Looking for Software as a Service (SaaS)/cloud-based solutions? Or selling one? This very basic guide should be helpful.
Make sure the solution keeps the customer’s data secure. Two basic areas to look at.
Is the solution delivered over a https method? You see, usually website you visit is http://somewebsiteouthere.com/. And that is different fromhttps://securedwebsitecorp.com/ (note the ‘s’ behind http). You might’ve noticed this while using internet banking, for example. Https guarantees that you data transported over the Internet is encrypted, making it a lot harder for hackers to eavesdrop. Plus, you can be certain of the provider’s identity as well (i.e. they’re really who they claim they are, not a disguise). In this aspect, look for something like the Verisign Seal (logo). Btw, this seal cannot be anyhow copied and pasted. Only Verisign can give it to you.
Second, some solutions may reveal where their data is hosted, such as with Amazon Cloud, Rackspace Cloud, Google, or Microsoft cloud. These names are held in very high regard when it comes to cloud computing. This is useful. Because their data centers have good technically support.
Look into the Privacy statement of the solution. Examine: will my data be shared with a third-party? if yes, at what level? What kind of data is collected? How is my email being used? How is my data protected? Can you contact the company?
Advanced: http://www.rackspace.com/information/legal/privacystatement, https://www.dropbox.com/help/category/Security%20and%20Privacy
3. Ease of Use
Well, this is sometimes neglected. But it’s very important. Do you know that 8 out of 10 Internet users will leave any websites that take more than 4 seconds to load? If the users are your staff, they’ll hate you for subscribing to such a solution! After all, you want to use the software tool to improve productivity, right?
Dropbox is one example. No fancy stuff, simple and minimal design approach. Very effective. Easy to use. My team has been trying hard to follow this approach, too. And we apply some of it in our own offering at https://www.linxcircle.com/.