Despite its various plus points, SaaS isn’t a one-size-fits-all shortcut to business success, and it’s important to tread carefully when choosing applications.
Steven Tucker, MD of cloud-based payroll services provider The Payroll Site, suggests carrying out some in-depth research. “The main pitfalls of SaaS are the same as those of conventional software, so make sure you evaluate carefully that it meets your needs and is easy to use,” he says.
Martin Sandhu, founder of creative tech agency nuom, echoes Tucker’s view. “I’d urge everyone to research the software market and not just settle for what they see first. I recently subscribed to an amazing piece of software we never knew existed but will save us days’ worth of time on projects. All it took was a 10-minute internet search.
“Before making an investment, always take advantage of free trials, demos and walk-throughs,” adds Sandhu. “Don’t be afraid to challenge sales teams to make a compelling use case for how the software will benefit your business and remember to unsubscribe from any services you don’t want to avoid an unexpected bill.”
Keep track of your subscriptions
Some businesses get caught out by signing up for too much, so it’s important to keep track of what you’re paying for.
“The best way to manage subscriptions is to record them all as you sign up to them,” Fontana says. “To do this, you could use a project management tool or simply place all subscription information into a dedicated folder on your computer. As a rule, you should review your subscriptions on a six-month basis to ensure you’re still using all the SaaS that you are paying for.”
And even when cancelling subscriptions, you’ll need to be careful. “Some companies will delete your data from their systems when you end your subscription,” says Tucker. “If you need to maintain access to your records, you’ll need to download the data before you cancel.”
Five top cloud tips from the experts
- Do your research before committing to anything.
- Make use of free trials.
- Ask questions of SaaS providers – especially around data protection and service level agreements (SLAs).
- Keep track of your subscriptions and review them regularly
- Save your data if you’re going to cancel.