Wednesday February 19, 2014
Before you begin a software as a service (SaaS) transition, you may want to consider some of the commonly made mistakes by companies that are implementing a SaaS application. SaaS is useful, versatile and scalable, but it's still a different type of technology that needs to be approached in a unique way.
1. Not ensuring a reliable Internet connection.
Extremely basic items can sometimes be missed simply because they're so obvious. Not all companies take the time to ensure that their Internet connection is stable enough to support their new SaaS applications and find that they encounter issues soon after implementation. Some companies even forget that their employees occasionally need to work offline, leading to disaster. Redundant Internet connections are always ideal for companies that are depending on SaaS.
2. Not running a background check on your SaaS provider.
Anyone can be a SaaS host; a server in a basement can technically host SaaS applications. Failure to ensure you have a reputable SaaS provider can be extremely detrimental; you could experience outages, security issues or a case of "disappearing vendor syndrome." Always check reviews before committing to a SaaS provider, and discuss your needs thoroughly.
3. Not following compliance requirements.
Many industries are required to operate by strict codes of data compliance. These issues should be thoroughly researched before, not after, switching over to SaaS. Compliance issues often include who will be allowed to access data, how the data will be secured, how long the data will be retained and even how the data will eventually be destroyed.
4. Not anticipating training and employee issues.
As any manager knows, employees hate change. Something that seems like a trivial modification to an IT guru or even a business executive may represent a significant amount of frustration or confusion to staff members. Employees should be thoroughly trained and familiar with the SaaS system before it actually goes live; this will ensure that the most significant issues have already been ironed out. Companies should avoid being over-eager to make the transition and instead dedicate as much time as necessary to employee training.
5. Not putting protocols and security standards in place.
SaaS applications are extremely accessible — and this can represent some significant security issues. Before the SaaS implementation begins, there should be training on the security protocols that will need to be followed. Mobile device security should be discussed, and all employees should be trained on the proper ways to use and create passwords.
If handled correctly, SaaS implementations can lower overhead, increase customer satisfaction and bolster employee productivity. However, if handled incorrectly, a SaaS implementation can turn into a morass of confusion, miscommunication and security issues. A solid transition plan is absolutely essential for those that want to complete the transition without any costly problems.