Thoughts on choosing a SaaS provider

Have been trying to unpack some of my thoughts on Saas and Saas providers. Here’s the first pass.

1. Are the requirements met by the existing offering? Are add-ons, third-party modules required?

Understand how much of the native platform’s functionality will meet your needs and how much will have to be added on (and at what cost)

2. How open is the Saas platform to integrating with other applications?

If you have existing an application, say, which holds your master customer data like a CIF then you’d want to integrate the data rather than maintaining multiple databases

3. Is the platform extensible? Can new functionality be added and/or existing functionality customised?

You don’t want to invest in a niche-platform which will be limiting should you want to extend functionality later

4. What is the track record of the Saas provider and what is the vision?

Have a quick look backwards and forwards, you want a platform which has been around for a while and has a roadmap for growth.

5. Are you considering Saas because you really need and understand the benefits or are you caught up in the cloud hype?

In my view there are a couple of compelling reasons for going saas: you don’t want the hassle of managing infrastructure, you want to be up and running quickly and you need access from geographically dispersed regions (the common theme being avoiding effort and investment in and management of I.T. infrastructure)

 Zaheer Ismail

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