Software as a Service (SaaS) revolutionized the way companies commercialize web applications. It is a distribution model that helps other companies reduce costs and time from having to build software from scratch, installation, or maintenance. It is all taken care of by the SAAS provider as well as the upgrades.
Now, choosing the right SaaS provider will be crucial for your business’ success if you are going to rely on them to scale your business. You must select one that matches your expectations and has a high level of reliability. Below are some tips you may want to consider when choosing the best SaaS provider for your company.
What is SaaS?
SaaS is a highly scalable software diffusion system consisting of a third-party cloud service company that hosts web applications. These companies enhance accessibility and free users from worrying about highly complex software maintenance and installation processes.
In the prehistoric past of computing technology (30 years ago), the only way we had to distribute software was by selling Floppy disks and then later CDs and DVD’s which also included the installation process. Users would have to pay for a license and the updated software version once the company released an upgrade.
Now, you don’t have to worry about installation, updates, or maintenance because companies rely on cloud services to host their data. They perform maintenance remotely, so the end user doesn’t have to do that, and most of the time, they don’t even notice it. Some accurate examples of Software as a Service are:
– Google Drive Suite.
– Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, etc.
When it comes to costs, SaaS providers usually charge users with a subscription model. To be able to use the software, you must pay a particular fee every month, quarter, or year. This will vary from one provider to another.
Advantages of using SaaS
Using SaaS has a lot of benefits, but the most relevant one is that you’ll save your IT department time and resources. These are not the only advantages of using SAAS to escalate your business. Take a look at the following list to explore some more pros:
– Cost efficient: SaaS products are easily maintained and installed. You won’t need to spend much money on installation or worry about upgrades.
– Compatibility: With the traditional software installation process, there was always the risk of version discrepancies. You don’t have to worry about this with SaaS, as the service gets automatically updated.
– Accessibility: One of the best things about SaaS products is that you can access them regardless of location. You can even build a remote team, and everyone can get access to that software despite where they live. This improves the entire communication system between teams. Users only need to have an internet connection.
– Scalability: You can upgrade your subscription plan in a matter of seconds without prior notice. This makes this type of service scalable and convenient.
How to choose the right SaaS for your company
Now that you know how Software as Service works, it is time to choose a product for your business. You can leverage thousands of SaaS tools for your company, including accounting software, marketing automation tools, project management applications, analytics, sales, and customer service tools.
Yet, considering there are so many options, the challenging part is choosing one. Below, we have compiled a couple of tips you can consider:
Determine your goals and needs
The first thing you need to do before getting a SaaS tool is to determine what your company needs. Now that you know all the benefits of SaaS products and automation, you may feel tempted to buy too many subscriptions. However, you must remember that it is crucial to be realistic and focus on what your company actually needs.
You must keep in mind three important factors when choosing a SaaS product: security, reliability, and suitability for your business.
All SaaS products usually measure their reliability with uptime and downtime. These metrics demonstrate how long a product can stay online without issues or interruptions. Most companies might say, “our product has 90 percent uptime and 10 percent downtime”. The downtime is the percentage level of software interruption due to maintenance or technical issues.
Now, you should know that not all companies use the same parameters to determine their downtime. They may exclude secondary issues such as internet routing problems, which can affect your operations, so it’s important to consult with the SaaS provider about their parameters to determine uptime and downtime.
Check the site’s reputation
Another great thing you can do is to check the SaaS product’s online reputation. You can see online reviews, ask for a third-party consultation, and check testimonials. This will give you a better idea of their performance.
Ensure security compliance
Security is key when it comes to buying a SaaS subscription. Remember that the software will store sensitive data, including your employees’ information, customers’ data, financial info, passwords, and other relevant information. That’s why it is so important to verify their reliability in terms of cyber security.
You can do some research and find out what their fault tolerance level is, their ethical guidelines, and whether they follow security compliance. Some SaaS products also have a data recovery feature in case a major disaster happens. These are things you should keep in mind when choosing a SaaS provider.
Ask for a Service Level Agreement
The Service Level Agreement is a document used to determine the expectations between stakeholders and the SaaS provider. This SLA must include the methods they use to assess downtime, acceptable uptime, notification requirements, and the list of the product features.
Getting a SaaS product is challenging, especially considering that competition is high. There are many great products out there, but some can fail you or have a poor uptime percentage. That’s why you must make sure that the type of SaaS product that you get meets your expectations, is able to protect your data, and has a stable uptime percentage.
If you would like to know more about building a SaaS product and what to look for, check out our podcast episode on Building a Project Management SaaS App.