Safeguarding Your Cloud Assets: The Role Of SaaS Escrow

In recent years, Software as a Service (SaaS) has transformed the way companies access and utilise software applications. This shift has had profound effects on how software is developed, delivered and consumed. However, as organisations increasingly rely on these cloud-based solutions, a critical question arises: How do you ensure you are protecting your SaaS application data and access to the actual application should something happen to your SaaS vendor?

This blog discusses the SaaS landscape, the role of SaaS escrow and what SaaS escrow solutions are available for your business to ensure SaaS application data protection and business continuity.

Understanding the SaaS Landscape

The SaaS landscape is incredibly diverse, encompassing a wide range of software applications. These applications can be used by organisations for a variety of different areas including: Productivity and Collaboration, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Marketing & Sales, E-Commerce and Project Management.

SaaS typically follows a subscription-based pricing model, which can be more cost-effective for businesses compared to traditional software licenses. This eliminates the need for large upfront capital expenditures and ensures that users always have access to the latest software updates and features.

One advantage of SaaS is its accessibility. Users can access SaaS applications from any device with an internet connection, making remote work and collaboration more efficient than ever. Furthermore, SaaS applications are highly scalable, allowing businesses to adjust their usage and subscription levels as their needs evolve.

Although SaaS services provide businesses with increased efficiency and flexibility often at reduced costs, there also comes increased risks which need to be addressed. In most situations, the SaaS provider maintains control and storage of the user’s data, which begs the question – What would happen to that data if the SaaS provider is unwilling or unable to provide the service anymore?

The most efficient way to protect your business is to implement a SaaS Escrow solution.

What is a SaaS Escrow?

SaaS Escrow is a legal third-party agreement where a trusted SaaS Escrow vendor keeps a copy of the SaaS application’s source code, databases and critical assets. Similar to source code escrow, where critical software source code is stored with an independent third party, SaaS escrow applies the same logic to the entire cloud environment including the data hosted within a SaaS application. It allows businesses to protect their data that resides within SaaS applications hosted by a third party, protecting them against data loss.

There are many and varied reasons for considering a SaaS Escrow solution, including concerns about vendor bankruptcy, ransomware attacks, unplanned service outages and potential data loss or corruption.

The most popular SaaS Escrow solutions include:

Verified Software Escrow for SaaS – Everything you will need to recover the SaaS environment – Verified on an annual basis

The Verified Software Escrow for SaaS service incorporates a deposit of all the cloud assets that would be required to build and deploy the SaaS application and cloud environment.

Software Escrow for SaaS – Deposit of all the cloud assets to recover the SaaS environment

The Software Escrow for SaaS service incorporates a deposit of all the cloud assets that would be required to build and deploy the SaaS application and cloud environment.

SaaS Access Continuity – Verified access credentials to the SaaS production environment

The SaaS Access Continuity service is a cost-effective solution best suited to a single-tenanted environment that provides the Beneficiary with the required access credentials and documentation to the production cloud production environment. In the event of a SaaS vendor failure, the beneficiary would gain access to the cloud hosting account enabling them to pay the bills and to transfer the account ownership.

Enterprise SaaS Continuity Escrow – With live continuity

The Enterprise SaaS Continuity Escrow solution provides a redundant operating environment of the SaaS application that can be quickly spun up in the event of a release situation. This escrow environment is managed by the SaaS Escrow vendor for an agreed period of time before being transferred over to the beneficiary or another third party to continue to maintain the system.

SaaS Escrow Benefits

  1. Business Continuity Satisfaction – If the critical SaaS provider enters into bankruptcy, and your company doesn’t have access to it’s critical data, this could be catastrophic for the organisation. The cost of SaaS Escrow is usually a small percentage of the overall cost of an investment in the SaaS technology. Investing in a SaaS Escrow solution will ensure business continuity and will mitigate against the risks associated with modern cloud service delivery methods and the growing responsibility of service providers.
  2. Provides accurate and up-to-date data – A SaaS Escrow agreement will only have value if the data and deposit materials are up-to-date and accurate. Investing in a SaaS Escrow vendor who can introduce automated deposits as standard within all their agreements will provide extra benefits to your business. Being in the know that they have safe and regular back-ups of your SaaS Application data, which can be released if needed, will result in having your business operations running continuously.  
  3. Verification Testing – as mentioned above, investing in a SaaS Escrow vendor who can introduce automated deposits as standard will provide extra benefits. In addition to this, verification testing provided by the SaaS Escrow vendor can ensure that the system is deployable and operational, offering added advantages to your business.

Conclusion: Embracing SaaS Escrow for a Secure Cloud Journey

In today’s cloud-driven landscape, safeguarding your cloud assets is paramount. SaaS Escrow acts as a safety net, ensuring business continuity and enhancing security in the event of unforeseen SaaS provider disruptions. As businesses continue to harness the power of SaaS applications, incorporating SaaS Escrow into your strategy is a proactive step towards a secure and uninterrupted cloud journey.

Don’t leave the protection of your SaaS application data to chance. Embrace SaaS Escrow to safeguard your cloud assets and ensure peace of mind in an increasingly digital world.

For more information, please contact the Escrow London Team.

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