Beverly Magda put together a nice list of things to consider when looking at a SaaS offering called "CIO SaaS Checklist" in InformationWeek magazine. Here are the questions that she encourages CIO's to ask:
1. Will the SaaS app require modification of IT or network infrastructure or need special integration?
2. Can I retire redundant IT infrastructure by using the SaaS application?
3. How long will SaaS deployment take vs. software?
4. What training will my IT staff require?
5. Can I redeploy existing staff to other projects with SaaS?
6. How does our end users' application experience compare with SaaS vs. software?
7. How does security of our data compare?
8. What's the operational reliability of SaaS vs software?
9. How will SaaS affect data backup and disaster recovery?
10. How much will I spend on a SaaS subscription over three years compared with total cost of infrastructure and application ownership and operations for software?
11. What's the level of support I can get with SaaS?
12. How easily can I upgrade or scale each solution?
13. Is the SaaS provider financially stable, and how does its IT and network operational capability compare to our own?
14. How will SaaS better serve our business?
15. Will business-unit managers, executives, and the board notice any difference with SaaS?
Do you have other questions that you like to ask when making this kind of decision? Please share them with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.