Managing technology providers to meet business initiatives: A CIO guide
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Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which business applications are hosted by a vendor...
or service provider and made available to users over a network, typically the Internet or intranet. SaaS ideas and offerings characteristically include easier admin, automatic updates and global accessibility. Other key features allow for easier collaboration and compatibility to ensure each user operates under the same version of software.
When company-issued devices and applications don't get the job done, employees might be more inclined to go rogue. To combat this move toward unapproved tools, CIOs need to secure a seat at the SaaS planning table -- but how? In our March rogue-IT tweet jam, we asked participants:
Q4 How can CIOs make sure they have a seat at the table as the business pursues SaaS offerings? #CIOChat— SearchCIO.com (@searchCIO) March 26, 2014
1. Be the liaison between IT users and business executives
The CIO's involvement in the SaaS conversation gives employees using -- and also those avoiding -- business-provided IT services an opportunity to be heard. According to our tweet jam participants, CIOs should solidify their seat at the SaaS planning table by understanding which rogue technologies employees have chosen and why:
Q4. A CIO earns a seat at the table by becoming a trusted advisor and moving from the department of no to the department of Know #CIOchat— Brian Katz (@bmkatz) March 26, 2014
2. Be open and accepting
CIOs are closer to IT users than many of the board members to whom they report, making it easy to fall into the "I know what's best" trap. During SaaS planning, it's important for CIOs to recognize that everybody needs to have a say in the SaaS purchasing process:
Q4 Alignment w/ business goals through SaaS solutions put forward w/ every dept's buy in. Accepting everyone has say in proccess #CIOChat— Anthony Bartolo (@WirelessLife) March 26, 2014
#CIOChat A4 Build a relationship with the business and the CFO. Be open to SaaS offerings when applicable to the business need.— Bart Murphy (@bartmurphy) March 26, 2014
3. Communicate effectively
Our tweet jam participants noted the importance of communication, and SearchCompliance site editor Ben Cole emphasized that point:
A4 #ciochat Seat at the table is really being a part of the conversation. Goes back to having the relationship to be in front of issues.— Stuart Appley (@sappley) March 26, 2014
4. Remove the divide between IT and business
While CIOs have the unique opportunity to serve as the liaison between IT users and business executives in the SaaS discussion, Stuart Appley, CIO at Shorenstein, suggests business and IT become one:
Did our tweet jam participants cover all the bases? What other ways can CIOs ensure they have a seat at the table as business units pursue SaaS offerings? Tell us in the comments section below.
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Emily McLaughlin asks:
How can CIOs ensure they have a seat at the table as the business pursues SaaS offerings?
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