SaaS hosting allows you to run leaner and faster when deploying your application, making it an increasingly popular way to market software products.
There's a lot at stake, though. Your customers' perception of your product is directly dependent upon your SaaS hosting provider's level of service – which is why its so important to choose the right partner. This is an even greater challenge if you require GxP or HIPAA compliant hosting.
Let's look at the minimum requirements for 5 critical areas, and the added service that you can only get with an experienced SaaS hosting provider.
The savings in infrastructure costs is one of the main drivers behind the SaaS hosting model. Since this is the primary service you're purchasing, it's going to be the first thing you'll look at when evaluating a potential partner.
State-of-the-art, enterprise grade hardware and infrastructure software are your basic, minimum requirements. You'll need to know that your provider's system is robust enough to serve your customer base.
An experienced SaaS hosting company will also have:
- A fully qualified data center – giving you a plug-and-play GxP and HIPAA compliant hosting solution that's been proven through successful audits. This reduces your costs and gets your product live faster, and on very solid ground.
Uninterrupted, predictable service is a make-or-break part of your SaaS solution. Connection problems and choppy performance will quickly frustrate your customers.
In addition to solid network infrastructure, you should expect 24-7 support from highly qualified hosting and network engineers.
Additionally, a proven provider will offer:
- High availability guaranteed by SLAs
- Meticulous data center design to ensure best performance
- Full monitoring and alerting for environmental, network, power and managed server events
3 - Compliance Support
If you've started with a fully qualified data center, you've already overcome one of the major challenges with SaaS hosting. Compliance doesn't stop there, though, and you'll need to evaluate a potential provider carefully to make sure they don't let you (and your customers) down over the long term.
At a minimum, your provider should offer full transparency. They must be unreservedly willing to be audited by you, your clients and, of course, regulatory agencies. Without that, you cannot offer a compliant solution.
An experienced SaaS hosting provider will have already undergone numerous successful audits. They'll also have:
- End-to-end compliance that includes a mature quality system and a rigorous change control process – all of which are documented to agency standards
- Training records for their staff – a regulatory requirement that's unmet by most IT companies
- A dedicated, experienced quality team
A focal point no matter what your industry, you need to be extra cautious when you're dealing with sensitive regulated data.
Minimally, you'll need a dedicated firewall, fully managed backup procedures, and a solid disaster recovery plan.
With an experienced host, you'll also get:
- Robust physical security controls
- Satisfaction of the specific security requirements of HIPAA and GxP regulations
- Expert staff to implement the right measures for your product based on your risk assessment (which they can also help prepare)
This is another customer-facing aspect of SaaS hosting that can really help differentiate your product from your competitor's.
Regulatory compliance is critical to your customers, and they'll want to know how your solution helps them maintain that. Only an experienced provider can give them the level of confidence they require.
- Partnering with an industry leader in compliant hosting helps you establish your product's compliance status, even if your offering is new
- Years of service with successful audits prove your IT partner's expertise in compliant hosting solutions
- When your product is backed by an SaaS hosting company with a long history of reliable service to the regulated industry, it boosts your image, too