How a skilled advocate can improve SaaS technology transformation

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This article was contributed by Thomas Donelli, Chief Information Officer of BetterCloud.

Technological progress at the enterprise is slowing down. It’s time to crash.

Technology transformation is fundamental to any business that seeks to operate well and compete successfully. Our organization focuses on helping companies manage technology change and use it to transform – for the better – the way departments do business. This gives us a continuous insight into what works well when deploying new software applications as a service (SaaS). We are also internally experimenting to improve the movement and expansion of our own business, and we are here to explain what we think is best suited for technological transformation.

While strategically planning and coordinating new technology imperatives is ideal, many IT teams are trapped in reactive mode. As a result, they are unbalanced, unprepared, and key considerations are ignored. We are going to recommend you to try a new method to overcome the jet mode fight. First, however, let’s see what is usually wrong with technology deployment (particularly SaaS).

  • Application deployment projects are often frustrated by waiting for some other department to complete a specific task. While you wait, forward movement is blocked. The implementation team can help by organizing and aligning participants who are usually busy and do not consider SaaS deployment to be their top priority.
  • Operations departments and participants in their projects usually have a very “local” perspective, so they are unaware of applications, data, or deployments in other departments. This leads to duplication and inconsistencies or incompatibilities that can be avoided.
  • Most companies are functional hierarchies. This may mean resistance to the implementation of applications between functions. Marketing here; finances there are separate. Sales on another island. The boundaries of departments make it difficult to synchronize corporate data with bunkers, so data integration requires excessive effort. Users can go the easy way and create a bunker for one workgroup. This immediately gives rise to problems that are then difficult to fix.

Almost every company wants to implement more efficiently in the enterprise, and avoid cutting data and processes. There are often trade-offs between meeting today’s needs in one department and meeting enterprise goals. The department may prefer a particular application and vendor based on past acquaintances, but the company seeks to avoid adding new SaaS vendors if the app is already deployed in another department.

Advocate for embedded technology and business analyst for Saas initiatives

From our experience, people are the key to technology transformation. Our SaaS initiatives got the best results when we incorporated business analysts into departments where they act as business partners, aligning technology with departmental goals and corporate strategy. Their work begins with understanding the needs of the department. These analysts, whom we have dubbed “embedded technology supporters” or supporters, are good at building trust and managing projects.

The built-in attorney assists SaaS projects in defining requirements, selecting technologies, implementing and assigning users / privileges. They attend department meetings, understand issues, help propose future initiatives, and build constructive relationships that connect between departments, IT, and senior management. They work daily to reconcile the department’s programs, data, and processes with the rest of the enterprise.

How we got there

We have set up a team of lawyers (feel free to call them technical guides or just business analysts) who are included in each functional department. Each attorney typically represents two or three departments of enterprise and IT at once. They remain busy; Advocate’s built-in large company can participate in 10-30 deployments a year or more. Some deployments will involve multiple deployments of the same program but in different departments.

We quickly saw that with fans the choice and deployment of technology worked better. It was easy to see why. Self-functional departments, such as marketing, sales, and procurement, need to plan and complete new SaaS projects, especially when it comes to a cross-functional, corporate view. Lawyers quickly became experts in SaaS selection and implementation.

To find in-house attorneys, you can hire both inside and out. Look for project management skills and work experience. In this role of “analytical extrovert” well-established sales operations and financial experience.

Introducing embedded technologies and SaaS fans

After the appointment, technology advocates meet regularly with their departments and teams of IT, security and deployment. They study department processes and what data is important. Lawyers are becoming the main contact of their department for technological change.

The lawyer engages the necessary participants in the project when necessary, which greatly reduces the workload. The lawyer actually makes technological decisions on behalf of the department or at least plays an influential role in them.

In such a structure, the attorney is trusted by departments as well as IT and security, and can be a trusted conductor.

The results are encouraging

The results are encouraging. SaaS implementation and adaptation are faster without disrupting task forces. Creating silo stops. The attorney completes work for which department stakeholders lack the time, attention, cross-functional knowledge, or motivation.

We have seen that the built-in advocacy approach has reduced the time spent implementing SaaS and restrained the information gap. This helps make departmental data widely available and more valuable to the company. Local “invisible” bunkers can store information valuable to other departments; they don’t have to be in the dark about what’s out there and how it’s used. Lawyers seek to use data; they work to synchronize and integrate bunker data with enterprise resources.

Whether a lawyer is embedded with two or three departments at a time depends on experience, on his creativity and ability to solve problems. Fans are paving the way and accelerating the transformation of technology. This brings IT to the forefront with more deployment success, better data usage and positive feedback.

The Embedded Technology Advocate approach has been very effective here. We now recommend it to our clients who can deploy 20, 30 and even more applications per year. We are excited to see the results this brings for them.

Thomas Donnelly is the Chief Information Officer of BetterCloud.

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