SaaS Escrow Solution
The recent developments surrounding SaaS (Software as a Service) have shone a new light on escrow services and solutions.
Traditional source code escrow solutions are not sufficient and demand a different approach where the whole delivery package needs to be considered.
Escrow Alliance developed an escrow solution specifically tayloired for the needs of SaaS Software users.
In a SaaS model upfront investments are often reduced as often these type of software offerings are provided on a subscription basis. The result is that a companies business continuity plan requires a different approach that can be found in a SaaS escrow solution.
End users with a SaaS solution are extremely vulnerable in terms of availability of an application in both the long and short term. For the necessary protection of companies using SaaS applications. A continuity solution by implementing a full escrow is needed. A full SaaS escrow requires not only the the source code, the application and the data but will also see a full verification being executed on the deposited materials.
With the same questions that business risks are identified you can identify the risks of your Saas Application:
- How business critical is the application or environment?
- How do you value your supplier? (stability, performance and financial status)
- How is the availability of an application organized? (Speed and contingency plan for availability)
- What are the costs of lost time and sales when an application is unavailable
- What is the cost of replacement technology?
The SaaS model must also have a number of additional risk factors that should be considered.
Availability of the application
With a hosted application the loss of a supplier results in a direct loss of the application and a possible permanent loss of the associated data. The risk of lost revenue and additional costs resulting from the loss of a SaaS application must be valued.
Availability of data
The majority of SaaS applications includes the provisioning of the application itself and it includes critical data associated with the application. At the time of supplier failure, the end-user will risk loosing all it’s data and services. Anyone investing in SaaS environments should consider these risks.
At the time of supplier loss, the user losses immediate access to the application. The escrow arrangement takes into account both the short-term continuity and long (er) term. It is advisable to execute a Contingency Discovery when you use SaaS applications. This will help your organisation to analyse the time required to implement the solution after loss of the supplier. That way you know how much time it takes for your SaaS application to become operational and fully working again. With this information you will be able to calculate how large your potential revenue loss might be.
SaaS specialisation of Escrow Alliance
Hardly any SaaS application is equal and that is why each SaaS Escrow Arrangement requires customisation. Escrow Alliance knows the risks of SaaS and has the necessary solutions. The SaaS Escrow Arrangement by Escrow Alliance is developed in co-operation between the supplier and the end user.
Steps for preparing a SaaS Escrow Solution
- Consult Escrow Alliance to document the risks
- Review and if necessary adapt the SaaS Escrow Agreement
- Start to implement the Saas Escrow Agreement
- Commence with the receipt of materials as specified in the contract
- Execute the SaaS Escrow Verification Test on the Escrow Deposit
- In addition to the Verification Level 3 it is advised to include a database integrity check, password and login authentication, and a contingency study