How to Avoid a Crisis If Your SaaS Vendor Goes Out of Business

Nowadays it’s par for the course for organizations to use software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings for things like file sharing, appointment scheduling, customer service management, and a number of other end-user operations. But what happens if the SaaS vendor that you use suddenly folds and is no longer there to support the services that your business and your website have come to rely on? While it is rare, it does happen and you need to prepare for the worst to prevent such a scenario from causing a crisis within your organization.

Why Would Your SaaS Vendor Fold?

SaaS services are in demand and the marketplace is profitable, so why would your SaaS vendor go under without notice? While it isn’t something that happens every day, it can and does happen. While the market is indeed profitable and the services are in demand, there is also a lot of cutthroat competition. As a result, the marketplace has become overcrowded in terms of supply versus demand. Due to the heavy competition, a SaaS vendor could easily fold unexpectedly. Down with it goes the vendor’s platforms, which provide the companies they serve with critical services that go down when the vendor goes under. If this were to happen to your SaaS vendor, it would immediately interrupt your end-user operations and it could also potentially interfere with additional functions of your website.

Some Other Things to Take into Consideration

 If your company loses access to its data in the cloud and you can’t access critical applications, you effectively put a stop to your own operations. If you want to guarantee the continuity of your business, you must ensure that you have unconditional access to all your organization’s data at all times. While you could try to run an alternative SaaS service along with your main service, there are often problems with loss of compatibility that may render platform locks incompatible and there are also some contracts that SaaS providers demand that stipulate that you will not use another SaaS provider while using their services. This prevents you from being able to run a parallel service in the first place. So how do you mitigate your risk?

Mitigating SaaS Risks

First, before choosing a vendor (or when looking to change vendors if you’re not with the right one now), consider the stability of the vendor itself. Who backs the vendor? Just because they have cutting-edge technology doesn’t mean they are immune to death by competition. They need solid funding and backing if they are going to be able to roll with the punches that may be thrown their way. Also, be wary of start-ups that are doing too well. Such companies may be very attractive to long-standing companies that would like to acquire the company and strip it down and close it (getting rid of competition in the process).

In addition to researching the vendor itself, look closely at the Service Level Agreement the vendor offers. Any reputable vendor will offer a Service Level Agreement that includes articles in it that address recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives, such as the guarantee of business continuity in case of a service outage through the means of switching to alternative platforms.

You should also consider software escrow services. These services guarantee that your business always has access to a working version of your software. Recovery-as-a-service providers can also be useful. These services mirror your business’s data on a third-party server should you ever need it. This means if your data is ever compromised, you can simply switch over to the mirror version. However, when choosing a recovery-as-a-service provider, make sure you choose one that stores data in more than one data vault. This way, if one vault is compromised there is a backup of your data safely tucked away in another one.

Website monitoring service is also key. If something should go wrong with your SaaS vendor and the issue affects your website, you need to know as soon as possible so you can put your action plan into place sooner rather than later. With quality website monitoring in place, you’ll know the moment something goes wrong and not a second later, saving your business precious time and profits as you immediately move to address the issue the SaaS failure has caused.

Count on Alertra for your website monitoring. Contact us today!