Using cloud services is no longer uncommon. In fact, in your personal life, you may use SaaS services (like PlayStation Plus) just as you do at work. When you allow a SaaS service subscription to expire, you can expect to face some sort of consequence … ranging from inconvenient to disastrous.
As a general rule of thumb, the longer you wait between allowing a service to expire and reinstating it, the more expensive it will be, and the fewer options you will have. IT contract management is about keeping you up to date on all your SaaS services so that you have adequate warning when a service is about to expire and can take action to prevent problems. Here are some of the things you could find yourself dealing with if you let a service expire.
You May Be Given a Grace Period
With some SaaS services, if your subscription lapses, you’re given a grace period during which you can figure out what to do with your stored data. In some cases, you are able to download it and do with it what you want. For example, with Microsoft Office 365, if your subscription lapses, you have a grace period in which to download your files and you will only be able to read and print cloud-stored documents unless you renew your subscription. You will receive email notifications when your subscription is about to expire, but it’s easy for these emails to get lost in the daily email shuffle. With Microsoft Office 365, you won’t lose your files and will be able to download them indefinitely. You’ll just have to find another way to create and edit them if you don’t renew your subscription.
Data May be Stored for a While, Then Purged
Some providers will hang onto your data for a specified time period, after which it’s deleted. For example, if you allow your PlayStation Plus membership to expire, your cloud saves will stay on Sony’s servers for six months. If you subscribe within that six month period, you can access them again. If, however, your PS3 were to croak six months after you last backed up your games and dropped your subscription, you would have to kiss six months of gaming goodbye. It’s easy to see how a business app with a similar policy could be disastrous if you inadvertently neglected to re-subscribe before the cutoff date when your data is purged.
A Little Data May Be Saved, but You Could Lose the Rest
Another possibility when you let a cloud service lapse is that a fraction of your files are stored. For example, with Adobe Creative Cloud, if you haven’t downloaded your files to your computer, you could be out of luck. Once you let Creative Cloud lapse, Adobe will continue to store 2 GB worth of files (rather than the full 20GB you get with the service). You can still use a free subset of Creative Cloud services like syncing files, or use of a 30-day trial of the desktop software (as long as it wasn’t already installed as part of your paid Creative Cloud membership). But if you didn’t save your work to your computer, anything over the free 2GB of storage is gone.
The moral of the story is that you don’t want to accidentally let a SaaS service lapse. At best, it will be a chore getting reinstated, and at worst you could lose valuable data. You have to read your contracts and know exactly what the consequences are should your service lapse, and you have to put procedures in place for ensuring that it doesn’t happen.
When you use IT contract management software, you can avoid these problems. Samanage, provider of SaaS service desk software, includes a full suite of asset management features, including license compliance and IT contract management. Implement IT contract management and you greatly reduce the risk of impending data loss haunting you on that long-awaited day off … or worse, coming back to work to find that valuable data has disappeared.