6 Things to Consider Before Signing That SaaS SLA

My Post - 2019-08-13T114816.546.pngAs companies continue to move away from developing software in-house, they’ve been relying on Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors to provide the services they need.

In fact, the average company spent 78% more on SaaS products in 2018 compared to 2017.

But before jumping right in and signing up with a SaaS vendor, it’s crucial that you have a firm agreement in place so that you get what you’re expecting from the product and service(s) they provide. The last thing you want is to be locked in with a vendor that’s not meeting your business requirements.

That’s why we’ve turned to industry experts to learn more about what a service-level agreement (SLA) is, why you need one, and what you should look for before signing one.

What Is a SaaS SLA?

An SLA outlines what the vendor intends to provide, and the client expects to receive regarding a particular service. It’s not a contract that’s exclusive to the SaaS industry, but “all commercial SaaS vendors offer SLAs,” according to Louis Gottfried, director of technology at WineGlass Marketing.

The agreement could “include details of availability and services as well as technical details,” explained John Mason, director of customer experience at Nextiva. A typical SLA will outline metrics to measure the performance of a service, and the penalties if a vendor doesn’t meet these requirements. – Read more

SaaS Providers: Stop Changing the Terms of the Deal

My Post - 2019-08-12T185109.456.pngI logged onto my accounting software this morning and, instead of doing the task I wanted to do, I was immediately confronted with a pop-up window that informed me the terms of service and pricing scheme were changing.

Again. What choice do I have but to accept the new terms? I could stop using the platform, download all of my data, and move to another platform. But the new platform provider will likely be no better.

If you use a lot of online platforms, terms of service, end user license agreements (EULAs), and software as a service agreements (SaaS) seem to be in a constant state of modification. There is seldom a month that goes by when I am not accepting some new change to keep using the same web program.

Ever-changing online terms are not what judges and legal scholars had in mind when they developed the law around contract modifications over the past two centuries. One of the doctrines taught in law school, called the Pre-Existing Duty Rule, established a principle that a new promise to perform an already existing obligation cannot be consideration for an agreement. In other words, you cannot charge more for the same thing if someone has already agreed to buy it. An example: A person promises to do to a job for $100, the employer accepts, but when he shows up to do the work he demands $200 to do the same task. The employer received no new consideration. Under the Pre-Existing Duty Rule, the employer is only legally obligated to pay $100 when the job is complete. (Murray on Contracts, Section 64).  (Note that the Uniform Commercial Code’s Article 2 for the sale of goods does not use the Pre-Existing Duty Rule). – Read more

Which IT Cloud Computing Service Model is The Best for my Business?

My Post - 2019-08-02T161002.531.pngIn the world of business, technology is really changing how things tend to function, and with the appearance of IT Cloud Services, it wasn’t really a different case.

Ever since IT Cloud Services first appeared, which was not more than a decade ago, business owners and other influential people in the corporate world immediately embraced the technology, and up to this day, they are implementing it in their workflow in order to grow and expand much easier.

A lot of business owners nowadays are considering to move their entire infrastructure on a more reliable cloud platform instead of keeping everything on-center. And to be honest, it’s a really smart decision. Why? We’ll be explaining in this article.

If you happen to be someone from the corporate world who has the opportunity to implement IT Cloud Services in your business, we definitely advise you to do so. The benefits are huge, but if you don’t believe us yet, feel free to continue reading until the end in order to learn some more on this topic. Without further ado, let’s take a look. – Read more

Ability to rapidly launch new products and services ranks high as a cloud benefit

My Post - 2019-08-02T151025.928.pngSecurity, backup and , geographic location of cloud  centres and compliance requirements emerged as important elements of a cloud strategy.

This is according to a recent Cloud Adoption Survey conducted by ITWeb in partnership with data solutions leader, Pure Storage.

Cloud is mission critical for organisations

Moving mission-critical apps to the cloud can be a complex process, as organisations need to address challenges around , data management, and performance.

An overwhelming majority of survey respondents (80%) said they consider the applications they are using in the cloud to be mission-critical for their business, while 12% did not consider them so.

The top three types of business applications being used (or planned to use in future) in the cloud are software development (59%), office productivity tools (58%), and internal enterprise applications (58%).

