As time goes by, more and more evidence occurs that the times of Software change dramatically. What started in the 60s within the finance departments will soon end on the desks of lawyers and purchase departments: IT vanishes form the companies in favor of a heavy SaaS-adoption.
Probably we are today where we have been in the mid 80s, when the vision of the paperless office was born. Now, almost 30 years later, we achieved it. Even the few laggards still sending paperware services like ePost help to digitalize. Today it still may sound visionary but already realistic to create a complete company only SaaS-based.
Whether a drawing program (z.B. draw.io) is required, a complete Office solution (z.B. Office365) , a virtual desktop (e.g. AWS) , a complete customer support-desk (z.B. zendesk), marketing analytics, accounting, budgeting, IT-helpdesk,… name it! We will be able to find you an online service to resolve your need.
But beware of making your decision only based on features. We highly recommend to take the following four aspects into consideration, when assessing the suitability of a SaaS:
- INFORMATION SECURITY
Will data be transferred across borders? How is encryption organized? Which backup and recovery procedures will be supported by the provider? And finally how will data be transferred between different modules and devices the service is supporting, e.g. the mobile device and the service itself?
- DATA CONNECTIVITY
Today only few services can be useful while being isolated. What is the benefit of a service providing excellent support to telephone sales when you do not get your customer data imported? Data import and export are key features for every SaaS. But not enough, watch out for a powerful API, so that you may make use of the data inside the service.
- SERVICE PERFORMANCE
Also relevant for a seamless adoption is a good usability. Daylong training sessions are out of fashion. Intuitive usage is today’s standard. in addition, look out for supporting tools such as forums, active communities or even interactive support. Check out the guaranteed service hours (just European working hours? Which national holidays?). Verify for guaranteed response times in case of outages or problems (SLAs).
- PROVIDER SUITABILTY
Finally bare in mind, that the decision for a SaaS mostly is not a decision for a few days. In general this means marriage for quiet a while. So make sure terms and conditions are acceptable. Verify that the providers financial position is reasonable enough to cope with the desired time of usage. Check the vision and direction of the provider, so that you may assume he will be running theright investments to further improve its offer in the right direction.
We are sure that all business specialists ill be able to verify a functional suitability in a short test drive, as they know the obstacles they want to be resolved. The four aspects mentioned herein are not always that easy to excavate from the marking and sales documents available. That’s why we at ASCAMSO introduced our SaaS-Rating, which assesses these aspects and burns them down into a simple Rating.
To support your search for a suitable service, we collected meanwhile over 130 services along the typical value chain and made them available in a kind of directory. Further information on the rating can be found here.