As the adoption rate of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions continues to grow, so do the compliance concerns that come with it.
Compliance is a big deal in today’s business world, and organizations must follow operational regulations. That explains why over 40% of companies consider compliance management improvement a high priority.
SaaS compliance should never be an afterthought. You must consider regulatory factors before implementing SaaS solutions to prevent a backlash in the event of a future problem.
That brings us to the question: What are the compliance standards for SaaS solutions? Knowledge is power, so being aware of and understanding these regulations makes it easier to abide by them.
Here, we’ll discuss what those SaaS compliance standards look like in 2023 and how your business can stay ahead of evolving trends.
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Understanding SaaS Compliance Trends
SaaS compliance describes all the regulations and legal provisions guiding the activities of SaaS providers. Think of them as statutory guidelines that dictate how organizations set up their processes to maintain uniformity and prevent unfair conduct.
SaaS compliance standards dictate how you do everything from service rollout and customer data handling to tax calculations and internal audit reporting. These standards may also impact the pricing structures of your products and services – for example, they may influence the price you charge clients.
In a rapidly expanding and highly competitive market, compliance contributes immensely to client confidence. Conversely, compliance issues may be a deal-breaker for customers, especially if you’re a huge enterprise with considerable client expectations.
Why Your Business Needs SaaS Compliance
With the increasing rate of adoption of SaaS solutions, it’s only natural that more eyes will be on the service providers. Compliance measures will save your company from undesirable scrutiny or attention.
One important reason to prioritize compliance in 2023 is to protect data for both the business and its clients. As a SaaS provider, you’ll no doubt have scores of applications in your software stack. All these products provide immense value. But, at the same time, they’re big risk magnets.
With businesses relying on your solutions to store and process sensitive information, you must ensure the security of what’s in your care. The bigger the stack, the bigger the risk, especially regarding data breaches. A data breach on your systems may expose your clients to danger and damage your reputation.
SaaS compliance is a viable risk management measure. The regulations also serve as guidelines for safety processes that guarantee customers’ and the company’s data security. Still not convinced? Then consider the following benefits:
- Compliance with regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will help you secure corporate data and avoid costly data breaches.
- Following SaaS compliance provisions insulates you against penalties should a security breach happen. Since you did due diligence, the law won’t blame the issue on your company, thus reducing the risk of fines and lawsuits.
- You must prioritize SaaS compliance because of its potential impact on business continuity. Compliance violations may result in legal and financial repercussions that can disrupt your operations and harm your bottom line.
By staying ahead of SaaS compliance trends and proactively addressing compliance issues, you’ll minimize risks and ensure long-term success for your company.
SaaS Trends To Guide Your Compliance Efforts
Here are some key new developments to watch for in 2023.
Artificial intelligence has made quite the buzz on the global tech scene lately. Every digital service provider is looking for ways to integrate AI into their solutions. Many have already rolled out several products featuring AI algorithms and are constantly tweaking them to improve their efficiency.
But with all the hype around it, AI is still in its developmental stages. It’s far from its peak level and will only get better going forward. As such, expect to see increased artificial intelligence integration in SaaS solutions in the coming months.
You should also expect AI proliferation to disrupt the SaaS landscape, leading to significant process changes. The changes will also extend to compliance measures, necessitating a modification of existing regulatory provisions.
Increased Priority on SaaS Security
Investigating cyberattacks and data breaches are some of the biggest challenges SaaS providers face. As such, security is a primary factor clients consider when deciding on a SaaS solution.
Many companies are turning to new processes and technology to better secure their operations across the board. Primarily, organizations will invest more in protecting their assets. We expect this SaaS security trend to continue through 2023 and the coming years.
Expect to see the development of more secure remote access solutions. In addition, more comprehensive SaaS compliance standards will emerge, leading to an evolution of existing regulatory measures and policies.
Moreover, there will be increased emphasis on transparency and accountability. Customers will demand more accountability from companies they do business with.
