How to Overcome SaaS Management Challenges in a Remote Work Environment

The world of business is moving towards more and more distributed ways of working, for example remote and hybrid work models. Doing this helps companies boost productivity and gives workers more flexibility, and access to a larger talent pool as well.

SaaS applications hold the promise of shifting the organisation of work to the network level, allowing remote teams to communicate, coordinate and measure performance.

Lack of face-to-face interaction

While SaaS tools make working remotely increasingly possible, employees who don’t experience many of the benefits of sharing physical space with co-workers are likely to feel uninvolved, forcing many to opt out of collaborating.

Fortunately, some of these barriers are not immutable. For example, rather than blowing into a rice paddy, an upland participant in a virtual team meeting can speak their piece. These same meetings can become a forum for the entire team to participate. Beyond ensuring that asynchronous team communication channels are open, remote workers must use the same set of tools in order to collaborate optimally. The technology stack will undoubtedly get ‘tribalised’, with many tool preferences – especially when team members have never been colocated before. However, the more unique tools there are, the more difficult it will become to keep the team aligned.

Further, it is essential that managers implement communication strategies that can guarantee clarity and consistency in messaging so as to minimise misunderstandings – such as regular maintainance of team check-ins. The exchange of information should be facilitated through collaboration-oriented tools, and opportunities for social contact and interaction encouraged. Above all, managers need to ensure that their teams can concentrate on their work without experiencing isolation or disconnection.

Lack of accountability

And while remote work has a lot of benefits, it can be difficult to enforce accountability when employees are not interacting face-to-face. This is especially challenging with SaaS applications: IT teams can easily lose sight of an organisation’s application portfolio, and who is responsible for overseeing what. Without strict accountabilities, there’s a risk of redundant applications, unused licences that translate into increased costs, as well as security and data management issues.

Organisations that want to avoid these pitfalls need to equip themselves with the tools, resources and processes that, in addition to effective calendar management tools to make sure employees know exactly where they need to be and when, also include some amount of virtual recognition (of both employees and teams) and team-building along the way, to help nurture culture and accountability. When the right guidelines and processes are in place, SaaS sprawl and other productivity issues are unlikely to get a foothold. For more information, download our free SaaS Sprawl Checklist.

Lack of collaboration

Working remotely has transformed the professional environment. It has led to new opportunities but it also creates new challenges – for example, employees may be working in unsecured networks of domestic Wi-Fi from their home or on personal devices which could make sensitive data vulnerable to exploitation by cyber threats. It can also be discouraging for members of a team to be motivated and keep everyone in the loop.

Therefore, team leaders need to address the issue of weak communication either by creating formal strategies to keep the communication flowing, or by conducting team check-ins on a regular basis; using time-tracking tools to ensure that the members are actually being productive, and accordingly providing feedback and support for their remote employees.

But those measures work only if teams have the right SaaS management solution to make it happen. For this reason is it highly recommended that corporations spend money on remote management tools that would allow for collaboration, enhance teamwork and increase productivity. Tachnologies such as those mentioned in this article can assist companies in overcoming the major drawbacks of remote working conditions and enhancing the mood and efficiency of employees while contributing to the growth of the business.

Lack of trust

A lack of trust can impede effective SaaS management from far. For instance, it could result from a short-term sense of insecurity which, in turn, leads to a lack of collaboration, stunting the organisation of the company or the efficiency of its personnel. This, in turn, could lead your employees to keep information to themselves, delaying the completion of tasks, and acting obstinately with coworkers.

In order to overcome these obstacles, leaders must ensure that employees have communication clarity, and that their group can work together successfully; additionally, productivity and performance need to be tracked.

Additionally, they must delineate to avoid duplications in their tech stack and develop processes for identifying and managing renewals so they can track SaaS tools more smoothly, efficiently and at a lower cost (what we call the ROAS method or ‘return on all SaaS). This avoids last-minute expenditures of unexpected funds (‘FUD’) and missed renewals, both of which unfortunately are rather common. Practising a set of best practices and attaining a culture of accountability will help teams ultimately become successful at managing SaaS at a distance. A content editor who deals with a distributed team has a special set of challenges But what about the future? What might come next after so many telecommuting enablement capabilities? With more than a third of the US workforce working from home in 2020 and now north of one-fourth continuing to do so, what additional products or services might arise? Consider the reality of teams comprising white-collar workers spread across a city, a state or an entire country.

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