutions, you may have to pay up to three times the license fee for implementation costs with on-prem or single-tenant cloud software. Molecule also has a responsive support team that’s included in your package pricing, so you can get resolutions quickly and efficiently – at no additional cost.

As your team works through the budget for a new ETRM, look for companies that are upfront about fees and pricing, so you can factor in all of the costs… or find a company that will do that for you, like Molecule.

A multi-tenant cloud ETRM system makes implementations quicker and easier.

Because multi-tenant SaaS applications share the same infrastructure, the fundamental code base is already in place. As a result, the Molecule team doesn’t have to rebuild our application for every new customer. With the core application already complete before your implementation even starts, we can spend more time focusing on configuring and customizing our application to your business needs.

Molecule also has built-in integrations for all the major exchanges and ISOs, and we reconcile with 15+ FCMs. If you have your credentials as soon as we kick off implementation, we can have your trades in our system almost instantly.

The timeline for the rest of the implementation depends on the complexity of your portfolio. Just like with costs, we’ll be upfront with you about the expected implementation timeline.

If you’re ready for a cloud-native, SaaS ETRM, check out our packages and add-ons to schedule a demo with our sales team today.

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