Statista estimates that there are approximately 28,000 SaaS companies in operation in 2022. Regarding IT security and protecting your data, not all these SaaS companies are up to the task. After the initial excitement of finding a new SaaS, how do you ensure you are choosing the right ones for your work at the University?
Cloud Software Approval Service
The Business Partnering Team in IT Services is here to guide you through the Cloud Software Approval Process. Before starting a free trial or subscribing, you should always go through the Business Partnering Team. The Cloud Software Approval Process ensures potential SaaS companies are secure and live up to the high IT security standards and data protection law the University is accountable for. SaaS suppliers have suffered serious data breaches in the past, so it's important that their security measures are checked before we entrust them with our data.
If you are looking to purchase a SaaS solution, let the Business Partnering team know and start the conversation early. The earlier you bring Business Partnering into the discussion, the better they can help you navigate through the evaluation and resourcing hurdles. The University already makes use of dozens of SaaS solutions, so we may be able to identify one that meets your needs and already has approval.
Sarah, a member of the Business Partnering team said: “There are a multitude of SaaS solutions available that have the potential to improve the way we work, support our goals, and even enhance the student experience. When sharing data with third parties, none of us want to put the University in a vulnerable position. The SaaS checks we conduct minimise any risk and give us confidence in our choices.”
So if you still need a SaaS, what next?
To start the conversation with the Business Partnering Team, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the team will be happy to contact you to discuss your needs. By including answers to the following questions, you will outline your simple business case:
What is the problem you are trying to solve?
What do you need a solution to do?
What benefits will this solution bring to the University, and those using the SaaS?
What difference will it make to how you currently work, or will need to work in the future?
What is the timeline for this SaaS if approved?
How long will the process take?
This will depend on the complexity of the situation, the capacity of the team and the number of SaaS requests ongoing. A standard request typically takes at least two months, but this can vary, which is why it is important to start the process early in your project.
Think of it this way: would you buy a house without getting a survey done first?
You might buy a house on the most desirable street in town, with outstanding schools and amenities nearby. Without a survey, however, you will not know for sure if the house is safe to move into, if it is a secure investment, or if it is going to be prohibitively expensive to make good.
Similarly, buying a SaaS without going through the Cloud Software Approval Process means you can't be sure it's a secure investment to house your data. If the SaaS has a data leak, unplanned investment will be required to pay fines, repair damage to our reputation and rebuild trust.