When it comes to software, businesses essentially have two options: local/on-site solutions, or SaaS (Software as a Service). Local installation of software is the tried and true option, but SaaS is becoming more popular every day. If you’re thinking of making the switch to cloud-based solutions, it’s a good idea to do your homework – starting with these three questions.
What impact would downtime have on your business?
Because SaaS systems are hosted on a server which could be halfway across the world, you as the user have no access to the hardware. This means that if the system goes down for any reason, you’re totally reliant on the SaaS provider to get it back up and running. While many SaaS providers offer uptime guarantees, it’s still a very good idea to consider the impact of potential downtime – no matter how brief.
Is your IT team on board with the switch to SaaS?
IT teams are traditionally the people who deal with software installation and management. Some SaaS companies will sell their solutions on the promise that there’s “no IT team required”. This may be true, but the switch to a cloud-based system will have a major impact on your IT team, no matter what. They will be responsible for fielding queries and managing the hardware which will be used with the cloud-based software. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to involve the IT team at every stage of the switching process.
Does SaaS offer complete parity with your existing software solution?
If you’re making a switch to SaaS, the assumption is that you already have some form of local server and networking system in place. If so, there’s no sense in migrating to cloud-based software if you can’t do everything you can do already. For this reason, it’s a very good idea to go through your current software solution and make a comprehensive list of exactly what it does. Leave no stone unturned, because if you miss something crucial, there’s no way to get it back once you move to SaaS until it’s added to that product.
These three questions are a great starting point if you’re thinking of moving over to SaaS. It may be the shape of the future, but putting in some due diligence now will pay off down the road.