Jul 23, 2020 Admin

SaaS Development

15 Key Questions to Ask From Your Potential SaaS Providers

Software-as-a-service is exactly what its name says, a software that offers services. Many companies and businesses have already adopted this service and others are all set to make their moves shortly. No doubt that switching from on-premise software to SaaS is an efficient way to operate and accomplish business goals. However, selecting the right SaaS development service and gathering the correct information is a hard nut to crack. Every now and then, you stumble upon a service provider ensuring to add ease, simplicity, and cost-efficiency to your business model.

If we look at the stats, the SaaS market is estimated to be worth $145.5 billion by the end of 2021. We may see the continuous growth of the overall SaaS market, as organizations across the globe are adopting SaaS solutions for a variety of business functions, such as CRM solution, ERP solution, and web hosting and eCommerce solution.

Software as a service (SaaS) end-user spending worldwide from 2015 to 2022

Source: Statstia

A few renowned companies who opted for SaaS in their development services have a multi-million market share. Salesforce's market share rose from $161 billion in January 2020 to $251 billion in September 2021. Similarly, an eCommerce software solution, Shopify alone evolved approx 225% in just 20 months. 

SaaS growth is not measured simply by its adoption by giants. It also shares customers using SaaS products.

With time SaaS products are increasingly being adopted by the customers due to affordability and palatability that further empowers & encourages agility and digital transformation.

Reasons For Popularity of SaaS

Small firms work under limited resources that are adequate for the kind of projects they receive. But, as the firm grows, adding new members, users tend to develop SaaS tools requirements for delivering quick and exceptional quality service. 

  • SaaS can eradicate the issues that unroll, resulting in unapproved software at the workplace. With SaaS adoption, large companies can easily provision requisite resources at low cost and utmost security.
  • It is also observed that users relying on multiple SaaS solutions tend to deliver all necessary functionality while addressing technological requirements. 
  • Multiple SaaS solutions may leverage users to adopt multiple product designs for application uses and targeting the same audience.

Also Read: What does the Future of the SaaS Industry look like in 2021

Well, knowing that cloud space exists as a reliable solution is great, it is important that you are aware of all its management concerns and aspects. Therefore, we have listed all the possible questions that are associated with SaaS and have answered them precisely. Take a read:

SaaS service providers

Quest 1: Is customization possible in SaaS?

With technological advancements and evolution in SaaS, the majority of applications can be customized today. Yes, applications like Core dna DXP are ‘multi-tenanted’ but our professionals can easily deliver you a tailored app that fits your specific business needs that too without hampering the common infrastructure. Thanks to its flexibility, that SaaS software can also be modified to meet individual requirements. From user interface and program to data fields and appearance of data, everything can be changed as per your demands.

As the frontend experience layer and Core dna DXP are separated, users are enabled to create their interconnections using APIs. Moreover, you can also modify features, workspace, dashboard, task list, etc., to see only the information that you require, hence optimizing your work and efficiency. Our custom SaaS development service providers will help you with timely updates while eliminating any risks and additional costs. You can get on-premise and SaaS systems tailored in every aspect without compromising the agility and flexibility of the company. 

Quest 2: What are the different supports and services included in SaaS?

A3logics is a one-stop destination for all your SaaS development needs. We have a pool of proficient SaaS developers offering a plethora of services and supports in one place.

Here is a brief idea of different services that you can seek from us:

  • SaaS Application development consulting services
  • Custom SaaS Development Services
  • SAAS application development
  • Multi-tenant architecture upgrade
  • Technology Migration
  • SaaS application design
  • Independent qa software testing services
  • Support and maintenance

To make sure that your ongoing Software-as-a-service system works flawlessly, we also have a well-defined support model.

  • Support service during business hours 
  • Flexible support service via call, chat, email.
  • Team of skilled and experienced SaaS professionals
  • Unlimited support tickets without charging an additional penny.

Quest 3: What are the benefits of SaaS for my business?

As a leading software-as-a-service vendor, we have witnessed the growing popularity of SaaS over the years. It has added great convenience to businesses, leading to its rapid expansion and growth. Its estimated market value growth is over 57% and is expected to rise at a speed of almost 20% in the coming years. With a gamut of advantages that it offers, business models are wasting no time in adopting it soon. The benefits that you can reap from SaaS include:

  • Multi-tenant architecture
  • Global accessibility
  • Reduced costs
  • Multi-device compatibility
  • Scalability and integration
  • Quick to deploy
  • Easy to use
  • No piracy
  • Network effects
  • Seamless Upgrades
  • Long term customer relationship
  • Automated backups and data recovery
  • Easier administration
  • Personalizations & customization’

Quest 4: What happens to our data once we stop using your SaaS service?

