A Little More on SaaS Service Providers

Make sure to take the time to choose your SaaS service provider. Photo by Bruce Clay.

Small businesses today have a more secure and cost-effective software delivery method with cloud-based service providers. Popularly known as SaaS or Software as a Service, it enables businesses to receive software applications from a Saas service provider via web browsers. All the software and related data are hosted centrally on the cloud and for a monthly subscription, you could receive accounting, customer relationship management or service desk management services. Similar services include infrastructure as a service, or IasS, and Platform as a service, or PaaS.

Saas pricing is low because of various payment structures such as user provisioning, multi-tenancy, and additional charges for customized functions over the free software or freemium. Doubts on secure delivery are today dismissed as “reputable cloud vendors have incredible security stats, and are able to provide potentially much better security than most corporations have right now because of well designed software” says Julie Smith, Director of the Center for Advancing Business through Information Technology at at Arizona State University.

Dave Strasser, Director of IT Infrastructure Services at Sterling Savings Bank, in Spokane, Wash.,  says, “As security concerns lessen and enterprises lock themselves in with a SaaS provider, the greater the risks associated with that vendor.”

When zeroing in on a service provider, Smith suggests, “every time you adopt a new solution you need to have in place a roadmap of how, if the vendor were to disappear or be acquired, you would be able to take your data, transport it to another platform and be back up and running in how much time.”

When Choosing Your Saas Service Provider, Be Savvy By-

· Asking for the SAS-70 certification for secure delivery

· Speaking to existing users on services provided to validate sales claims

· Validating, before you lock your business with a Vendor

· Putting in place a road map if your SaaS provider were to be acquired by larger providers

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Anuradha Shukla

Anuradha Shukla is a China-based writer covering a range of topics from enterprise IT to mobile technology. Shukla writes for the Korean IT magazine Asia-Pacific Business and Technology Report. Her articles are also published by an Australasia media company Fairfax Media.

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