Enterprises are embracing software as a service to reduce costs and increase agility. But there’s a smart way to integrate SaaS into your organization. When any employee with a credit card and an Internet connection can potentially add software to your IT portfolio, there’s a real danger of SaaS sprawl.
Follow these five best practices to get the benefits of SaaS without the chaos.
1. Consolidate SaaS demand. You want to regain visibility and funnel all software requests through IT, while also responding quickly. Establish quick and simple processes, and you’ll gain internal respect and avoid SaaS sprawl. Get people to think: “Let me run it through my IT folks to see whether they have a simple answer in the next 24 hours. If not, then we’ll look to build/buy/borrow a service.”
2. Educate your users. Your users need to see that IT understands their needs and can help them make better choices for themselves and the company. Help them understand that unmanaged SaaS can lead to inefficiencies and risks. The crucial message is: “Look before you click.”
3. Simplify the catalog. Employees will be less likely to go outside IT for what they need if you provide an easy-to-use catalog of software and services, with clear and distinct options, preferably categorized by the type of solution provided.
4. Monitor the user experience. Make sure you’re getting what you pay for by carefully monitoring SaaS services and employee satisfaction. Do this and you’ll have the facts you need to work with suppliers on behalf of your users.
5. Publish the experience. Establish a way to clearly communicate the successful SaaS choices, best vendors and best practices. Include that feedback in the service catalog, and people will naturally gravitate toward services that offer the best outcomes.
Sourcing is a discipline, with specific rules and strategies. In mastering it, you’ll not only teach your users to see IT as a knowledge base rather than an obstacle, you’ll also create an IT team better aligned with key business objectives.
This post is adapted from a longer article that appeared in the Discover Performance newsletter. Sign up today to receive more actionable insight that can help you turn IT performance into business success.