Read this Before Making a Commitment
"Commitment" is a strong word. One of the traditional advantages of the XaaS (Anything as a Service) model is its flexibility. People who sign up for a cloud-based solution that bills month-to-month with easy cancellation could jump to a competitor with ease.
But, could they really?
They can cancel a SaaS subscription and sign up for a new one quickly. But, will their data and workflows easily transfer? The truth is, prospects don't want to think short-term. They want to bring on a cloud-based software solution that meets their needs today and in the future. We're already seeing the biggest companies shift towards longer term cloud contracts, indicating this business model shift will soon expand across sectors.
Here are five questions to ask any cloud-based provider before you tie the knot.
- What's their security program to secure the network and data?Security is a broad topic, so there are really a number of security-related questions you should ask a cloud-solution provider before committing. The SaaS provider may be hosting your system and storing your data, but your organization remains ultimately responsible for its protection. Your customers won't care that another company was hosting their data if a data breach occurs.
- What sort of SLAs and customer support do they provide?
They should have historical data that tells you how quickly they respond, how quickly issues get resolved, their network uptime, and other important tech support metrics. SLA descriptions are important to know, but you also should find out how they've performed in the past.
- How do they manage their upgrade processes?
There are two aspects to this question. First, how do they involve their user community when deciding what new features and functions should be added? How can users provide feedback on the kinds of changes they'd like to see? Second, how smooth is the technical process for rolling out updates?
- How comprehensive are their integrations?
Do they have experience (i.e. pre-built integrations) with common software solutions? Will they customize an integration or build an integration with a new system? Everyone says they integrate. Make sure to get the details on exactly what that means for you.
- How scalable is their service?
Is the cloud provider in its own growth phase, so their customer base is expected to grow quickly? Are they set up with the network infrastructure to support their projected customer growth without degrading your experience? Can they scale with your growth?
The billing and delivery models have evolved from the legacy local server-client architecture to cloud-based solutions. However, many of the fundamental questions IT teams have had to resolve before bringing on a new technology remain the same.
Only now, because the relationship between a cloud-based time clcok provider and your company is more closely intertwined in the XaaS model, it’s helpful to remember that operating a SaaS solution is a shared responsibility.
Part of upholding your company's share of that responsibility is finding out exactly how the cloud solution provider will uphold theirs.