By now, you've likely discovered that virtual data rooms are preferable to other online file sharing and storing services if you need to store confidential business and financial documents. However, as you've researched your corporate document sharing and storage options, you've likely found several virtual data providers all vying for your business. What should you look for? Below are a few of the most important considerations.
1) Strong security - While security is often thought of as a 'given' in a virtual data room, it's worth mentioning again. After all, your corporate documents and financials are highly sensitive. You simply can't risk placing them on the wrong platform. Basic security features to look for include 128 or 256b data encryption, audit logs, dynamic watermarks, two-factor authentication, data backups, SAS certification, tiered access levels, and the ability to set user permissions. Additionally, make sure that the virtual data provider has the specific features that are important to you. For example, some data rooms charge extra for two-factor authentication, which is standard on many others.
2) Ease of use - Complicated software impacts efficiency and can cause delays- not to mention frustration. In the past, virtual data rooms have been clunky and hard to access. As the number of data room providers has increased, so has the usability and overall ease of use. Look for easy-to-use features such as drag-and-drop tools, bulk uploads, automatic logging, and web-based access. . Also consider the ease of the implementation process. How is the data room set up? How long will it take to get up and running? Better yet, try a free trial before you make a final decision. This allows you to get a realistic feel of just how easy (or difficult) a given data room provider's solution really is.
3) Pricing Structure - Look for a pricing structure that makes sense for your business. Make sure to be aware of any additional fees such as for extra storage, features, or users. Look beyond the monthly fee and find out your total price all said and done. In addition, find out what the ongoing fess are should you keep the data room once the initial contract expires.
4) Technical support - What type of support does the provider offer? Are you able to speak with an actual person? Does it cost extra for unlimited support? These are all important considerations when selecting a provider. Since you are securing your most valuable information in the data room, it only makes sense that you would need to be able to reach somebody quickly should you have a question. Additionally, look for instructional videos, FAQs, and understand what kind of training is included with your data room.
5) Happy Clients - While any reputable data room will display a list of satisfied clients on their website, what else do they have to stand on? What is their reputation? Are they expensive, easy-to-use, how is there customer service? More and more websites are offering unbiased comparisons- find out what users have to say on there. And when you move forward to the purchasing phase, don't be afraid to ask your data room provider for references before you sign.
Not all virtual data rooms are built equally and each virtual data room provider has its own set of priorities. Do your own due diligence by carefully researching your options, taking advantage of free trials, and finding the best possible fit for your needs.