UNITED STATES—Virtual data rooms enable organizations to securely share documents and sensitive information in critical business transactions. There are many virtual data room providers, which can make it harder for you to choose a provider that suits your particular use cases.

In this guide, we’ll help you identify the things you need to look out for when comparing and reviewing the best data rooms.

1. Consider your requirements

The first thing you need to do when comparing different data room providers is to consider your business requirements:

  • What will you be using the virtual data room for? Some data room vendors may be more suitable for particular business transactions like fundraising or M&As, while others are equally suitable for all types of transactions.
  • Are you approaching a particular business transaction or deal that you need the data room for? Some businesses also use data rooms for day-to-day document sharing and collaboration regardless if they’re in the middle of a transactional deal.
  • Are your employees tech-savvy or not? You should also consider your employees’ capabilities. If only a few of your staff are tech-savvy, it’s important that you choose a virtual data room that doesn’t have a steep learning curve.

Other considerations include:

  • The amount of storage required
  • The type of files and documents you’ll upload
  • The number of users that will use the data room

This will also help you receive accurate quotes from different data room providers.

2. Set a budget

Next, you need to set a monthly or annual budget for electronic data room services. How much are you willing to spend on online data room software?

You can discuss this with your finance team, and once you get a rough estimate of the budget, you can request quotes from multiple virtual data room providers to decide which of them is suitable for your budget.

3. Identify the must-have and nice-to-have features

Now, you need to write down the essential features that you’d consider when choosing a data room. Create a table of must-have and nice-to-have features to refer to when reviewing each data room’s capabilities.

As a general rule of thumb, you must make sure that the data room provider offers these features:

  • Encryption
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Document permission controls
  • Watermarking
  • Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • Audit trails
  • Reporting
  • Auditing
For in-depth security feature comparisons, check out https://datarooms-review.com/. The website contains data room comparisons by security, ease of use, pricing, customer feedback, and more.

4. Check the provider’s security compliance and certifications

Ideally, your data room provider should hold at least some of the following compliance certifications:

  • ISO 27081
  • ISO 27001
  • ISO 27017
  • SOC2
  • SSAE 16
  • GDPR

Along with these security certifications, make sure that the provider of your choice complies with your local laws and regulations.

5. Check the provider’s experience and reputation in the industry

Before partnering with a virtual data room provider, conduct thorough research to learn about its experience and reputation. What do other users say about it? Are there any downsides to using the product?

However, avoid relying on testimonials from the provider’s website. Check neutral user review platforms such as G2, Capterra, and TrustRadius to get real user reviews that highlight the data room’s strongest and weakest points.

You should also check if the company suffered from any data breaches in the past.

6. Consider signing up for free trials and demos

Finally, consider signing up for a free trial or demo before choosing a data room provider. Ideally, you’d want to try multiple data rooms to decide which is best suited for your business. You might also want to let your employees try them as well. This will help you evaluate how easy-to-use each data room is.

7. Check the provider’s customer service quality

Before choosing a data room provider, make sure that they offer a good level of customer support. Whenever you face a problem with your data room, you should be able to get support quickly and effortlessly.

Visit the company’s website and learn what channels they use for customer support and whether they offer 24/7 support outside business hours.

Some providers also provide training and onboarding services for new users, which can definitely be helpful in helping your employees get acquainted with the software more quickly.

Final words

Now, you should be able to decide which data room provider is best for your organization.

If the data room meets your business requirements and budget, and ticks all the boxes when it comes to data security and compliance, it should be a good fit for your organization.

Just make sure to read some online reviews from current or past users for insights into what makes it a good or bad service.