While everyone seems to be talking cloud these days, it’s easy to assume that every provider you’re speaking with is capable of offering a true SaaS solution. But what is a true cloud provider and how can you tell? If you peel back the marketing covers, in more cases than not, many providers with a time tracking solution are only partially in the cloud or in the case of newer providers, not fully baked to meet security and stability requirements.
Making the move to a cloud solution for your time tracking is an investment from a financial, time and reputational standpoint. It’s easy to be lured by provocative, “too good to be true” features, seemingly easy implementations and integrated functionality. But before you make that leap of faith, make sure you’re ferreting out the cloud “posers” and asking the following questions to ensure your decision is based on facts:
- Are you receiving all the benefits of SaaS from “multi-tenant” architecture? Cloud posers rely on “multi-instance implementation”. Therefore, everyone doesn’t receive the same valuable updates and are not on the same version. Real cloud solutions offer “multi-tenancy” architecture in which a single version of the software is served up to all customers. With multi-tenancy, everyone is fully-updated and on the latest version of the timesheet software.
- Is your data 100% secure? A good SaaS provider should undergo yearly SSAE 16 audits (formerly SAS 70) to ensure that your data is protected at all times. It should also provide enterprise-grade firewalls and SSL encryption that guarantee the highest levels of security. Cloud posers don’t provide this and, in turn, can’t guarantee the safety of your data.
- Will you need to develop integrations on your own? The real cloud saves customers from the hassles of software development and hosting, while also ensuring that costs are kept low with free and seamless integrations that are built-in.
- Will your IT operations be burdened with maintenance? The real cloud liberates IT teams from unnecessary back office operations and offers maintenance that is automatic and hassle-free.
- How long will your implementation actually take? Real cloud providers can get you up and running in weeks vs. months and are based on your configuration needs, not theirs.
Finally, make sure your overall experience with cloud-based providers is “hassle-free” from beginning to end. From your first interaction with a sales representative, through sale, implementation and follow-up, your customer experience should be as easy as the solutions you are investing in. If it’s complicated, it’s a good indication that you are dealing with a system that is too cumbersome for your business needs.