Software users – motive
The purpose of escrow software is to minimize the risks associated with the development and maintenance of information systems. The essence of the service consists in the safe custody of the application source code with an independent party – an escrow agent, based on a conditional tripartite agreement between the user, the software producer and the escrow agent. If the agreed conditions are fulfilled (termination of the supplier, breach of SLA), the contract entitles the escrow agent to release the source codes to the user in order to continue maintenance and development of the software with another partner.
When you make an expensive investment in information systems to increase business efficiency, you always expect a long-term cooperation with the supplier. However, despite efforts to ensure continuous support through service contracts, it happens that the ideas of cooperation are not fulfilled. The cause may be non-compliance with maintenance conditions or, in extreme cases, the bankruptcy of the supplier. For you, this means not only a loss of resources, but also a possible threat to your own business. Escrow software gives you the opportunity to continue operating your system even in this unfavourable situation and thus plays an important role in protecting your IT investments.
Assurance of long-term maintenance
When choosing a software supplier, an important evaluation criterion is its ability to respond to your requirements in a flexible yet long-term manner. But who will be able not only to sign a service contract, but also to actually fulfil the obligations arising from it? Escrow software does not provide the answer, but a form of insurance for your decision.
Smaller development companies have the flexibility to adapt to your needs and requirements. Larger ones can be expected to have more stability in the market. However, both factors are important for the long-term maintenance and development of an information system. These commitments are usually defined by a service contract, which cannot actually ensure them. An additional guarantee is provided by escrow service software.
Source code escrow at a higher level
Often the only solution for escrowing source code with a conditional release is currently notary escrow, which is offered by some law firms. However, these services are often expensive, risky in terms of handling source code and very inflexible due to the need for regular physical handling of the media (CD, flash memory). They are not always able to fulfil their purpose at all due to the limited reliability and lifespan of the stored media. An incomparably higher degree of security, flexibility and efficiency comes with the use of escrow software.