What is not being considered when evaluating Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for your business?
I’ll first answer the why.
At risk of stating the obvious, the correct selection of a SaaS for your business can make or break your company. If it makes your company that means it aligns with your business and can grow, scale with your business for years to come.
Digital Transformation is often reflected by the transition to SaaS services. We are already well entrenched in the use of these – Office365, Salesforce, Xero, banking, etc. But businesses evaluating a SaaS often look at consistent and necessary parameters (see link to an article below) but here some elements that often get missed in my experience:
Keep the End User involved in the evaluation- If the SaaS is being used broadly across the business, then it needs to be evaluated by the business, the end users, the managers, wherever practical, involving those that will be directly impacted.
Avoid Single Gate keepers – be careful not to let all opportunities for innovation get filtered through one person/department in your company. Often this is IT. They need to be involved but not exclusively. SaaS is most cases are business services and designed for the business
Track Record – everyone looks at functionality, integration, case studies, reviews but very few look at the track record of growth, market share and most importantly track record for innovation. What you buy today is only a moment in time.
Financials – if the vendor is public, it’s easy to make a quick assessment. If they’re revenue/profit is consistently shrinking this could impact innovation, service levels, support and more, in the future. If they’re a private vendor, you can request those financials under non-disclosure.
Behind the SaaS is a vendor and you’re engaging in a partnership with that vendor and exposing your business to their business and how they conduct themselves.
Link to article – “How to choose the right SaaS provider.”