We recently kicked off a series of posts, aimed at educating our readers about the right questions to ask when evaluating SaaS solutions, as well as the companies that provide them. In the last entry, we discussed the importance of security, and how to make sure the vendor you choose has the proper protection mechanisms in place.
In this post, we’ll talk about data retention and ownership.
Inquiring About Data Retention and Ownership
When you subscribe to a SaaS solution, you’re putting a tremendous amount of faith in your vendor, since they will be the one responsible for storing and managing all related data. In some cases, that data will be highly sensitive and confidential in nature. For example, your SaaS application could house information about your customers, or about proprietary products.
So, it’s important to make sure you retain full rights to that data at all times. Check to see if:
- They have rigid policies in place to keep your data protected from breach or theft
- You and your authorized users will have unfettered access to application information, at any time
Additionally, data portability is of the utmost importance. You’ll want to quickly recover your data if the SaaS vendor goes out of business. And, if you ever choose to stop using the service, you’ll want the ability to easily export your data and take it elsewhere.
What to Look For
When it comes to data ownership, not all SaaS vendors are created equal. Believe it or not, some SaaS providers may even limit your rights to your data, so it’s important to weigh their responses carefully.
What you really need is a SaaS vendor who guarantees that:
- Your contact data will never be shared with or sold to a third-party.
- It is not possible for your application data to be retrieved by anyone other than authorized representatives of your company.
- You’ll have full access to your information, for viewing or transfer, at any time.
- Information can be downloaded in a wide array of popular formats, so it can be easily migrated into another application if needed.
Next week, we’ll continue our discussion by highlighting the proper questions to ask a SaaS vendor regarding performance and availability.
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