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By the end of 2021, it is estimated that 99% of organizations will be using at least one Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution. As a result, the overall SaaS market is expected to reach $220.21 billion in value by 2022. Like with any other rapidly expanding industry, there are a lot of fast-growth businesses competing for market share.

In the last two years, the rapid growth of digital transformation and the prevalence of remote or hybrid workplaces has caused many emerging SaaS companies to search for the perfect balance of satisfying customer needs while also looking forward to their ability to scale in the future when demand grows.

One of the best ways SaaS organizations can guarantee success in the future as they grow is partnering with an infrastructure provider that is structured to scale with them. But with as many infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers out there as there are SaaS companies, how can enterprises know who to partner with?

There are three critical capabilities that IT administrators at SaaS organizations need to assess when partnering with an IaaS provider.

  • The Service Level Agreement (SLAs)

Simply put, an SLA outlines the type and level of service that can be expected from the IaaS provider. A sure sign that an IaaS provider is worth partnering with is whether or not they offer different tiers of SLAs that are designed to meet the customer’s changing needs as they scale. For example, the features should offer levels of support to grow in accordance to what is needed at different stages of the company’s development from just out of stealth mode to preparing for an acquisition or expanding into a new territory.

The point of offering multiple tiers of SLAs is to accommodate growth in the organization and make it clear that it is both quick and easy to move up if needed. For example, if a SaaS company were to see a consistent 100% increase in business YoY within the first five years of operation, they should be able to utilize SLA tiers to optimize service delivery while also providing low latency and high uptime for end users.

  • The Technology and Location

Right off the bat the IaaS provider should be wanting to take the time to understand the current and projected goals of the SaaS company. With this information, they can invest in the right technology, in the right places and at the right times to ensure infrastructure grows at the pace of customer success.

Understanding customer’s growth goals is absolutely critical to a successful partnership between an IaaS provider and SaaS company. For example, if an organization requires a global expansion of a server footprint, the IaaS provider should be able to sit down and determine with the customer which locations would be best suited for the end goal.

  • Do They Go Beyond the Technology

Typically, SaaS companies operate on the always-on model. In order to power this, SaaS-focused IaaS providers must have resources available to meet the expectations of end users. As a result, SaaS companies should only be partnering with vendors who have a strong support function with 24/7 availability, minimum-to-no downtime and maximum flexibility. The IaaS provider’s mission should be to ensure that customers see them as a trusted advisor and that the SaaS companies they work with are confident in their commitment to service and support.

For example, if the organization experiences an extreme influx of growth — say from 30 to 200 servers and from 200 to 2,000 clients — the IaaS providers should be able to assist them with figuring out when and where additional private servers are needed and how much extra power can sustain business continuity.

The SaaS boom that we have witnessed over the past few years is not expected to slow down anytime soon. Therefore, it is important that these organizations partner with IaaS providers who are built to scale as they do. With the right partnership in place, SaaS organizations can inch ahead of the competition and be set up for a successful future.