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01 March 2024

M&S Ensures Supply Chain Resilience with SaaS Escrow

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M&S Case Study

Retail giant M&S used Escode's solutions to:

  • Establish supply chain assurance from the outset by having the legal protection and technical know-how to resume operations in the event of disruption.
  • Guarantee fast and simple recoverability of critical software by securely holding the software source code and enabling easy access when necessary.
  • Test and document the process for accessing, rebuilding, and restoring its business-critical application.


Expanding an organisation’s supply chain and placing reliance on third party, cloud software comes with risk, especially when you start working with a vendor that is relatively newly established.

The innovative, agile nature of smaller software vendors can be attractive but can also be a risky choice as there is no track record or long list of reference clients to consult as part of the due diligence process. So, when British multinational retailer, M&S started working with a new vendor, they sought reassurance and peace of mind to help them balance risk and enable innovation with confidence. 


Following technical scoping with both parties, Escode recommended an Escrow as a Service (EaaS) Replicate+ agreement to give M&S the ability to access its production data and source code and also re-create its cloud hosted production environment. This comprehensive approach provided M&S with peace of mind regarding the long-term availability and accessibility of the application.

Software Escrow Agreements ensure that software source code is held securely with both the end user and software supplier’s agreement, ensuring that the material can be accessed and released if needed.

In addition, M&S required an extra layer of resilience so Escode carried out a Replicate+ Verification ensuring that if disruption should occur and the source code needs to be released, it can be used to rebuild the platform. With the knowledge and guidance provided, M&S can manage, maintain, or recreate the application from the material in Escrow.

In a collaborative effort involving M&S and the software vendor, Escode remotely oversaw the complete creation of the cloud infrastructure necessary to support the application. During this process, Escode meticulously documented the tasks, information, and knowledge essential for M&S to autonomously operate the live production environment, even without dependency on their software vendor.


With the implementation of a robust business continuity programme, M&S was able to gain assurance that the software would be available in the event of vendor failure and also that they would have had confidence on what to do if this event occurred.

Rob Barnes, CTO, M&S Tech commented, 

“Technology and innovation is central to our success and transformation here at M&S. Working with niche and newly formed software vendors helps us to remain agile and retain a competitive advantage, so it is vital that we build in supply chain assurance from the outset and ensure we aren’t negatively impacted by circumstances outside of our control such as vendor downtime or failure.”


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