Buying a „Software-as-a-Service“ is not like buying a software – it’s rather like renting an office building: Your business’ relationship to the service will very likely be long-term, and any issues with it will impact your firm’s products and services. That’s why you shouldn’t treat SaaS selection as if it was software selection, but as that what it is: The selection of a business partner for the long term.
Here are a few pointers how you should go on about it.
It’s about more than just features
Let’s be clear here: Features are key when it comes to pre-select SaaS services that might suit your business needs. If the marketing, sales, productivity, etc. service you’re looking at does not do what your business needs it to do, you shouldn’t purchase it. That’s why it’s good to review and compare features.
However, features alone (and the comparison thereof) should never guide your decision of which service to choose. Remember: You’re selecting more than just software – you’re selecting a business partner for the long term. That’s why it’s best to treat the entire selection process as a „due diligence“ of both the service itself and the provider who runs it.
Check the service and the provider
If you’re not sure how to do that: Either go and have a chat with someone from your firm’s procurement office – they’ll often have a plethora of governance rules, manuals, and checklists for supplier selection (and even if not, they’ll have lots of experience).
In case you don’t have a procurement office or don’t want to ask for support, you might as well take a page from our book and check the services and providers you’re looking at against our rating criteria (all the SaaS ratings you’ll find on ASCAMSO are based on these).
Our due diligence approach:
Fig. 1: ASCAMSO SaaS rating structure
True, the key criteria featured in our structure aren’t necessarily easy to excavate from the marketing and sales materials which SaaS providers hand out. But they’re the ones that will allow you to make the best decision when choosing a SaaS service (and you can always use ASCAMSO to find out what you can’t find out yourself 😉 ).