Initial Implementation Steps
“The pace of change is so rapid now; it is the ISV’s biggest challenge. It is the best time to build big [SaaS] businesses, but the speed of change makes execution difficult.”
El Dorado Ventures
Once the initial SaaS strategy is set in place, the implementation period begins. The characteristics and organizational changes required by the SaaS model should be communicated across the company. The implementation process begins by assuring the SaaS business, technology, and marketing strategies are well understood by all participants in the plan.
The adoption of SaaS is typically a phased effort – it is important to get an entry into the SaaS market even if it is a very transitional product to gain customer feedback and experience in the sale and marketing of SaaS. For large companies, an acquisition of a SaaS company may be the fastest way to enter the SaaS market and begin to infuse the company with “SaaS DNA”. Cultural issues need to be resolved for those individuals who are not used to thinking of the company’s products as service.
Execution is Critical
Cloud Strategies can provide guidance and review of the creation and execution of company project plans to build or convert all aspects of the business to a SaaS model consistent with best practices in the industry. Project management both within and between the departments moving to SaaS is crucial. It is crucial that the SaaS initiatives have senior management sponsorship to ensure that the company’s priorities are aligned to support the adoption of the SaaS model.
The implementation team may need to be augmented with new internal and external resources to make the SaaS business a success. Cloud Strategies can assist in the assessment of new human capital as desired.
Monitoring Operations is Imperative
The company must collect the data to generate and monitor the SaaS KPIs to have a successful SaaS business. SaaS companies can falter in areas such as sales expenses, churn, and cost of SaaS operations relative to SaaS revenue (SaaS gross profit). It is important to monitor these factors from the beginning to make early corrections as required.
As the company is now in the “operational service” business it is now an integral part of their customers’ IT. Processes and resources must be put in place to ensure their customers’ up-time, security, compliance requirements are met.