SaaS Solutions, So You Don’t Go SaaS Crazy!

The cloud has made it easier and cheaper than ever to start a new business.  For a few dollars a month any SMB can have best in class Software as a Service (SaaS).  SaaS allows your company to compete, grow and innovate in a simple cost effective manner.  But how many apps are too many?   When does implementing SaaS products reduce productivity?

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The main apps a SMB would use are the following:

  • Mail
  • File Share
  • Collaboration
  • CRM
  • Accounting and payments
  • Other Apps – Website, marketing, productivity, time tracking

Users: There are a plethora of great apps out there, but you need to find the right ones that work for your specific needs, and then your company needs to find a strategy to map these applications together.  Each user needs to be trained on each application and then how to effectively work them into their business processes and – this is key – use them in the same way.  The goal is to provide that overall consistency that will unite your team and your business processes into a smooth flow. That translates to better business and better business means happier customers.

 

With apps comes increased security.  Users get password fatigue.  It can take 20 seconds to login into every application. You can waste a lot of time everyday getting into applications every day!  Hint: Eliminate this. Think password manager.

 

IT Support: Your IT team needs to manage users.  Whether you have 10 employees or 150 employees, if you’re using multiple applications that is a lot of user management.  Each time you bring on a new employee or need to terminate an employee requires setup, training and management. Great support can help you make these transitions quickly and effectively so you don’t lose valuable time getting new people up and running!

 

In this day and age, IT needs to create security around every application.  Depending on the depth and sensitivity of data it can be cumbersome to manage all these different security levels.  Hint: Look for a easy dashboards or an identity management tool.

 

Finally IT is responsible for application configuration and integration.  It’s almost impossible to grow your business without a CRM.  It is well worth the investment, however the configuration can be complex.  Understanding where data resides and what needs to be integrated is a technical job.

 

Vendor Management  SaaS products are great and if you want to integrate several, it is important to track renewal contracts.  If you want to change products you will need time to migrate your data before the renewal time.  Hint: Think of creative ways to use your CRM.

 

Knowing what your SaaS providers up time is is important and should be contracted.  If you have performance problems it is important to understand what procedures they use to get back on track.  Ensure the vendor provides decent support and that they offer a variety of ways for you to contact them.

 

Tips to Manage Your SaaS applications

  • Look for a enterprise identity management product like Okta.  Okta provides the user with a password manager.  Okta has an on boarding dashboard so that you have one place to bring on and terminate employees.  Okta also has some application security settings. they also have a cool daily updated RSS feed that tracks their systems.
  • Check out products like Zapier that help provide integration between SaaS products.
  • Other products like Google For Work provide integration with other applications from their marketplace.  This provides one login and the ability to access the application from the Google For Work menu.
  • Use your CRM to manage your vendors.  Set up 60-90 day reminders before annual contracts are due.  This gives you an opportunity to evaluate the actual users and how well the application is working.

 

Gizmo Global can help you make effective SaaS purchasing decisions.  We can then help implement reasonable workflows that will have everyone in your company collaborating like never before.

 

Question: How many SaaS apps does your business have?

 

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© 2015  Gizmoglobal.com

 

Want to use this article in your newsletter or on your website? You can, as long as you link back to it and include this complete text with it:

 

“Cloud strategist Jamie Lin works with companies to evaluate an overall IT strategy to improve productivity and profits.  www.gizmoglobal.com

 

Jamie Lin loves to share her expertise in providing creative cloud solutions with business owners and organizations that would love to be more collaborative, flexible and productive. If you would like to engage Jamie as the speaker at your next meeting, workshop or event, contact her at jlin@gizmoglobal.com

 

 

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