There are many reasons why companies decide to outsource their data storage and processing needs. As businesses become more dependent on the cloud for services like email, sales, human resources, CRM, customer relationship management, and accounting, they need to find ways to reduce operating costs by cutting down on in-house IT staff. Outsourcing can also help companies avoid issues with security breaches, which is another concern of companies that operate in today’s world.
In addition, as employees continue to move into remote work environments, companies need to make sure they have proper safeguards in place to ensure sensitive information remains safe while still allowing them to access data from anywhere. In some cases, these companies may be required to adhere to HIPAA or other privacy regulations, and this can add even more complexity to the problem.
That said, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that when companies look to outsource their data center operations, they often turn to SaaS providers. After all, SaaS providers offer a wide range of different products and services, so there’s an excellent chance that one will fit almost any company’s specific needs. However, before making the decision to outsource your SaaS needs to a third party, you should consider whether or not outsourcing might actually be the best option for your business.
When it comes to deciding whether or not to outsource your SaaS needs, you first need to determine what your current situation is. For example, if you don’t have much experience using SaaS solutions, then it could be difficult to evaluate whether or not you’re getting good value for your money. The fact that you’re trying to figure out whether or not you should use SaaS is itself evidence that you probably need to improve your internal processes. If you want to do everything possible to increase efficiency and cut down on costs, then you need to look at every angle.
Once you’ve made the decision to use SaaS, you’ll want to ensure that you get the most return on your investment. There are several things that can go wrong during the process, but fortunately, there are steps that you can take to avoid them. These include following certain procedures during the selection, implementation, and support phases.
Here’s a checklist that you can follow to ensure a successful deal:
1. Identify Your Current Needs
Before you even start looking for a provider or solution, you need to identify exactly what your needs are. This means determining what you currently have and what you need to replace. You may need to make changes like adding new features or changing the way customers interact with existing systems. When you know what you need to do, it makes finding a vendor easier because you’ll be able to narrow down your search based on what you need. It’s also important to note that if you have multiple vendors in mind, you may be able to negotiate better pricing with each of them.
2. Evaluate the Options Available
After you’ve decided what you need to accomplish, you’ll want to compare various options. This includes evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each potential provider. Look for factors like price, service level agreements (SLAs), quality, functionality, security, support, and reputation among other things. Before signing up with anyone, it’s important to make sure that you understand all aspects of the contract.
3. Negotiate Pricing
Even though it’s tempting to just buy whatever product you see, you should always ask about pricing. Make sure that you understand the terms of the agreement, including how long it lasts, what happens if you cancel, and anything else that’s relevant to you. Be proactive. Contact the vendor and ask questions. Also, make sure that you compare prices. Don’t assume that you’ll pay less because you found the vendor online.
4. Determine What You Get
Make sure that you understand exactly what you get when you sign up for the service. Do you receive a full suite of products? Or does it only cover a subset of the total functions available? How long does the trial period last? How much does it cost per month after the free trial ends? What kind of upgrades do you get? And what happens if you cancel? You should be able to answer these questions easily by contacting the vendor.
5. Research the Vendor
After you’ve signed up for a product, make sure that you research the vendor thoroughly. Find reviews from previous clients and look up reviews online. This will give you insight into how satisfied past users were with the product. Read through the FAQs and check out the knowledge base. The vendor should provide answers to common questions and problems, so look over those carefully to see if you can find something useful.
6. Implement the Solution
Now that you have a solid understanding of the product, it’s time to implement it. Make sure that you fully understand how to use the software. The installation process is usually pretty straightforward, but you should read the documentation closely. Also, try to learn as much as you can about the system. Use any available training videos. Ask support questions. And read any user manuals that you can locate.
7. Test the Software
If you haven’t used the software before, now is the time to put it to the test. Use the system for a few days to make sure that it works properly and that you get the expected results. Once you’ve determined its strengths and weaknesses, you can adjust accordingly.
8. Stay Updated
No matter how well-prepared you are, you never know when things will change. Always stay updated with the latest version of the software and keep track of any updates. This allows you to stay ahead of the curve and keep your business running smoothly.
9. Manage Security
You should also make sure that you have adequate security measures in place. Find out what tools the vendor uses to protect your data, who has access to it, and how secure the infrastructure is. Also, make sure that you’re aware of any vulnerabilities that they could introduce. If you ever notice anything suspicious, contact the vendor immediately.
10. Keep Calm
Finally, remember that no matter how hard you push your vendor to deliver a great product, you cannot control how fast the company grows or how quickly they release new versions. So, if you find yourself frustrated with the pace of development or dissatisfied with the response times, try to remain calm. Focus on the positive things instead of the negative ones. Take a deep breath and relax. Then, when you feel ready, you can address the issue head on.
The SaaS Due Diligence Checklist Summary
Overall, following this list will ensure that you get the most out of your SaaS purchase. By taking care of all the little details early on, you won’t waste precious time later. Just remember that the biggest mistake that companies make when it comes to SaaS is simply not doing enough research beforehand. Doing plenty of research will allow you to find the solution that’s right for your needs, so don’t hesitate to spend a couple hours investigating the possibilities.
With a little effort, you can find a SaaS vendor that fits your particular needs perfectly.