SaaS software escrow - More than you expect.

A standard software escrow agreement will not suffice for SaaS, managed services, cloud based solutions.  Here are some things to keep in mind when you are considering a SaaS solution for your business:
You need the source code yesterday!
In a traditional software escrow arrangement, the release of material is triggered by the nervous software end-user. At that point the escrow agent will issue a notice of release to the software vendor and, if  everyone agrees, the source code is released to the end-user. (Notice, Verify, Act) 
If your SaaS solution becomes unavailable, then you need your data and the source code yesterday. For this reason the release process for SaaS escrow is turned on it's head (Notice, Act, Verify); If the SaaS service becomes unavailable and the end-user triggers a release, the materials held in escrow are immediately released to the end-user.
Source code is good - but what about your data?
Unlike client-server software (where the end-user will normally take care and host their own data within their own data centre) SaaS providers are also caretakers and hosts of your data. Where you can live with software that is months old, your business can not survive without up-to-date data to feed that software. When considering SaaS, you must ensure to either escrow your data, or that there is a solution that provides immediate access to a very recent snapshot of your data.
It's not just my problem
When a SaaS solution fails, it inevitably affects a group of customers simultaneously. It is important that you know in advance who they are and plan how you will respond as a group to such a business threat. Your business continuity arrangements will benefit from a collective approach that leveages the power of the group to secure a replacement solution.
SaaS arrangements can contain multiple single points of failure. The software vendor, the hardware hosting provider, the support and maintenance providers. Sometimes the failure of one part of the SaaS operational supply chain will affect the supporting businesses.
For example:
If a Hosting Provider unexpectedly goes out of business and stops serving up applications, the software vendor (who is relying on that business to serve their application to their customers) may also fail.
It is important that your business continuity plan includes steps that isolate one or all of the incumbent providers in the SaaS operational supply chain.