5 Best Practices for SaaS Operations
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) has become synonymous with business success. But despite the widespread adoption, companies continue to struggle with driving value from their SaaS operations. Like any new technological innovation, implementing and managing SaaS operations can be extremely challenging, given their multidimensional nature. That’s why it makes sense to embrace certain best practices and learn to support SaaS operations where the provider stops.
The Era of Digital Transformation Has Made SaaS a Global Trend
As digital transformation initiatives continue to snowball, SaaS operations have become a global trend. This is primarily because SaaS is a key enabler for digital transformation strategies – especially as more and more organizations shift to a remote work model amid the ongoing crisis. Here’s how SaaS is helping organizations drive substantial value:
Anytime, Anywhere Work
As the pandemic struck, SaaS operations enabled businesses to maintain their status quo and run their business as usual. By enabling real-time collaboration, conferencing, and project tracking, organizations have been able to continue to meet their business objectives. It is SaaS that has allowed employees to have easy access to enterprise resources and carry out day-to-day tasks with utmost precision.
SaaS not only enables employees to work conveniently from remote locations, it also empowers organizations to meet evolving business and customer needs with greater ease and efficiency. Because resources can be scaled up and down on a need basis, organizations have been in a better position to react to changes in the business environment with greater speed and efficiency.
New Products and Updates
SaaS also makes it easy for organizations to test and launch new products and features – that too with lower cost and risk. Enterprises can easily get access to the resources they need to introduce new features and changes while also testing them continuously to ensure they meet the dynamic needs of the modern era.
Mastering SaaS operations
Moving from on-premises software to SaaS is a long and arduous journey for most organizations. Given the many benefits (and opportunities) SaaS provides, embracing the technology is vital – but so is knowing how to address the expanding set of operational challenges that organizations often grapple with. Here are 5 best practices to embrace and master SaaS operations:
1. Understand the Key Differences Between On-premises and SaaS Operations
The first step towards successful SaaS adoption is understanding the peculiarities of SaaS operations. Since SaaS is very different from traditional on-premises operations, you need to be well-versed with the differences: right from consumption models, access mechanisms, to licensing rules, compliance requirements, payment structures, as well as cost and usage optimization.
2. Make Your Application Landscape SaaS Ready
Achieving success with SaaS isn’t just about embracing a handful of cloud-based tools. If you really want to drive results from your SaaS investments, you need to make sure your current application landscape is SaaS ready – right from ensuring your systems are interoperable with the cloud to implementing the right APIs for seamless communication and integration. It is also important to have the right access control, security, and user lifecycle management processes in place.
3. Have the Right Skills on Board
When it comes to responsibilities, SaaS varies from on-premises in many ways. Unlike on-premises operations where the IT team had to shoulder almost all responsibilities, in a SaaS model, they are often shared between the team and vendor. Knowing what and how your vendor handles each operational function is important to ascertain the skills you need to have on board to drive maximum results while avoiding inconsistencies in operations.
4. Focus on Governance
When it comes to SaaS, it is easy to miss out on governance requirements. Since responsibility for governance is complex and fragmented – especially in large enterprises – it is critical you understand governance responsibilities across all touchpoints. The right governance can not only ensure consistent execution of business processes while minimizing risks; it can also ensure full consideration of stakeholder interests when decisions are made.
5. Constantly Monitor Usage and Costs
When it comes to SaaS, it is easy to spin up new services with a simple click of a button. This can not only lead to uncontrolled usage but also result in exorbitant cloud bills. Therefore, to get most value from your SaaS operations, it is important to constantly monitor usage, right-size instances, and discard zombie assets. It is also essential you take a standardized approach to establish and apply the right boundaries as well as ensure every stakeholder is cognizant of responsibilities.
In today’s digital era, SaaS can empower your business to keep up with the pace of change while allowing you to drive high levels of employee and customer engagement. Although getting started with SaaS operations may be intimidating, taking the right approach to implementation, and establishing key best practices can make a world of a difference. So, make sure you understand the key differences between on-premises and SaaS operations, make your app landscape SaaS ready, have the right skills on board, focus on governance, and constantly monitor usage and costs to drive maximum results and value.