When it comes to backup and recovery solutions, cloud managed back-ups enables the secure, automated backup and recovery of critical information stored on servers or corporate devices. A vast majority (70%) have considered cloud as a long-term home for their backup data; while only 13% are unsure.

Security

While many cloud service providers implement good security standards and industry certifications, the survey reveals that local executives still hold a perception that cloud data is inherently less secure than data that is housed on-premises.

Other areas of concern were cloud provider lock-in (43%), performance concerns (37%) and integration with existing systems (36%).

According to IDC, cloud adoption is accelerating faster than previously anticipated in SA, with 65% of local CIOs planning to invest in public and private cloud. The fastest-growing market segment is forecast to be cloud system infrastructure services, or infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

While cloud computing offers many benefits for organisations, including a reduction in hardware costs, according to the Pure Storage study, almost a third (29%) of the survey respondents cited cost and lack of return on investment as additional barriers to cloud adoption. – Read more

Gartner forecasts a cloudy future for the database market

My Post - 2019-08-02T142842.216.pngThe future of the database market is looking increasingly cloudy.

Analyst firm Gartner Inc. is predicting that three quarters of all database deployments will be made to the cloud within just three years, and that few will ever return to on-premises environments. The analyst firm, in a report published today, said the on-premises database market continues to fade as cloud-based options grow in popularity.

That’s thanks in part to the usefulness of databases that are used for analytics purposes as well as the rise of the cloud software-as-a-service business model. Gartner reckons that it’s seeing clients deploy new applications and migrate existing assets to the cloud at an exponentially growing rate.

Those deployments include things such as data warehouses and data lakes and also analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning workloads. And just 5% of these deployments are ever likely to be moved back in-house at a later date, it said.

The shift is part of the overall trend that’s seen companies increasingly move workloads away from their in-house information technology infrastructure to public cloud platforms rented from companies such as Amazon Web Services Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Google LLC. Cloud services can sometimes be more expensive, but they provide considerable advantages such as eliminating the need to manage the infrastructure, and being able to scale workloads up and down more easily. In many cases the cloud is also seen as more secure, Gartner said. – Read more

A Quick Checklist for Building SaaS Businesses

My Post - 2019-07-25T160750.933.pngConsumers worldwide are enjoying the instant accessibility of cloud computing as well as the easy upgrades, improved mobility and low costs.

Yet, as this growing business model booms, so does the competition. Trendsetters like Google, Oracle and Amazon are setting standards for experience and design, while disruptive innovators are growing quickly.

And all have never had it so easy when it comes to scaling and shaking up the market.

If you’re one of the many budding entrepreneurs looking to dive into the competitive SaaS market, I have put together a checklist to keep your business on track and make sure you avoid some of the common pitfalls:

1. Have you educated yourself and created a lean plan?

The real benefit of the tech market is its flexibility. You often won’t need a large team or even permanent office space to get started. So strip your business down to its essentials, and try to wear as few hats as possible. If you create a lean plan and spend time focusing on what truly matters to your business, you will improve your chances of success.  There are plenty of books available which discuss how to create lean startup plans. I recommend The Lean Startup by Eric Ries as a good jumping-off point.

2. Are you focused on your MVP?

Most SaaS businesses stem from a core idea, which can then snowball into a more complex product. Identifying this core function and developing it to the fullest is a better strategy than trying to build  a more complex product which solves a host of problems. The initial customers you acquire can give you a great motivational push to keep your business growing. Once you have some feedback from your early users, you will be in a better position to develop your business in new directions and to prioritize any upcoming features.

Cloud database management set to soar in coming years

My Post - 2019-07-25T160029.251.pngGartner suggests the trend towards SaaS will drive down the on-premise approach

The trend involving databases being used for analytics under the ever-popular software as a service (SaaS) model will see 75% of all databases being deployed or migrated to a cloud platform, according to Gartner’s latest predictions.

The IT analyst house also said that just 5% of these will ever be considered by owners to be taken back into on-premise infrastructure as businesses continue to realise the benefits of widespread cloud adoption.

“According to inquiries with Gartner clients, organisations are developing and deploying new applications in the cloud and moving existing assets at an increasing rate, and we believe this will continue to increase,” said Donald Feinberg, distinguished research vice president at Gartner.

“We also believe this begins with systems for data management solutions for analytics (DMSA) use cases — such as data warehousing, data lakes and other use cases where data is used for analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

“Increasingly, operational systems are also moving to the cloud, especially with conversion to the SaaS application model.”