We understand that securing the data is your utmost priority and you cannot compromise on it at all. Hence, we spare no effort to ensure that you always own your data even after you cease to take service from us. If you ever plan to stop our SaaS implementation service, there is no need to worry about data as the terms and policies that we work on clearly defines that you are always the owner of data that you create and store. There is an option to backup and export the data once you unsubscribe to our services. The process is easy and you can have access to all the details that your business owns. Moreover, the data format to export is non-proprietary so that your new service provider faces no compatibility challenges.  

Another common concern is, what about the data in case SaaS providers went out of business. Although this is a legitimate question, the chances are slim as SaaS is a business, and businesses are not subject to termination. However, if the situation arises, the data will be still yours. SaaS providers prepay hosting companies to continue the services for a while which ensures that the data is accessible after the vendors shut their business. Make sure that your SLA states that you have the right to export the data from the provider, along with the frequency and format. In fact, most SLAs define that providers will help you export the data if any need arises.

Also Read: 7 Reasons Why You Should Choose Cloud Computing Services for Your Business

Quest 5: What is the cost to avail of SaaS service?

Each service provider has a different pricing structure for software-as-a-service development. There are various components and factors that are considered before quoting the final price. A3logics has a stringent and transparent pricing policy that we share with every client and company. After analyzing the 4 major cost components, we calculate the total cost of the services.

SaaS service

These 4 elements are:

  • The cost paid to hire professionals
  • The complexity of the design
  • Agility or flexibility
  • Development Scale

We use these as key factors to shape the pricing structure. After taking these points into consideration, we select one of the most popular pricing models depending on the nature of your business and SaaS product. Have a look at these pricing strategies:

  • Per-user pricing
  • Flat rate pricing
  • Tiered user pricing
  • Pay as you go
  • Per storage pricing
  • Feature-based pricing
  • Roll your own
  • Freemium
  • Free, Ad-supported
  • Pay per active user

Quest 6: What is the real pricing?

Real pricing is a part of the cost to avail the services from your SaaS provider. The real pricing is defined by four categories - number of users, functionality, amount of data stored, and the number of transactions. 

  • Number of Users

This is one of the simplest ways where some services are charged for registered users. For instance, Disney Hotstar offers limited free content to watch. In order to access premium content you will have to pay for the service. A few vendors may only charge for higher functions. 

  • Functionality

A few companies offer the complete system to their users. While others may save or lock some features for their premium users, which require a higher monthly subscription.

  • Amount of Data Stored

Dropbox or Google is the perfect example of this point. Both these software offers free as well as paid features. You can access the required space (even unlimited) by paying a certain price.

  • Number of Transactions

This is very popular among users with bookkeeping systems. Number of transaction means, can make a certain number of free transactions, and when the limit is reached, each transaction becomes chargeable. 

Quest 7: What SaaS implementation steps do you follow?

SaaS development involved different technologies and models to deliver an effective product to businesses. We meticulously review and understand each project, its requirements, and objectives to create a proper implementation plan. As we get familiar with your business goals in the initial steps, it helps us deliver you a customized SaaS application that serves your specific objectives. The primary steps that we follow during SaaS implementation are:

  • Understanding the business requirements
  • Establishing features of the application
  • Constituting the right team for the task
  • Design a scalable infrastructure
  • Bandwidth and hosting considerations
  • Procuring the infrastructure elements
  • Assuring component quality
  • Deployment of the SaaS infrastructure
  • Planning for disaster recovery and continuity 
  • Monitoring solution
  • Customer support
  • Prepare the Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • Documentation

Quest 8: What are some examples of SaaS?

Software-as-a-service, web-based software, or , it is known by various names. SasS is a business model that is available via a third-party over the internet. Most of the SaaS applications run directly on the web browser which implies that they don’t require any downloads or installations from the clients.

To get a better understanding of this concept before you opt for on demand mobile app development services, here are a few examples that you must go through:

  • Google Apps
  • Salesforce
  • MailChimp
  • Dropbox
  • ZenDesk
  • Slack
  • BigCommerce
  • Hubspot
  • DocuSign
  • Cisco WebEx
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Concur
  • Box

Quest 9: How do you mitigate the risks involved in SaaS?

