Extensive SaaS Deployment Process Guide

SaaS deployment is the installation and delivery of SaaS, rather than the traditional on-premise software deployment. It is very much similar to the establishment stage/phase of a utility service, followed by regular metering and billing, for services rendered. A SaaS provider, through a user provisioning process, typically initiates the deployment process, which is often automated. A third party managed/ hosted service provider can initiate the deployment process, which is typically considered when a user has a means of accessing a SaaS offering, even if the consumer does not begin utilizing the service during provisioning.

One of the major advantages of selecting an enterprise SaaS application is that while on-premise software solutions may require you to do more work on your own, in SaaS most of the tedious tasks – such as installations and additional hardware or software upgrade – are handled for you. You won’t have to install or configure anything. But this does not mean that it involves no work at all.

To roll out a new application for your business and achieve the sufficient internal support, you must outline clearly, as well as agree on key aspects and processes that will ensure both your business and vendor understand the process. To deploy a SaaS solution, there are 6 key elements to consider when bringing in a new application into a business or company: security, legal, communication, funding, accessibility, and user admin and on-going management.

By anticipating these six critical aspects, you will be better positioned to seamlessly introduce your new SaaS application to colleagues. With ample resources available, internally and with the vendor, you could have a time bound and successful SaaS deployment.

Extensive SaaS Deployment Process Guide

1.Security

Consider the possible uses of the app and the nature of information your company will be keeping in the cloud. For instance, understand that there is a major difference between a platform like Salesforce to track the contact information of your customers and Box to maintain hospital patient records, each potentially requiring a different level of security clearance. What is information will your organization be maintaining in the cloud? What potential security issues may be there?

Among the initial steps in the deployment process is a detailed security evaluation. The SaaS vendor usually assists to complete this assessment. However, you’ll have to help by providing them with all the information needed regarding the various aspects of the review, so that they can appropriately line up the necessary resources.

2. Legal

Determine the legal teams to work closely with to help introduce the new application in your work environment, as well as the legal steps your organization should take to make sure a SaaS application is available to the entire organization. You also need to know the terms &conditions that should feature in your SaaS agreement.

Identify these new teams before bringing in a new application, rather than in the middle of the process to get rid of time-consuming and frustrating obstacles to availing a SaaS application to the whole organization.

Just as with the security aspect, you may consider working with your legal department responsible for oversight of the contract process, make sure they fully understand the nature or requirements of a SaaS implementation, as well as to avoid outdated redlining meant for on-premise hosted applications.

3. Accessibility 

Determine how your organization accesses web tools and the person who makes apps available, as well as the assets needed to cater for a new application. Moreover, understand how your organization handles secure log in, as well as single sign-on.

If you’re having an internal portal/site which avails productivity and office applications to every user, locate the point person charged with the management of these tools. Then try asking him or her what needs to be done to have a new application listed here. Inquire whether it is a logo, FAQs and instructions, etc, to get started, so that you can get to know the requirements to enable you collaborate with your software provider to acquire all the basic assets you need.

In addition, another accessibility factor is single-on – which is the technology that enables everyone in the organization to have access to cloud apps without changing login information.

4. Communication

Simply means awareness and sharing information about best practices. Introducing a new utility or tool helps start the conversation using a few resources so that your colleagues can familiarize with it. You can use a quick introductory email or post something to your intranet. Just work with your SaaS provider to help you strategize on this.

5. Funding or Cross Charging Process

Determine how apps and software are paid for. Exploring this early will enable you together with your vendor work together towards a smooth SaaS deployment.

6. User Administration and ongoing management

Determine the person responsible for licensing, paying, onboarding, etc. In addition, who will be in charge of reassigning work from old utility tools, and monitoring usage and perform trend analysis?

Nurture a team of systems admin, such as a center of excellence, to be in charge of leading user management of the new SaaS app. The team also needs to be well conversant your business units’ needs using the tool and will address issues of license distribution, file data management, external collaboration concerns, initial experience, etc.

Could there be another SaaS app your organization is currently using? In addition, establish the team or person responsible for introducing the utility software to all users. Chances are they have managed to address some of these concerns and will turn out to be an invaluable asset to the organization.

Conclusion

By keeping these aspects in mind, conducting research, and working together with your SaaS provider, you will have an new application approved, enabled, and up and running in no time. To roll out a new application for your organization and attain the sufficient internal support, you must lay out and agree on key aspects and processes to make sure that both your business/organization and vendor understand the objectives of the SaaS deployment process. Moreover, to deploy a SaaS solution, the 6 key elements: security, legal, communication, funding, accessibility, and user admin and on-going management are crucial in a SaaS deployment process and must be considered when bringing in a new application into your business or company.

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Omri Erel
Omri is the Head of Demand Generation, as well as the Lead Author & Editor of the SaaSAddict Blog. Omri established the SaaSAddict blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to SaaS and cloud migration.
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