According to Gartner the Software as a Service (SaaS) Market will reach sales of $22.1 billion by 2015. Appointment-Plus, a worldwide scheduling solution for enterprises, shares four tips to keep in mind when choosing a SaaS provider in today’s growing market.
The sales volume of $22.1 billion in 2015 reflects the growing adoption of cloud-computing applications in business operations. It also illustrates the expansion of SaaS providers into the market.
Not all SaaS providers are created equal. That’s why enterprises should be cautious when selecting one for their operational needs. “Depending on the role they will play within your organization, a SaaS application could be a critical component in your business processes,” said Stephen Booze, CIO of Appointment-Plus enterprise scheduling software. Its enterprise package provides high scalability, system integration and API Web services. “Selecting an inadequate service could have dire circumstances, internally and externally, as well as financially. It’s imperative for enterprises to research SaaS providers before making their selection.”
According to Appointment-Plus, here are four things to look for when choosing an enterprise SaaS provider:
1. Functionality and Services
System features are a top consideration. Make certain the selected SaaS system provides all of the necessary functionality your enterprise requires. Be sure to analyze both current and future needs.
Considerations should include:
- Web services
- High scalability
- 24/7 live customer support
- Mobile apps
- Integration with Google and Outlook calendars, QuickBooks and other popular programs
- Real-time analytics
Additionally, inquire on the company’s development process for new functionality. Reputable SaaS companies continually develop and release fresh innovations beneficial to their clients.
Like small businesses in general, the majority of SaaS companies fail within the first few years of launching. Inquire on how long the SaaS provider has been operating. Long-established companies generally have good track records of service and system development.
As cloud-based programs, most SaaS applications are hosted on off-site servers. This means company and customer information could be vulnerable to hacking. The latest security practices are a must when selecting a SaaS provider. Ask the provider what standard precautions are in place to ensure the safety of client data.
These can include:
- Server database, data storage and back-up procedures
- System firewalls
- Procedures related to failover and federal regulations, if applicable
Piece-of-mind is important when selecting a SaaS provider. Determine if the application is the right fit by speaking with current users within your industry. Reputable SaaS companies should provide these to prospective clients when asked.