10th April, 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
SaaS proliferation is going at a pace that shows no signs of slowing down, at least for a decade. So, the need to manage SaaS should be considered a wholesome role by organizations.
CIOs, VP IT, and IT directors must start appointing a SaaS operations (SaaSOps) manager dedicated to taking care of everything related to SaaS. But major speculation is around the tasks that need to be defined for those appointed as a SaaSOps manager.
With the new variants of coronavirus proving to be less fatal, organizations worldwide are opening up their offices and following hybrid or complete remote work models.
As the employees are free to choose their apps, it is leading to growth in SaaS usage at a rapid pace.
Businesses already are or will start looking to employ SaaS Operations Managers SaaS administrators to manage day-to-day SaaS operations.
The role of a SaaS operations manager is to perform various business enabling tasks that were traditionally performed by the IT department, such as IT asset manager, software asset manager, or the more general IT administrator. The key difference is instead of playing a supporting role; this role is to get the complete benefit SaaS has to offer without the risks.
It means they must define norms and policies for adoption of new apps, corporate card expense policy, requesting for new apps or licenses, overseeing their use, renewing, and terminating them.
Note that managing downtime, performance, or availability of a SaaS app is not the job of a SaaS operations manager. Instead, these are the functions carried out by the SaaS vendors themselves, or if it is hosted in the private or public cloud, it is addressed by an application performance management software for the respective cloud infrastructure.
The SaaS model is way different from the on-premise software model. The latter is purchased and managed by the IT, whereas SaaS can be purchased by any employee with an expense card. An employee just needs to select an app and enter the credit card number to sign up for SaaS.
Though the ease of acquisition is beneficial, it can also turn problematic. Without knowing the apps that exist in your organization, it is very difficult to manage them. Unmanaged SaaS growth leads to excessive spending, compliance, and security threats.
For enterprises, there are chances for multiple applications with overlapping functionality existing in your organization. Or the same applications could have been purchased multiple times, or there are licenses that are lying dormant, yet you are still paying for them.
To save yourself from the risk of overspending and security threats, you need to find a way to manage it. But it isn't purchased as on-premise traditional software. So, who can be the right person to manage SaaS?
In some companies, SaaS falls under the purview of SAM practitioners. But, usually, they focus on IT purchased software, with a slight emphasis on the provisioning of licenses and users.
But Saas is a completely different ball game with apps purchased throughout the organization. So this won't be enough.
In many organizations, the procurement team is responsible for managing SaaS in spreadsheets manually. It consists of a lot of mundane, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks. The worst is that some organizations still don't manage SaaS at all.
Instead, they simply expense new apps on the credit card without having a look at their SaaS inventory. These kinds of organizations lack basic visibility of apps that are running, making it very difficult to optimize adoption, reduce risks and identify cost-saving opportunities.
They are considered to be SaaS subject matter experts whose primary role is to help users and teams select and use software efficiently.
Though most SaaS decisions are usually made by the users or teams directly, companies face challenges when they scale up that could only be solved by new software solutions. The SaaS Ops team helps in making important purchasing decisions.
The first step to managing SaaS is knowing what you have. This is the biggest challenge in the SaaS world as it is often acquired by users directly without the involvement of IT. That is why IT teams to sign up to SaaS management platforms like Zluri, which helps SaaS Ops professionals to manage SaaS apps from a single centralized database.
Over 50% of software spending happens outside the purview of IT. Once you have a SaaS system of record, you can start identifying forgotten, unused, and redundant SaaS apps. The SaaS Ops team can use this data to understand the real software spend and spend made by individual users as well as a team. This will help them come up with accurate budgets.
Every new SaaS app that is added needs an extra level of administration. For example, chasing invoices to reconcile them to payments or generating expense reports. But doing these manually can become very boring and time-consuming for the SaaS Ops team. These kinds of tasks can be automated with an SMP so that the SaaS Ops team can focus on other important tasks in SaaS procurements.
Whenever new employees join the organization, they should be given the necessary tools to start off. The SaaS Ops team has to make sure that each and every employee has the right set of tools. However, this task is recurring and can be confusing if done manually.
Similarly, even offboarding terminated employees is a difficult task for the SaaS Ops team as they have to make sure that the employees are completely removed from all the apps. If this step is done hastily, it might lead to data breach issues. Therefore, this task is also designated to the SaaS Ops team.
They can do it more efficiently with the help of an SMP like Zluri, which has automated onboarding and offboarding workflows. They can give and revoke access and have a backup of data from offboarded employees in a few clicks.
If you are looking to recruit a SaaS Ops manager in your organization, here is a sample job description that we have created for you.
Work with the IT department, the sourcing team, and other business stakeholders to identify any SaaS applications and document this information.
Build a transparent and constantly updated inventory of SaaS instances that will be available to department heads and cost center owners
Plan documentation on how to evaluate, integrate, and govern the newly adopted IT best practices for SaaS app adoption, license provisioning, and user onboarding and offboarding.
Determines KPIs for the adoption, usage, and sentiment of our SaaS app and delivers reports to stakeholders.
Evaluate and monitor SaaS applications aiming to reduce any redundancy and bring out the cost-effectiveness of these applications
Manage your SaaS application life cycles by creating a SaaS renewal calendar. Build a collaborative evaluation process to evaluate past performance and plan for upcoming renewal dates.
Create ongoing partnerships with IT, vendor management, and individual department managers to do digital transformation plans and increase the organizational ROI, effectiveness, and agility.
Helps teams find the most effective SaaS tools to increase business growth, including Marketing, HR, Finance, and IT.
Assists teams to evaluate the best practices independently and adopting a value-driven mindset while purchasing new SaaS applications.
Even though many companies might not have a dedicated SaaS Ops manager right now, the above job description might still sound similar. It would be handled by multiple teams, including CIOs, IT, ITAM professionals, and procurement teams.
Despite the security concerns associated with SaaS, 93% of CIOs indicate they’re already adopting or are soon planning to adopt SaaS solutions. And also, with Gartner's report prediction, it is clear that SaaS will be the future of software in organizations. So, to tackle the challenges it puts forth, organizations should take proactive measures like appointing a SaaS Ops Manager, forming a SaaS Ops team, and investing in a SaaS management platform like Zluri. Only then you can escape its side effects and get good returns for the apps you invest in.
SaaS operations consist of procuring the right set of SaaS apps, managing access to these apps by users/departments, monitoring their usage, and offboarding them properly when they are no longer needed.
Though with all its goodness, SaaS brings financial, security, and compliance risks to organizations. For IT teams, issues like providing and revoking access to employees during onboarding and offboarding or when their role changes are very time-consuming.
When an organization has a large number of SaaS applications in its SaaS stack, it gives rise to SaaS Sprawl.
In this post, we've discussed 7 symptoms of an unoptimized SaaS stack and solutions to optimize the same.
An obese SaaS stack leads to SaaS wastage. It's a disease! It not only causes financial issues but also gives you security and compliance problems. That's why you must keep tight control on your SaaS stack. And it begins with managing your SaaS vendors.
Being certified helps you to stand out from the crowd. This opens more doors for opportunities as well as helps in getting a significant hike in your career. Further, you may also get better positions in the company via promotions and reduce the risk of comparative layoffs when you possess certificates and others don’t.
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