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Evaluating SaaS: What are the Buckets?

by Bill Pray  |  January 9, 2013  |  Comments Off on Evaluating SaaS: What are the Buckets?

It is interesting to note that the term bucket is used in several ways with technology. Wikipedia lists the technical uses of the term bucket.

Bucket is also a useful metaphor when trying to figure out how to evaluate a software as a service (SaaS) provider and solution. What are the “buckets” for evaluation requirements? As the Wikipedia article states: “A bucket must exist before anything can be put into it.”

The buckets for an IT professional are a bit different than some of the counterparts in an enterprise – e.g. the legal team or purchasing – when evaluating SaaS providers and solutions.

In my conversations with enterprises, the most common buckets that IT professionals create for SaaS evaluation criteria are:

  • Business criteria
    • Pricing and billing
    • Service levels and service level agreements
    • Support and communication
  • Technical criteria
    • Identity
    • Integration
    • Management
    • Security
    • Storage
    • Network

Putting criteria into these buckets then becomes a time consuming and significant undertaking – an exercise that I have been working on for that last several months. Keep in mind, this list excludes the SaaS solution specific buckets such as user experience, clients, solution features, and mobile support.

The key is to ensure it doesn’t become “bit buckets”, as defined by Wikipedia as someplace where something goes to disappear irreversibly, but rather “documentation buckets” in which criteria can be added or modified based on the latest information and requirements.

Category: cloud  

Tags: bill-pray  cloud-2  saas  

Bill Pray
Research Director
2 years at Gartner
16 years IT industry

Bill Pray is an analyst in the Collaboration and Content Strategies ITP team. He covers communications and collaboration solutions — e-mail, calendars, instant messaging, and web conferencing…Read Full Bio

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