Five Things You Can Do NOW to Prepare for Success with Software as a Service (SaaS)

Updated: August 25, 2009

So you've decided your organization is ready to give SaaS a try, perhaps after reading "10 Signs that It May be Time to Consider Software as a Service (SaaS)" and/or the insightful discussions of SaaS "gotchas" within the Focus Information Technology (IT) Group. And maybe you're thinking, "I'll just go online, find a cool SaaS application, whip out the ol' company card, and get started!"

Well, not so fast, buckaroo. As with everything else important to your business, with SaaS, if you fail to plan, you should plan to fail, because you will. If, however, you're interested in planning to succeed with SaaS, here are some areas of focus, so to speak, for you to consider.

Plan to connect where necessary. If your organization now relies primarily on, for example, premises-based e-mail servers and is considering adding e-mail as a service, some synchronization and/or integration may be required. Ditto for document-based collaboration, to ensure everybody's got the same, current versions of all the documents they're using to collaborate. Figure out the necessary points and levels of integration and/or synchronization are in advance, and make sure they're supported. Your users and IT support personnel, if any, will thank you.

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Plan to limit your exposure. Whatever SaaS application(s) you choose to deploy, start small and slowly, and proceed methodically. That way, if something you do has…let's call them interesting unintended consequences, you can minimize any negative effects and correct problems more quickly. (You might also want to try to ensure that there are back-up strategies and work

By ensuring that your plans address, at minimum, the points above, you can help to ensure that your forays into SaaS will be minimally disruptive. You will also maximize the likelihood that you'll learn useful things, whether or not your organization adopts SaaS now. Not a bad return for a bit of planning, eh?

So you've decided your organization is ready to give SaaS a try, perhaps after reading "10 Signs that It May be Time to Consider Software as a Service (SaaS)" and/or the insightful discussions of SaaS "gotchas" within the Focus Information Technology (IT) Group. And maybe you're thinking, "I'll just go online, find a cool SaaS application, whip out the ol' company card, and get started!"

Well, not so fast, buckaroo. As with everything else important to your business, with SaaS, if you fail to plan, you should plan to fail, because you will. If, however, you're interested in planning to succeed with SaaS, here are some areas of focus, so to speak, for you to consider.

Plan to connect where necessary. If your organization now relies primarily on, for example, premises-based e-mail servers and is considering adding e-mail as a service, some synchronization and/or integration may be required. Ditto for document-based collaboration, to ensure everybody's got the same, current versions of all the documents they're using to collaborate. Figure out the necessary points and levels of integration and/or synchronization are in advance, and make sure they're supported. Your users and IT support personnel, if any, will thank you.

,

Plan to limit your exposure. Whatever SaaS application(s) you choose to deploy, start small and slowly, and proceed methodically. That way, if something you do has…let's call them interesting unintended consequences, you can minimize any negative effects and correct problems more quickly. (You might also want to try to ensure that there are back-up strategies and work

By ensuring that your plans address, at minimum, the points above, you can help to ensure that your forays into SaaS will be minimally disruptive. You will also maximize the likelihood that you'll learn useful things, whether or not your organization adopts SaaS now. Not a bad return for a bit of planning, eh?

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