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Why your business plan needs to include software escrow

Any successful 21st century business will tell you that their business software is a crucial component of their day to day function. It goes without saying, therefore, that protecting this software has to be at the forefront of any business strategy, so if you are just starting out, this needs to feature highly in your business plan. Software Escrow is the most effective way to protect your business software, and by including software escrow when writing your business plan, you are not only protecting your business, but also demonstrating your commitment and investment to the future of your business to investors. Read on to find out what you need to protect and why.

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What do you need to protect in your business plan?

In order to know what you need to protect, you need to establish what business software you are going to invest in. Off-the-shelf software has come a long way and new businesses can often have very successful launches without bespoke business software. That said, off-the-shelf obviously has its limits, so you need to sit down with a developer to discuss your needs and see if you need something more in-depth. Another option is Software as a Service (SaaS), where you access your software via the Cloud rather than downloading it yourself. SaaS has enjoyed a recent boom thanks to its ease of use and affordability, particularly for entrepreneurs launching new businesses.

How do you protect it?

There are two main ways to protect business software, and the method depends on the software itself. Traditional software is protected with a software escrow agreement between you and your software provider. The agreement stores your software source code with a third party (the escrow provider) and this source code would be released to you, the end user, should the software developer cease trading, the software fail to be updated or the licence be cancelled unexpectedly. By retaining the source code for your business-critical software, you safeguard your business operation and maintain continuity of service for your clients.

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The second software option, SaaS, requires the expertise of SaaS escrow. Like traditional software escrow, SaaS escrow enables your business to continue functioning, but also enables you to find a new host for your cloud-based business technology. LE&AS are source code escrow specialists, working closely with legal experts and industry insiders to create robust agreements. Our patented proactive SaaS escrow agreement AccessAssure, will alert you to the likelihood of your host or software provider experiencing any financial difficulty well in advance. By identifying potential problems early on, we can then set the escrow process into motion to protect access to both your business-critical software and data.

What is your budget?

Software and SaaS escrow fees can vary due to the level of service you require. Some agents offer a standard mutual agreement between the licensee and the licensor, and safely store the source code, others offer a more detailed service incorporating software maintenance and development should the need arise. The budget you require will be reflected in the level of technical support needed in the event of a software emergency, therefore it is vital to create a contingency plan right from the start. Call LE&AS on 0800 456 1115 to see how we can help you protect your business future today.

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