Has your SaaS app been cloud-washed?

by Ned Hallett
As Digital Marketing Manager and JAM’s primary pair of lungs, I provide the JAM-y take on the ever-evolving worlds of DevOps, SaaS, MACH - and acronyms yet to be coined.
Published on May 2021



That sounds good?

It’s not.

Cloud-washing refers to apps that have been developed or migrated to cloud without the kind of forethought and planning that allows for real competitive advantage. In short, if you’ve been cloud-washed, your application is hosted, shall we say…basically.

This is also known as cloud-enabled or cloud-hosted, which here all just mean worse than cloud-native.

Why would anyone want to cloud-wash me in the first place?

If you migrated or developed your application a while ago, it may have been the best option at the time.

Though even today, there are many ‘legacy cloud’ providers who aren’t up to scratch on their cloud-native tech.

Either way, if you never heard about ‘cloud-native development’ at any stage in your migration/ development, and you don’t use technologies like:

  • Microservices 
  • Serverless
  • Containers 
  • Orchestration 

Then you’ve probably been cloud-washed.

What would a cloud-unwashed…erm we mean cloud-native SaaS app look like?

We’ve covered what cloud native means elsewhere.

But what it’ll generally mean for a SaaS app is the use of a few key technologies.

A modern SaaS application might exist solely as functions, with the infrastructure managed by an orchestration tool like Lambda or Fargate, it might exist as a set of microservices, or it might exist as a set of containers run by Kubernetes.

What unites these technologies is:

  • Scalability – although cloud-hosted applications are scalable, cloud-native applications are far more so 
  • Rapid deployment times – cloud-native SaaS applications are geared towards fast, automated deployments
  • Failure-proofing – increased automation and smart management means cloud-native SaaS apps withstand failure way better than a cloud-enabled app

Is cloud-washing a scandal of epic proportions?

Not really, no. It’s more a funny phrase that describes using outdated technology which we thought might grab your attention.

If you were victim to cloud-washing though, you can now make the decision to go cloud native.

So… you’re welcome.

Why is this especially important for SaaS apps?

It’s not per say, but the scalability and scope for innovation that attracts people to the SaaS model in the first place is furthered by cloud native. 

So it’s almost a case of, if you’ve gone SaaS… it would be silly not to go native.

So what can I do now?

You can go cloud-native!

Whether you have a SaaS application that’s already cloud-hosted, or you’re looking to modernise an on-prem application, now’s the time to ensure you wind up with a brand-spanking new cloud-native architecture.

(And while you’re here, you may as well check out our free guide to SaaS architectures on AWS with nice and easy examples, or our more general guide to SaaS architecture for the casual reader.

At Just After Midnight, we specialize in cloud design and support for mission-critical, customer facing-SaaS apps

We’ve delivered leading infrastructure solutions for SaaS companies in LegalTech, security and digital HR.

And we were a key player in the launch of national fitness icon Joe Wicks’ Body Coach App.

So, to get your SaaS app hosted natively, or for anything else, just get in touch.



With partners across the USA, Europe and APAC, we provide a truly global service. So wherever you or your clients are based, contact us today to find out what we can do.