If you are not one who likes to read all of those “Terms and Conditions” pages when you buy something, you need to very careful when selecting a Software as a Service vendor.
The SaaS industry is growing at a rate of 20% per year. What that means to you as a business owner is you have choices. Whether you are a print software shop or an online retailer, there is no need to rush out and subscribe to a service before exploring the competition.
Take a look at these five things you need to consider before purchasing a SaaS package.
What happens to your data if you dissolve your relationship with the SaaS company?
We all like to think that we are good judges of character. But, it’s not unusual for a business relationship to go wrong. And, if your relationship with your SaaS provider happens to get fractured, you will access to your data.
So, a good rule of thumb to follow when you are shopping for a SaaS is to make sure you can automatically export all of your data. This includes things like user accounts, logs, customizations, etc. in a standard format.
If you need the providers help to export your data, then steer clear. Think about it, how often do you like to do favors for people you are mad at.
What training and migration assistance is available?
Migration and training will be an issue no matter what SaaS provider you choose to go with. This means you need to make sure that the provider you choose is going to take care of you along the way.
A good company will have data migration tools and premade training materials that will help both you and your employees with the transition.
Do they have a solid back up plan?
Things break, that’s a fact of life. You need to know what redundancies are available in case there is an outage. You need to play an active role in protecting your data. SaaS companies will try to tell you that their back-end infrastructures are robust. They will likely reference Microsoft Azure or Amazon.
These platforms do offer excellent redundancies, but you need to make sure that the company you choose has back-ups readily available should you need them. This will eliminate the possibility of human error.
Are there integration options?
After you get up and running, you will likely want to integrate. So, be sure that the company you choose not only has excellent API’s and data sharing but also has people skilled in helping you integrate.
What does the future look like?
Things change—fast. Make sure that any SaaS vendor you choose has the foresight to keep up with these changes. Are they mobile? How is the cross-browser compatibility?
Choosing the right SaaS vendor for your business should not be taken lightly. Your data is priceless, so you need to make sure you spend some time researching so you can protect it. Yes, a SaaS can simplify your job, but you still need to make sure you are doing your due diligence. After all, your company’s reputation is at stake.