Business interest in SaaS applications is growing.  An April 2013 Saugatuck Technology survey of 218 IT executives revealed that more than half of them expect to have 50 percent of their application portfolios in the cloud by 2015.  However, the same survey found that two thirds of this year’s budget was still going to on-premise applications.

For many businesses there is still some concern about making the move to SaaS applications.  Especially when those applications are mission-critical.  This is why – according to Gartner – that on-premise spending is about 8 times higher than spending on SaaS applications.

 So, why the lag?  Why aren’t more businesses moving more quickly to leveraging the cloud?  A recent survey by the Association of Accounting Administration might offer some insight.  They found that 92% of those survived had concerns about SaaS application downtime and outages.

 Now, no one expects software – SaaS or on-premise – to be infallible.  The problem with downtime and outages as it relates to SaaS is more about control.  Growing interest in SaaS is transforming the role of internal IT.  With a SaaS application, internal IT has less control an heightened vulnerability to – well – look like an uninformed fool.

 To sell more SaaS applications, SaaS vendors must win over internal IT staff.  The following can help:

  1. Offer A Service Level Agreement (SLA) – with an SLA a SaaS vendor can clearly and contractually specify the level of quality that is acceptable and what is not acceptable.  The SaaS vendor can also layout the penalties that they will incur for failing to meet these performance metrics.  With an SLA in place, the SaaS vendor must then regularly report on their performance.  This regular, proactive reporting will help to build a level of trust.  Oh, if you’re a SaaS vendor – you probably know that creating a monthly SLA report can be a pain in the ass – unless you use something like Uptimely – which can do if for you automatically!
  2. Communication, Communication, Communication – this is a big one.  Internal staff will look to Internal IT when a SaaS application is unavailable or if there is a functionality change.  IT must know what’s happening before internal staff – otherwise internal IT looks bad.  Internal IT needs to be able to check the status of their SaaS application at will and if the application is down, have an understanding of why and when it will be back up so that they can communicate to staff.  IT staff needs to be alerted and reminded of any scheduled maintenance to the application and proactively informed of any changes coming to the application.  Now, if you’re a SaaS vendor your probably saying “damn, that’s a lot of work” – but not if you use Uptimely.
  3. Give Internal IT A Sense Of Control – listen, if you sell a SaaS application and you want to sell more, then you need to make sure that internal IT doesn’t object to purchasing your application.  One way to do this is to let them know – show them – how dedicated and efficient you are at keeping your clients informed about application status.  Show them what will basically equate to their “window”, or “dashboard” into your application’s status so that they feel informed and in control to intelligently communicate status with their internal constituents.  This is what Uptimely does.  Uptimely makes it easy for SaaS vendors to create application status pages that make their client’s internal IT staff look good.

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