Purchasing new Software as a Service (SaaS) for your students or staff?

In recent years, the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry has exploded and is becoming the default model for IT systems delivery. You may have already signed up for one of these. If you have ever used a video streaming service or video chat service, then you have used a SaaS product.

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 choose the right ones for your work at the University? 

The Software Risk Assessment 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. The approval process is a rigorous assessment of security, data protection, architecture and integration factors, which provides the necessary assurance. 

The Business Partnering Team in IT Services is here to guide you through the Software Risk Assessment (SRA).  

What should I consider when looking for new software?  

  • Always contact the Business Partnering Team before starting a free trial or subscribing. 
  • If you're considering purchasing a SaaS solution, let the Business Partnering team know and initiate the conversation early. Information you will need to consider.  
  • Have you reviewed your internal processes? 
    1. What is the problem you are trying to solve?   
    2. What do you need a solution to do?   
    3. What benefits will this solution bring to the University, and those using the SaaS?  
    4. What difference will it make to how you currently work or will need to work in the future?  
    5. What is the timeline for this SaaS if approved? 
  • User access: Does the vendor/supplier support Multi-Factor Authentication and/or Single Sign On? 

How long does the approval 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.  

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. 

For more information, please visit www.lboro/SRA