The times have changed, we are now a days living in a world where new software doesn’t come at a big upfront price but comes at a small SAAS subscription which means any new business can have a huge suite of software to run their business easily.
But before signing up for a SAAS subscription (per user per month subscription) you need to check a few things. The below list can be increased or decreased based on your business environment, personal environment, technical expertise etc. But it may just give you a good start.
It is one of the most important considerations when subscribing to any software/service. You should ask questions like,
- What is the monthly price of the SAAS subscription?
- What will it include?
- How much support will be included in it?
- Would you have to pay extra for the additional support?
- How many licenses/users will be enough for your needs?
- Can you (legally) share these licenses within your organisation or not?
- Is there a minimum number of users which you will have to subscribe to?
- Is there a minimum period of subscription?
- Can new users be added easily and quickly?
- If there is a mobile app would there be an additional charge for the mobile app or license?
Setup & Training
- How much training is included in the software?
- Would there be any support on setting up the software and internal training for the organisation?
- Would there be any additional charges for setting up the software?
- Would integration with third-party software/website be additional?
- Is there a limit on the disk space?
- If yes, what is the price of the additional disk space?
- What do all files and data count towards the disk space?
Access & Security
- Where is the data stored?
- Is your data safe in the cloud?
- How often is the data backed up? Make sure it is backed up enough so that you can revert back to an older version in case you need to.
- Can you access the backups?
- Who owns the data stored in the cloud? Check and ensure that the data stored in the cloud is owned by you as per the agreement by your vendor.
- How do you contact support? Email/Phone/Online Support Desk?
- What is the way of escalating any issue?
- What extra add-ons are available with the software? Make sure you have all the features and additional for the future growth of your business.
- Who looks after the servers and upgrades the version of the software?
- How often do the upgrades happen and is there a downtime for any such upgrades?
- What is the average availability of the software? It is standard to have 99.999% in a year but that equates to almost 9 hours can your business bear that?
- Do they have a money refund policy if the downtime goes over 0.001%?
- What are the terms around cancellation?
- Is there a notice period for cancellation/termination of the agreement?
- Do you get a refund if you prepaid for the subscription?
- Would you get your data back after the termination of the service?
- What will be the format of this information?
- Can the software be installed on my local server after the termination?