Data is a treasure in this information age. Many organizations understand the usefulness of quality data, the insights they’ll get through it, and how it’ll improve decision-making. As a result, they’re ready to do all they can to obtain and utilize relevant business information.
To help companies in this regard, a new off-shoot of SaaS has emerged – and it’s fast positioning itself as a top SaaS trend. This nascent solution is Data as a Service (DaaS).
Data as a Service is a term describing cloud-based data management solutions. DaaS encompasses services that include all digital utilities for data collection, storage, analytics, and integration. They’re products designed to help companies maximize data and make strategic decisions.
Unsurprisingly, DaaS growth will contribute to the emergence of compliance measures to regulate the operations of data service providers. Additional policies and regulations will guide the type of data companies can collect, how they’ll store the data, and what they’ll use the data for.
Stricter compliance measures will crop up to ensure the security of sensitive data. For example, regulators may mandate companies’ use of encryption technologies to protect data.
What to Do to Ensure SaaS Compliance
Keeping on pace with emerging SaaS compliance trends requires having systems in place to take care of the process. These measures help simplify SaaS compliance for your company and reduce your need to be actively involved in compliance implementation.
Appoint a Compliance Supervisor
Implementing compliance is a lot of work. That’s why it’s best to have employees in charge of it. A compliance supervisor or chief compliance officer primarily monitors all activities in the organization and ensures everybody abides by regulations.
The compliance supervisor’s responsibilities will include:
- Overseeing all the compliance efforts of the company.
- Designing, enforcing, and managing internal control procedures and policies that foster compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.
- Determining compliance metrics and KPIs.
- Monitoring security and compliance adherence by conducting supervision and audits of all organization activities.
- Putting measures in place to mitigate compliance risks.
- Ensuring the company is positioned to manage audits and investigations into compliance and regulatory issues.
- Corresponding with certifying and regulatory bodies on matters pertaining to compliance.
While you may have a supervisor running point on compliance adherence, the process will be much easier if all employees know the regulations they must follow.
Ensure all staff learn the compliance requirements they must follow while executing their duties. For example, make the development team learn the ethos guiding how they create and launch products. Or have the team download VNC viewer and use the technology to fix compliance issues quickly and remotely.
Overall, you must ensure all team members are aware of their security obligations and also have all they need to mitigate potential risks. Ideally, you should create a compliance culture in the workplace.
Incorporate Compliance in the Development Process
As a SaaS provider, the outputs from your development team are the primary products you offer to clients. As such, this aspect of your overall business requires strict adherence to compliance measures.
You must ensure compliance and security are primary considerations at every stage of the development lifecycle. Every line of code and every bit of execution must be in line with regulatory measures.
Incorporating Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) into your development process can further enhance SaaS compliance by safeguarding sensitive information and ensuring data confidentiality.
The easiest way to incorporate compliance in the development process is to ensure the IT and compliance teams work hand-in-hand. Have the IT team always keep the compliance unit updated on all their activities.
You should also leverage automation productivity. Automated tasks follow a specific pattern of execution, which reduces errors and increases uniformity. Automation will help simplify compliance for employees by taking menial responsibilities off their hands.
Additionally, consider utilizing a business valuation tool to assess the impact of compliance measures on the overall value of your SaaS business. Such a tool can provide insights into the financial implications and potential growth opportunities associated with maintaining a strong compliance framework.
Implement SaaS Compliance Measures
SaaS compliance measures exist to ensure you always do what’s right by the law and your clients. They prevent sharp practices and will help you protect your reputation in return.
Considering the new security and compliance trends, all signs indicate that 2023 will be an interesting year for the SaaS industry. Ensure you stay abreast of all the changes occurring in the space to stay on pace.
Sam O’Brien is the Vice President of Marketing for RealVNC, a leading provider of secure, reliable remote access solutions. He is a growth marketing expert with a product management and design background. Sam has a passion for innovation, growth, and marketing technology. Here is his LinkedIn.