Top 5 Operational Effectiveness Challenges in SaaS Only Organizations

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Do you feel as though your business has reached a plateau? Are you unsure how to move beyond the growing pains and achieve continuous growth? More importantly, do you fully understand what your business needs to sustain growth?

The strategy of driving business growth through achieving operational effectiveness is far from new – manufacturing operations across the globe have continuously evolved their lean processes since Henry Ford created flow production in 1913.

Since then, tech-enabled organizations have consistently iterated to identify their own version of lean operations to drive business growth in the form of Six Sigma and other frameworks and models that spot broken processes and inefficiencies. But the world has undergone a transformational change, ushering in a new era of cloud only operations. We’re saying farewell to on-prem applications and massive server rooms (and thank goodness for that).

The crossing of the chasm from cloud first to cloud only was catapulted by the COVID-19 pandemic such that BetterCloud’s 2020 State of SaaSOps Report revealed, on average, organizations use 80 SaaS apps today. This is a 5x increase in just three years and a 10x increase since 2015. However, this leap into the future poses its own challenges when it comes to driving operational effectiveness. Read on to find out more.

  • Challenge 1: Fledgling Best Practices – Companies intermittently devote time to developing their own level set of internal best practices and this leads to inconsistency in everything from tool usage to reporting.
    • We’re not saying there’s a widespread underdevelopment of best practices, but with the speed at which organizations jumped from cloud first to cloud only while also largely catering to a remote workforce, somewhere some best practices may have just fallen through the cracks.
    • You mustn’t assume you can lean on your IT team (the typical implementers of most SaaS applications) for these best practices because they’re likely deep in working to automate their SaaSOps and maintain momentum. Functional leaders must partner across tools and teams to ensure best practices are documented and disseminated, otherwise your ability to drive predictable operational effectiveness will be hindered.
  • Challenge 2: Insufficient Context and Training – These are key to successful adoption and utilization of current and new tools, but companies often miss the mark on both.
    • Let’s consider for a moment that of the ~80 SaaS apps an organization utilizes, only ~30 of them are integral to a particular role within an organization (and we’re being conservative). Does your organization provide a level of context (Why do we use this application? How will it increase my efficiency and effectiveness? When should I use this application over a similar one? the list goes on) that helps set a new hire up for success?
    • Even if we can assume a new hire knows how to utilize common applications like Slack, Trello, Jira, and Office365, what is your commitment to and process of providing some level of training to your new and current employees as you add applications like Monday.com and Lattice to your stack? In the absence of context and training, the full benefits of your technology investments may go unrealized.
  • Challenge 3: Lack of Data Literacy – The ability to collect, manage, evaluate, and apply data in a purposeful manner across all functions is not yet a core competency for tech-enabled organizations.
    • A baseline understanding of how to apply data to operational insights and wield the data in a way that allows for mitigating risks and achieving better results is essential in virtually any tech-enabled organization. However, a lack of data literacy can lead to ineffective decision making and even stalled growth. 
    • Assessing the level of data literacy and aggressively closing the gaps will ensure companies are continuing to mature along the data democratization curve. Organizations must be transparent and open when it comes to data accessibility and mitigate against data misinterpretation.
  • Challenge 4: Disparate Data – The amount of data being generated by companies globally is growing exponentially, and cloud only companies continue to launch that number skywards.
    • Each day, your teams produce a wealth of operational data as part of their daily operations. However, this data is likely sitting across your application suite, which means you need a team of data scientists to stitch together insights. A survey from IDC and Alteryx revealed that on average, data professionals spend 60% of their day getting to the meaningful insights within the data.
    • Whether you have a team of analysts and scientists or are empowering your leaders to wrangle their operational data, the challenge of disparate data hinders operational effectiveness, costing organizations on average $17k per employee/per year. Hang on tight for a solution!
  • Challenge 5: More Noise than Signal – The abundance of data across your team’s tools is both signal and noise.
    • Reducing the noise and revealing the key moments of truth within your data – how your team can be more efficient, where your operational processes are stuck, the pending missed goal – is almost impossible.
    • For operational leaders committed to using data-driven insights to make relevant and actionable decisions, having a tool in your belt that separates the irrelevant data from the critical signals is essential.

Are you feeling these challenges acutely? Do they keep you up at night? Or do you just have a sense that you could run your business differently? Wherever you are on your operational effectiveness journey, you don’t have to navigate the path solo.

Peoplelogic connects to the software tools where work actually happens for your team and surfaces the truth in the data to make your team more effective. Our objective insights and recommendations allow managers and leaders to understand the key drivers of productivity and performance and where there’s potential risk for overloaded teams, missed goals, and customer churn.

Driving operational effectiveness, increasing productivity, and reducing inefficiencies is a utopian state for all scaling businesses. See how Peoplelogic can help you get a little closer to utopia, make your team’s data actionable, and bring new efficiencies to your operations!

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