Managing procurement for a company - whether large or small - can be an utterly overwhelming job. In many cases, you’re a one-person shop, handling all manner of vendors and suppliers for the business. SaaS vendor management is just a slice of the whole procurement pie.
And what have we been telling you to do on the Meta SaaS blog? Do your homework. Know your contracts. Optimize usage. Stay on top of renewals. And the list goes on.
Managing the entire SaaS lifecycle for your business requires a lot of work - maybe too much for one person. But that work still needs to get done, in order to save time, money, and get the best visibility into your SaaS landscape.
But consider this: maybe you personally don’t have to do it all. There are lots of different types of tasks involved in managing SaaS vendors. Some of them require your direct input at a central level, and others can be delegated to people closer to the SaaS end-user experience in your business.
Even though you might delegate a bit, you’ll still have visibility into the overall SaaS picture. Here are our recommendations for what to keep on your task list and what to delegate:
Keep Global, Organization-wide SaaS Functions in Procurement.
All activities that require visibility and/or action across your organization need to stay in one centralized place. These are generally the big ones that require an upfront investment of time, and then just maintenance and oversight as you go along.
Creating and maintaining a system of record to manage SaaS vendors is a good place to start, as this is where all your centralized SaaS platform information will live. You can create your own tool for this (like a spreadsheet or an in-house database) or choose a SaaS vendor management platform. Whatever the case, it all starts here.
Within that system of record, you’ll need to gather up all the SaaS contracts for your global visibility. Handle upcoming renewals and contract negotiations. Regularly perform audits of SaaS platforms. Provide a process for onboarding and offboarding users. And look at your overall SaaS portfolio for optimization opportunities.
All these activities require central management, but other tasks can be pushed to the department level to free up time and provide more informed decision-making.
Delegate Department-specific SaaS Tasks to Managers and Directors.
When thinking about SaaS management tasks, ask yourself this question: “What’s the benefit of delegating this task?” A manager’s input might save time, money, or help to provide you with more visibility across the business. All of these are good reasons to delegate.
The most seamless way to do this is to give managers and department heads access to your system of record. Give them the tools to fulfill your requests in that system. This will cut down on the email back-and-forth and manual data entry that may turn you off to pushing tasks down the chain.
Offer stakeholders a way to view all users in their department, for the different SaaS tools they use. Allow end users to request access to SaaS, and have that request sent directly to the manager - not to you.
Hold managers and directors accountable for employee offboarding - including all their SaaS assets. This could take a couple forms - a way to notify you about an employee departure through the system of record, regular reminders to submit offboarding requests, or even an automated workflow based on the employee turning in his or her computer.
When you optimize your SaaS portfolio, push those optimization recommendations down to the department level. From your analysis, it might look like the marketing team doesn’t need a handful of licenses. Vet your analysis first, before pulling the plug on any SaaS and surprising end users. And in turn, ask for a no-surprises policy from them as well. Require that stakeholders report any unsanctioned SaaS as soon as it becomes apparent to them.
Open up the Full SaaS Landscape - Without Doing all the Work Yourself.
Getting your arms around SaaS management will take time. But, there are definitely tasks you can take push down further into your organization. Take the time to understand everything that needs to be done, what you should own, and what can be delegated to other team members. You’ll save time and gain greater visibility in the process.