Research from Gartner shows that worldwide revenue from database management systems was up a significant 18.4% to $46 million and cloud database management systems accounted for 68% of that. – Read more

Why half of enterprises struggle to keep pace with cloud security

My Post - 2019-07-25T153428.795.png

SaaS applications are supplanting traditional desktop software, and visibility into cloud workloads is a major problem, according to Symantec.

 

You’ve heard it for years—the future of business applications is mostly cloudy, and that brave new world has come to pass, as a 53% of enterprise compute workloads have now migrated to the cloud, according to Symantec’s Cloud Security Threat Report, published Monday, The report also finds 54% of respondents indicate their organization’s cloud security is not able to keep up with cloud applications.

To be fair, there is a lot to keep up with—93% of respondents indicate their organizations are storing data in more than one environment, with 69% of respondents still storing data on premises. “This heterogeneity makes it difficult to achieve visibility across applications and workloads,” the report notes, “ushering in a host of challenges that tax the expertise and bandwidth of IT staff and make some legacy cyber defense tools and processes obsolete.”

Symantec also notes that “the average organization believes its employees are using 452 cloud apps,” but Symantec contends the actual number is 1,807, which is a bidirectional problem at best. IT decision makers should be more aware of what third-party services are being used by employees, though throwing any web-based service in the category of cloud application dilutes the meaning of both “cloud” and “application.” Independent of these definitions, 93% of respondents indicated difficulties monitoring all cloud workloads. – Read more

Should CEOs Embrace Cloud Computing?

My Post - 2019-07-25T154606.002.pngCloud computing has grown considerably in recent years, especially among larger companies and corporations.

However, some CEOs are still reluctant to bring this technology into their daily operations. Even after deciding to adopt cloud computing, some CEOs are also still torn between public and private options.

The Growth of Cloud Computing

According to Forbes, 83 percent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. Cloud computing continues to grow as a result of the many benefits it offers to businesses. Some of the primary benefits of cloud computing for businesses include:

  • Reliability – The cloud is always available, providing businesses with service they can depend on.
  • Availability – Cloud computing makes it possible for employees to work from any location with an internet connection. This facilitates travel, as well as work-at-home options.
  • Scalability – With cloud computing, businesses can pay for only the services they need. Services can be added or removed easily, making this a cost-effective option for companies of any size.
  • Affordability – Business that utilize cloud computing don’t need to invest in expensive equipment or in-house IT teams to the same degree as businesses using older technologies. This makes cloud computing a much more affordable option for most businesses.
  • Always up-to-date – When a business works with a cloud provider, hardware and software is updated on a regular basis without any extra expense.
  • Better for the environment – Cloud computing reduces the strain on the environment. Businesses interested in protecting the environment may choose cloud computing over traditional technologies for this reason. – Read more

Tackling the UK’s productivity with the right cloud solutions

My Post - 2019-07-23T184800.952.pngThe proliferation of vast swathes of data offers a treasure trove of information for organisations looking to uncover previously unidentified business insights, and regular software updates to cloud infrastructure are taken care of by its suppliers

 

The UK is in the midst of a productivity crisis. Despite relatively high employment levels, worker output has not correlated with this positive trend. There may be a high proportion of the UK population in work, but they are not producing as much as they could be.

The productivity gap is a key concern for public and private sector organisations. It is a complex issue, but one which innovative technology can help address through the collaboration and remote working opportunities offered by cloud technology.

We have seen increasing rates of cloud adoption in the UK – and this has gone hand in hand with a greater understanding of what the cloud is.

Increasingly, organisations have come to understand the cloud as a delivery model through which users connect to their data, documents and information online. By using cloud technology and cloud-enabled productivity platforms, such as Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365, workers can collaborate anytime, anywhere.

Taken together, these two developments can have a significant impact on productivity. Rather than having to work through several iterations of separate documents, with each individually amended, saved on to a central server system and then emailed to a new recipient, the cloud allows for real-time collaboration that speeds up working processes. This saves time and money by allowing employees to work on the same document with their colleagues.

Working remotely also brings significant productivity benefits. For example, being unable to make it into the office no longer means being restricted from accessing documents stored on a central server. Using cloud technology, collaborative documents can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. – Read more