Four key areas SaaS startups must address to scale infrastructure for the enterprise

Many SaaS products first used startups and small businesses. Scaling your infrastructure for the enterprise becomes crucial for success as these customers increase in size and complexity — and as you bring on larger businesses. Here are four suggestions for improving your company’s infrastructure in order to support and develop with your most important customers.

If you are developing SaaS, you are probably dealing with sensitive customer information. That makes you a threat vector for assaults on your clients, regardless of what you build. While security is vital for all clients, the stakes rise exponentially as the company grows. Given the stakes, it is critical to create infrastructure, products, and processes that meet your clients’ ever-increasing security and dependability requirements. That includes the ethical and moral responsibility to ensure that your systems and processes meet and surpass any security and reliability claims you make to your consumers.

Large customers frequently want the following security and dependability features:

Uptime SLAs: If you are constructing a SaaS product, clients want it to be available at all times. Large customers who use your software for mission-critical applications will demand contracts to include formal service level agreements (SLAs) pledging to 99.9% uptime or greater. You need to be confident in your uptime as you create infrastructure and product layers, and you need to be able to assess uptime per customer so you know if you are meeting your contractual responsibilities.

Larger customers will want to be able to examine your platform’s historical uptime as well as have real-time visibility into events and incidents as they occur. Creating this visibility for customers as you grow and specialize encourages more collaboration between your customer operations and infrastructure teams. This collaboration is worthwhile to invest in because it gives you insight into how clients are reacting to a particular degradation in your service and allows you to convey what you have discovered so far and your estimated time of arrival.

Backups: As your client base grows, anticipate increased expectations for backups – not just, in terms of how long it takes to recover the entire program, but also in terms of backup frequency, backup location, and data retention (e.g., are you keeping data for too long?). If you are planning your backup strategy, keeping future backup management flexibility in mind will help you stay ahead of these requests.