Many businesses and professionals have shared their concerns over data security in SaaS, such as lack of control on data location, third-party access, lack of visibility, etc. Of course, we understand their doubts and as a trusted SaaS provider, we spare no effort to secure their data in the best way possible. With customers, employees, business partners, suppliers, and many more accessing your applications, we go beyond protecting the edge of the network.

Here are the strategies that we follow to eliminate any risk involved in SaaS implementation:

  • Two-factor authentication
  • End-to-end data encryption
  • Single sign-on (SSO) solution
  • Regular updates
  • Limit data access
  • Intelligent network protection
  • Eliminate shared accounts
  • Standardized cloud assessment questions
  • Well-defined shared responsibility model

Quest 10: What implementation and post-implementation support is available?

Certainly, a smaller and simpler system demands fewer efforts to develop and deploy, hence post implementation support is imperative for the system to deliver efficiency. Unlike any enterprise software development, SaaS designing and development require minimal setup and implementation. 

However, users can customize SaaS products and ask for implementation support for SaaS providers. You can ask about resources, such as manuals & datasheets, templates for uploading information, videos that underline ways to carry out tasks, and FAQs or troubleshooting guides.

Users can opt for a dedicated managed provider or simply look for IT outsourcing services offering SaaS services that can fall under your budget. Outsourcing services also offer post-implementation support to assist you when something gets wrong or when security is compromised.

Quest 11: How will you handle the onboarding and offboarding of my users?

Recruiting employees is a part of the onboarding process, which allows quick access to proprietary applications. Offboarding, on the other hand, is a denial of access to the same. The SaaS provider you choose must share ways that reduce your cost & risk. So, if they say that they would offer manual work or send .csv files, you must ponder on whether you want to move with this provider or not!

You can simply raise doubt by asking your SaaS provider about the support they can offer for provisional protocol, such as SCIM ( system for cross-domain identity management), which simplifies the onboarding and offboarding process. If they are unable to provide even a user management API, then they should not be on your list.

Quest 12: Do you provide SSO and associated security? If not, how are the passwords stored and protected?

A single-sign-on facility is a shorter authentication method for users to log in. We can observe advancements in the technology and cybersecurity approach thus, reducing the need for separate credentials for each service, which somehow also increases customer engagement. 

SSO offers complete control with security for integrating exceptional user experience. Companies can enforce policies, such as multi-factor authentication and conditional access across applications. Hence, your provider must offer SSO service, whether chargeable. If not, are there other protocols they follow to store and protect the most confidential data of the company? 

Also Read: A Comprehensive Guide to IoT Messaging Protocols

Quest 13: What are the protection mechanisms and compliance standards that you employ in data centers?

Compromising on security is a big risk to your data as well as the company's reputation. A data breach is a serious issue that every SaaS provider must pay detailed attention to prevent serious harm to the company. Hence must integrate best practices to secure the data from getting infected. Your SaaS provider can include these techniques -

  • Firewalls
  • SSL and application security
  • 24X7 security monitoring
  • Third-party certifications for security practices
  • SAS70-certified Tier 4 data center

You must also ensure that your SaaS provider follows different compliance standards for improving the security posture of the company network infrastructure, such as GDPR, PCI, APRA, and more.

Quest 14: What is your incident response plan?

Your SaaS provider must be proficient to quickly identify the breach and respond to it immediately before the breach could travel across critical and confidential data. Hence, the provider must provide business continuity and disaster recovery service, which includes a robust and effective communication strategy, tools to monitor and flag incidents.

A few providers follow the tabletop approach to deter breaches. This exercise brings the responsible team together who practice their response on bringing up a hypothetical incident. The practice is to polish the skills making the team proficient when there is a real-time breach to respond promptly to ensure minimal to no damage.

Quest 15: What types of information about my environment would be logged, and how long are logs available?

For continuous scalability, companies must maintain a practice for deep analysis of their business, including logging permissions.  

Logs allow companies to obtain performance metrics to user actions captured, which can assist in understanding the real-time health of the cloud environment. Additionally, logs can help companies evaluate which defensive practice works better and which does not. This practice allows companies to make improvements and add an extra security layer to their infrastructure.

Before investing in SaaS or employing a SaaS provider, you must deliberately put forward the type of information that can be accessed for a certain period.

Any More Questions?

We are sure that we have answered all your doubts and queries in the easiest way. However, if there is still something that is bothering you or you have questions to ask from your SaaS provider, feel free to ask us and we will be there at your assistance. Give us a call or drop a mail and we will get back to you within no time. Hope to hear from you soon.

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