A little while ago the UnreasonableMen posted this, saying that to reach the next level of adoption, and to gain extra real estate and hence revenue, SaaS vendors need to think seriously about Service Level Agreements (SLAs). It was interesting then to see this article today, saying that SLAs will be one of the defining features of SaaS’s entrance into mainstream acceptance.
Specific areas an SLA should cover;
- Performance of the ap
- Security of data
- Vendor liability in the event of data loss
Advice also to consider the worst case scenario – that the vendor may go out of business altogether. To protect against that eventuality, customers can request that the vendor bring in a third-party “escrow” provider that will, for example, house the applications source code and data, in case the SaaS vendor goes under.
All these issues play into the hands of the PaaS providers, that are able to provide all aspects of a SaaS solutions requirements and therefore have more control of unexpected eventualities than the pure-play SaaS vendors.
All in all the message here is that SaaS vendors need to get serious about robust and complete SLAs.