5 Things to Consider Before Selecting a SaaS Provider

The best way to select a SaaS hosting provider is by doing it the way you would select your own technologies in-house. That starts with a thorough understanding of your business.

Technology isn’t the only factor in a successful investment. SaaS providers must drive business value as well. You must connect the dots between software and revenue, and everything in between.

You’ll go through cycles of technology investments during your business’ lifetime. Be sure your SaaS vendor will support them all.

Consider the following five factors when choosing managed SaaS:

1. Understand Your Unique SaaS Business Needs

You are at the beginning of your journey and have decided to launch a SaaS application due to the many benefits and features the model affords. Your business is unique and so are your requirements, but before deciding on the best SaaS hosting provider, the first thing you want to consider is the number of potential users on the SaaS platform. You don’t want to spend more than you need, alternatively, you also do not want a system that underperforms, so have an idea of what kind of traffic to expect.

SaaS cloud provides a wide range of services, and your goal is to identify your needs. Therefore, you must explore the exact SaaS hosting services required for your company.

Determine what resources will be required to keep your SaaS application running. First and foremost, it includes your anticipated monthly traffic, i.e., estimation of storage and bandwidth usage for your SaaS product.

There has been a great deal of chatter online about the ‘Best SaaS Hosting Solution.’ But it is the individual support of your unique business needs you should have in mind.

Start by assessing exactly which services you would like to shift to an external provider. This can be items like:

  • Website and server hosting

  • Server backups

  • Cloud Storage

  • VPN

  • DDoS protection

  • Server Administration and Management

  • Content Management Systems

  • Automated backups

  • Adequate storage space

  • Migration

  • Content delivery network (CDN)

Cloud hosting companies have proliferated over the two decades, and they now provide a spectrum of functions and services. Determining exactly which services you need is a great first step.

Pricing is another business need you should consider. You will want to balance capabilities with your pricing points. This becomes more difficult as you juggle the different capabilities you want from your solution.

For example, you want cost-effective scalability. If your company grows quickly, you must facilitate that growth. Look for pricing structures that support this on your terms.

Does your SaaS hosting solution support all present and future capabilities you will need? Don’t corner yourself by selecting a solution that you will change again a year from now. Your clearly outlined business plan should include your technology requirements.

2. Take All Technology Needs into Account

Even as your business begins to shift away from in-house servers to SaaS applications, you still need to consider the resources that you may choose to host internally.

Perhaps you have an in-house accounting system. Your own IT team manages the system, and you’d like to keep it that way. So, what does it have to do with SaaS?

You may find you need to integrate these solutions with cloud applications. You may want that accounting system to link up with your Customer Relationship Management portal to cut down on bouncing between applications. Interoperability with these is essential, even if you don’t need it at first.

Make sure to consider all of the applications you currently run and work with a SaaS provider to integrate as many of them as possible.

3. Consider How Your Investment Will Support Future Initiatives

As your business grows, you will want to scale your SaaS resources. Ensure your SaaS provider has fair offers when it comes to increasing your investment. They should offer discounted pricing for wider utilization as well.

Review the list of technology features your SaaS hosting provider provides. Which of these technologies support your business plan? Choose a solution that supports key technologies you will need 12 months from now.

4. Secure a Clearly Outlined Service Level Agreement

By addressing your needs in advance as planning for growth as we outlined earlier, you now know exactly the requirements of your business, so it’s time to review key features when deciding on your SaaS hosting provider. Some of these service offerings may include:

  • Reliable, dedicated on-site security 24/7/365

  • Reliable 24/7/365 support availability

  • On-demand scalability

  • Detailed documentation and support

  • Analytical tools

  • Custom solutions

These are key advantages of the cloud you should not overlook and of course they are not the only things to consider. Every provider offers some kind of Uptime guaranteed, measured in SLA (Service Level Agreement), and is likely your most important metric to finding the right solution. Ideally, you want a minimum of 99.999% (five nines) SLA Uptime.

You will want to give consideration to penalties and termination. Be sure that any penalties (such as going over your data allotment) are clearly outlined in your SLA. On the flip side, you should be compensated for failures and downtime and be credited in the event of such instances. You may even wish to terminate the service agreement if your concerns are not addressed in a timely fashion, therefore you must have the option to terminate without penalty due to contract failure.

The analytical tools they will provide should have the capability of providing you with the metrics and performance reporting that you need.

Find a provider fully invested in continuity and disaster recovery and who is always available to you.

5. Be Prepared for Rapid Growth

Don’t make your success a problem for your business. A really good web hosting service will take an active interest in helping you realize your goals and has experience scaling their other clients. Do your research, read their case studies and white papers.

Depending on your growth trajectory, you may wish to start on a virtual server as a tenant before moving on to a more dedicated option. If this is the case, share your long-term business plan with potential providers. Do they identify right away with your growth plan? Or, do they seem indifferent, only interested in securing a service level agreement?

You are looking for a long-term partner, not an IT landlord. The ideal SaaS provider will develop service plans unique to your business. If you feel that they can share in your success, you have found the right SaaS solutions for you.

Make the Most Out of Your Server

ServerMania has been helping businesses with their data and storage needs for nearly 20 years and is committed to providing our customers with reliable, satisfying experiences. We have eight data centers across the world to serve all of your needs and we are excited to contribute to your ongoing business success.

Contact us for a custom quote to select the right service option for you.