Information Technology

How To Build Credibility Of SaaS Solutions

__
<p>The recent Freshworks listing on NASDAQ at USD 12 bn market cap has put SaaS firmly at center stage of India's global software expertise. Why then such an alarmist post?</p><p>Software as a service as we know is a cloud-based delivery model of software products. All you do is subscribe online, start using software and pay as per your usage. Sounds very exciting to CFOs who spent million on unused ERP and CRM licenses. Sounds even more exciting to operations who are freed from tyranny of IT department and can literally become masters of their tech fate.</p><p>But there is always a flip side. Here is conversation with one of our legacy customers, not keen to convert to SaaS.</p><p>His concerns were:</p><ul><li>What if your company goes bankrupt- how will I get my data? Will you give me your source code?</li><li>What if your platform gets hacked and data is damaged? What if your server is locked by ransomware seekers? Who will pay?</li><li>As a SaaS - same technology is used by my competition- where is my uniqueness and advantage?</li><li>Will you make changes to SaaS platform as per my needs? Will you charge me for the same? In that case, I am funding innovation for my competition.</li></ul><p>All relevant questions and a good SaaS company will need to mitigate these to win faith of customers.</p><p>Here are Some Steps</p><p>Source Code in Escrow:&nbsp;You can ask SaaS company to maintain an updated copy of source code in an Escrow account. In case the SaaS company ceases to exist, you can get access to the same and port the code as well as data to a private cloud. This will ensure business continuity till you shift to an alternate platform.</p><p>VAPT report:&nbsp;Ask your SaaS partner for a Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Test (VAPT) audit report. This is a third-party audit by security specialists to check SaaS for any exposures to hacking, ransomware etc. A good SaaS company will conduct such a check every 6 months.</p><p>Multi-region backup:<strong>&nbsp;</strong>Most SaaS providers use a cloud company such as Amazon or Azure or Google. These providers offer back up of servers across multiple regions. This way, you reduce chances of SaaS going down due to issues in one region.</p><p>Competitive Advantage:&nbsp;SaaS combines best industry practices across customers and offers you a ready technology platform. As a company you will combine it with people and processes to run operations. In fact, running an in-house software division or creating custom built applications runs a big risk of missing out on industry trends.</p><p>Customization:&nbsp;Every organization has certain specific requirements, and a good SaaS company will go out of the way to add these functions to it&rsquo;s product. Thus, a good SaaS provider is open to new development and deliver the same on top of overall existing solution.</p><p>SaaS is here to stay. It is best to adopt it early and partner with SaaS company with proven track record and collaborate to bring more innovation to your customers.</p><p>In conclusion, adopting SaaS has far more advantages than limitations. Also, as SaaS providers mature, they are learning to address many concerns of industry.</p>
KR Expert - Apurva Mankad