10 things to consider while choosing the right SaaS development partner
In today’s scenario, with every tech enterprise and most other enterprises moving towards cloud solutions, aiming to optimize costs and enhance their business productivity, finding a developer for a reliable, scalable, secure and versatile SaaS product is a thing of prime importance. With so many new developers coming up with a variety of SaaS offerings, finding the right and trustworthy provider is a difficult task especially when most of them claim to be the best in the industry. We have come up with few quick checkpoints to look for while evaluating and finding the right SaaS developer for your business requirements and hope it helps in easing out your quest in some way.
- Need analysis/consultancy: It is most critical to understand and evaluate the requirements of the business and work in detail before searching for a SaaS developer. Opting for a solution without really acknowledging the specific demands and challenges that the current work is facing, will be detrimental for the company on a longer run. Diving deep into the specific needs and keeping the information handy will greatly help in comparing the offerings of a provider and see if they best fit into your requirements or not. There are some developers who take the entire onus of performing the need analysis and provide assistance from experts who dive deep into your business requirements, covering all the technical aspects and help you out in having a clarity of what you need and what they have to offer. Although the requirements can be specific to the business, there are certain core areas that are relevant with existing solution providers and can be used to evaluate them in a much better way.
- Platform integration: Smooth and effortless integration of the developer’s platform and technology with the current IT environment and architecture of the enterprise is an important consideration in evaluating the partner. Too much restructuring and customizing to fit into the services will mean additional time and cost, ultimately affecting the productivity of your business in the process. Network and system architecture and connectivity, browser fit, workload assessment and migration, dry run and testing are some of the major scope of work to consider in ensuring flawless integration. An efficient developer will always have a solution based on an adaptive platform and would ensure the integration process is as hassle free as possible. Even if there are needs of certain customization and alterations, the provider must be ready to provide complete assistance and support with no additional cost. Multi Tenant architecture upgrade is usually the most cost effective alternative due to reduced maintenance costs. So, look out for providers serving the same.
- Deployment Roadmap: In order to ensure a long term partnership, it is important to look at the deployment plan or roadmap of the vendor with well structured timelines including its commitment to stick to specific platforms and vendors. Checking their deployment efficacy with relevant clients can give a better idea on how things might work out in your case.
- Security: Developers must be adept at providing solutions with best in the industry security and privacy standards. Along with securing the platform, infrastructure, network and applications they must also provide features such as unauthorized/compromised account detection, data encryption, robust and multifactor authentication, identity or role based access management, data loss prevention etc. Authentic service providers need to comply with standard data security and privacy regulations, cyber security protection, data encryption policies, data segregation policies and employee security practices.
- Service Level Agreement (SLA): SLAs are regular contracts signed between the enterprise and the development partner which outline the services the developer is willing to cover in greater detail and account factors such as roles and responsibilities, availability of service, response time, exclusions, data policies, and penalties in case of any violation. You must spend a lot of time in understanding each and every term and make sure the agreement encompasses all the necessary aspects regardless of how complex it may seem.
- Scalability: Every business inadvertently grows with time and the scale of growth is sometimes incomprehensible even to the stakeholders. The solution offered by the developer must be competent enough to scale up as per the growing requirements and demands of the business without any compromise in the quality of the service offered.
- Support: The primary objective of having SaaS is to outsource the server and infrastructure level involvement and ensure maximum focus on the core business functioning. Regardless of how perfect the solution might sound, there are always operational and functional issues which are very much unavoidable. An ideal service provider will be able to address these hurdles with a well equipped and well functional support and maintenance system with ease. Testing out the support mechanism yourself beforehand is definitely recommended.
- Maintenance: Scheduled and need based maintenance of the functional aggregates is a definite requirement from any major developer without any additional cost. The server uptime and Operational efficiency of the maintenance team and system can be checked from enterprises where solutions have already been deployed.
- Reliability: Looking for reliable and trusted development partners in the industry is the safest approach to seek a service product as integral as SaaS. One of the best approaches to check reliability of the provider is to have a look at their testimonials and personally get feedback from the clients who have received services from the developer.
- Pricing: After all the checks and analysis, the last thing to account for is the price offerings of the development partner. While one must not compromise on the quality of the service and worthiness of the developer to ensure lower costs, it is also equally important to make sure that the prices are reasonable and justify the expectations of your enterprise from the partner. A perfect balance needs to striked out between both the parties for a successful venture.