Employee SaaS application access can be an important factor for increasing the employee productivity. Having easy access to a well-selected list of SaaS software shortens the time-to-value of employees and boosts their effectiveness.
Employees have vastly different preferences when it comes to selecting applications for personal or business use. They are used to working with SaaS in every aspect of their life, including on their job. Unlike apps for personal usage, however, apps used at work can pose significant risks for the organization and hence, it is critical to establish a process regulating the selection of apps at work, so the organization would not run risks for data insecurity, lack of compliance or excessive SaaS costs.
And, if you are still not convinced that the existence of a SaaS application process is a must, consider this: one in every three employees is purchasing a SaaS app for business use, and then having the cost reimbursed. This causes a huge enterprise SaaS spend, much of it entering the organization as shadow IT.
Effective SaaS onboarding helps to retain new hires
It usually takes weeks before new hires become effective and fully productive. And one of the reasons for this is the numerous SaaS cloud software they need to onboard, with no clear onboarding procedures covering what to onboard and how. A survey showed that one third of new hires are leaving within their first 6 months of employment. And yet another survey on the reasons behind leaving showed that a big contributor to the disappointment of the employees throughout their first months at work is the lack of clear and complete onboarding procedures. Being part of the onboarding process, SaaS onboarding is an essential factor increasing new hire retention.
In another survey, respondents identified another key factor for new employee satisfaction: the technology available for use at work. Close to a third of all employees responded that they would leave their job if the technology used is outdated.
However, it is important to note that you should ensure alignment between the perceptions of the C-suite and the employees on the availability of clear onboarding procedures and technology. Yet another study showed, that a high number of C-executives considered the onboarding procedures and technology used in their organizations as perfectly adequate, while a far lower percentage of employees actually supported this opinion.
So, how should the C-suite ensure that employees are given timely access to the right technology tools, as well as proper onboarding for those?
Ensure visibility of available tools
Having full transparency on the SaaS stack the company avails of is a first step towards optimizing the SaaS apps. On one end, the employees who are getting onboarded would be fully aware of what tools they can choose from and would not consider purchasing software that the company already has been paying for. On the other, when the company is fully aware of what tools, applications and subscriptions it has, it can assess and manage those.
With no visibility on the SaaS stack, the company ends up paying for 2 or 3 times more SaaS tools than it assumes it has subscribed for. When a reliable, up-to-date SaaS record is maintained, the IT departments and all business units in the company can contribute to assessing the usage and benefit of the SaaS tools, map them against the costs and decide whether the ROI is high enough for the tool to stay in the stack, or if efficiency optimizations should be considered.
Set up a single point of SaaS application access
A central point of access for the entire SaaS stack is essential for increasing the onboarding efficiency and reducing redundant SaaS apps. When there is a centralized catalog of apps ensuring the employees have access to all apps they need in their work, and they have access to this catalog from day one, this significantly increases the effectiveness of the new hires and helps them contribute in full capacity, immediately after joining the company. A click of an icon is all they need to access a tool they need on their job, and changing the position or job gives them access to tools preselected for that new position or job in the company.
Maintaining a catalog of SaaS apps, carefully selected for each company position has numerous benefits:
- Easy and clear onboarding of tech tools
When a strict catalog of SaaS app, accessible to the employee from day one at work, is available, they can go straight to accessing the tool and using it to work on their tasks. No time lost wondering what tools to use, whether to purchase a tool or not, how to access, etc. This efficiency continues throughout the entire lifecycle of the employee, any time they need to use SaaS for their job. In addition, a catalog not only helps the employees to self-provision or request access to tools they need, but also to get familiar with new tools available to them.
- Less SaaS tech support for the ITs
Instead of spending huge time handling access requests, by using a SaaS apps catalog ITs can delegate this task to the apps owner or manager. The requests can get appropriately routed to the person assigned for handling SaaS application access requests and ITs can focus on tasks that are more critical for the organization as a whole.
- Well defined SaaS ownership responsibilities
When the catalog of SaaS apps contains clear information on who is holding the ownership of each SaaS, what department controls the spend, what is the process for requesting extra seats and other essential tool accountability details, employees would understand that the SaaS stack in the company is being strictly controlled. This would encourage their usage of the catalog-available tools rather than consider purchasing another SaaS and contribute to shadow IT.
- Less shadow IT
A key reason for the expansion of shadow IT in organizations is the lack of clear guidelines on what SaaS tools can be used by the employees and how they can access them. A catalog that provides clear and easy SaaS application access, right from day 1, and clear rules on self-provisioning or requesting access to those SaaS tools, would certainly encourage the employees to stick to the catalog applications in everyday work, and reduce the likelihood for shadow IT.
Proactive management of SaaS tools is key to reducing shadow IT
Cloud software has set the beginning of a completely new way of handling software subscriptions. This has resulted in a major shift of software spending, from the ITs to the lines of business. Also, up to 40 percent of software spend is now shadow IT.
Rather than deal with shadow IT, in a reactive and inefficient manner, managers can instead act proactively, creating a catalog of carefully selected SaaS apps for each position in the company and ensure that everyone in the organization, including new hires, use the SaaS stack to increase their efficiency, from day 1.