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SaaS Operating Model

A SaaS Operating Model can help your business by:

  • Accelerating SaaS adoption to capitalise on new innovations
  • Making the most of new features released on a regular basis as a business as usual methodology
  • Ensuring your business can change and adopt SaaS quickly and in a safe manner
  • Getting the right support in place from the SaaS vendor and Managed Services Partners
  • Avoiding surprises and mistakes when embedding and operating SaaS in your business processes
  • Putting your business in a position to be able to retain your data when the time comes to adopt a different SaaS application
  • Staying in front of SaaS patching as it evolves to ensure you are always up to date
  • Ensuring you continually satisfy regulatory requirements even when much of the Information Technology is outsourced

Section 01: How it Started

Businesses are increasingly making extensive use of SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) to fulfil many of their business functions; from simple tools like Zoom or Teams all the way through to more complex systems for time and expenses management, for example, or to fulfil entire parts of their business model through SaaS based CRM or ERP, today, over 1/3rd of companies are running completely on SaaS and the majority of the remaining 2/3rd plan to switch completely to SaaS over the next five years, enabling them to fully retire their datacentres and undertake change more nimbly.

Even though it is heavily regulated, the Financial Services industry is no different, making extensive use of SaaS to serve its customer base and to organise and run its businesses operations. This considerable demand for SaaS is leaving companies struggling to adopt this type of technology, especially where there is a case of little or zero help from internal traditional IT delivery & support functions when the business functions adopt a ‘go it alone’ approach to SaaS in an attempt to help their team. This creates a growing, complex and often not fully understood mix of SaaS, with no signposted way in which to consume SaaS effectively. Each SaaS service needs clear ownership to manage the product within a business to stay current and gain value from the evolving product; change will happen that businesses must act upon.

One of our client’s Cloud strategy calls for the adoption of SaaS as its priority above the creation of new applications and hosting them either in its own data centre or on its own PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) environment.  The majority of internal technology demand for this client since 2019 has been for SaaS based services. During 2020, Broadstones developed a SaaS Operating Model for the Financial Services company to help them get to grips with their growing SaaS inventory and provide clear guidance to teams around the business as to how to adopt SaaS quickly, manage SaaS effectively and handle the complexities in that this new type of IT estate that continually evolves and changes.

Section 02: What we did

We wanted to use this challenge to reinvent how Operating Models could look at feel and make these accessible to those that needed to use them. SaaS is an enabler for business led technology change, as such, it was important that policy, standards, advice and guidance on how to make this happen are presented in a consumable, easy to navigate way for people within the business without the need for technologists to support them in understanding what needed to be done when and how.

The SaaS Operating Model developed by Broadstones is helping this client to make complex subjects understandable and accessible in an innovative, clear and interactive way for their organisation. The SaaS Operating Model provides clarity to SaaS consumers on how to onboard new SaaS and get it operational, get the best out of it in operation, as well as how to safely decommission it without interruption to the business. 

We engaged with SaaS consumers around the client organisation and built an understanding of the jobs to be done with SaaS. We explored current processes and process gaps around the SaaS lifecycle.

We knitted together and enhanced existing siloed processes and plugged the gaps to create an end to end framework of processes that made sense and could be easily followed. We enriched this with a wealth of industry experience and best practice to create a comprehensive, interactive, simple model that clicked-through into well-constructed, simple to follow bite sized processes with clear roles and responsibilities, process walkthroughs, how-to guidance articles, templates and examples, all accessible at the Operating Model users fingertips.

To ensure that our client accelerated their adoption of the SaaS Operating Model, we led a mixed client and Broadstones team during this engagement so that SaaS understanding and client capability was building from day one and could continue after the Operating Model was ready for use.

Broadstones built the model out incrementally, working in agile scrum from a prioritised backlog of Operating Model artefacts and materials, this allowed the team to road test the framework content, look and feel with real consumers, gain feedback

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