The cloud is getting bigger, and that means more and more companies are looking for ways to streamline their IT operations. One of the best ways can be the use of Software as a Service (SaaS), but picking a provider isn’t as simple as finding one whose Web site stands out.
First up in getting smarter about SaaS is for a company to get to know the cloud. This means looking past things like cost, infrastructure, and even the cloud’s deadly enemy – security.
While security issues in the cloud still persist, they are far less prevalent than in past years, and far less numerous than most companies believe. Good SaaS providers can deliver security track records far better than most physical-server based enterprises, something that many companies do not expect.
This means that choosing a SaaS provider is more about what they can actually provide in terms of software, and what the risk to a company is in terms of lock-in. According to Julie David Smith, director of the Center for Advancing Business through IT at ASU, “vendor survivability or changes in vendor strategy are becoming much more important.”
This means that vendors are looking to ensure that they survive in the long term and this may mean a lock-in scenario for companies, which can lower overall functionality. Even those that look for small providers, hoping to be the “big fish” they cater to, can get caught if the small provider suddenly gets bought up and too much infrastructure is caught up in the provider’s data set.
When it comes to choosing an SaaS provider, the key lies in having “worst case” discussions and making sure that plan exists to deal with software and data no matter the outcome.