minutes read

The definitive guide to SaaS operations with tips and best software

Written by
Nathalie Kim
Published on
January 27, 2023

SaaS ops are crucial for smooth and efficient work of your SaaS. This guide provides valuable insight on different types of SaaSops & how to implement them for success.

Nathalie Kim
Brand and Marketing Specialist
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SaaS products are getting into everyone's lives and businesses, from multinational companies to the commoners. SaaS is a typical product of this digital era - to the extent that the global SaaS market size is expected to reach USD 195 billion by 2023. However, not everyone can benefit from the usage of SaaS products in the same way. Individuals or companies can only do so if they make ideal use of SaaS operations.

SaaSops (SaaS operations) refers to SaaS products' governance, management, purchasing, and usage optimization.

Understanding SaaS operations management can be daunting for businesses looking for success in the SaaS industry. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to build an effective SaaS operations management strategy and ensure your SaaS business is running as efficiently as possible. From defining the essential SaaS operations to outlining examples of successful strategies, this guide will equip you with everything you need to know about SaaSops.

Introduction to SaaS operations

The term “SaaS operations” refers to the process of managing and administering a SaaS product. In the realm of SaaS operations management, the multitude of responsibilities are usually executed through an efficient SaaS operations management platform. This platform acts as a centralized hub for all activities related to SaaS product management. It includes tasks such as:

1. Monitoring the system to ensure uptime, often employing a well-integrated SaaS operations management platform that provides real-time visibility and reporting capabilities.

2. Managing customer data securely and efficiently, an aspect that's greatly facilitated by a SaaS operations management tool, which can ensure data protection and compliance.

3. Providing customer support that’s top-notch and seamless, made achievable by the right SaaS operations management platform that allows for effective ticketing, communication, and problem resolution.

Typically, a team of IT professionals with software development experience gets the responsibility of SaaS ops. Some companies, in an effort to optimize their SaaS operations management, may even outsource the SaaS operations to third-party service providers. This gives them access to expert knowledge and resources, all managed via a central SaaS management platform.

SaaS operations aim to ensure that the software runs smoothly and efficiently at all times. That includes regular maintenance, updates, and troubleshooting of any issues that may arise. A robust SaaS management platform can help streamline these tasks, providing a comprehensive overview of all operational aspects.

Customer satisfaction is paramount in SaaS operations. With a powerful SaaS management platform, providing prompt and effective customer support becomes more feasible. That may include offering live chat or phone support and maintaining an up-to-date knowledge base or FAQ section on the website.

It is also essential to monitor the system closely for any potential problems. That can be done using various tools and techniques, such as log analysis and performance monitoring. All these functions are often integrated into a SaaS operations management platform, ensuring that issues can be detected and resolved quickly before they can impact the user experience. Hence, a capable SaaS management platform is at the heart of successful SaaS operations management.

What are the different components of SaaS ops?

SaaS operation is a term that encompasses all of the activities and processes that are necessary to ensure the delivery of a SaaS product or service. To ensure these operations run smoothly, the right SaaS tools are indispensable. They include everything from provisioning and managing the underlying infrastructure to monitoring and managing the application.

The different components of SaaS operations can be broadly categorized into three main categories:

  • Infrastructure management - includes all the activities necessary to provision and manage the underlying infrastructure that powers a SaaS product or service. It includes everything from setting up and configuring servers to ensuring they are correctly patched and updated. SaaS tools specifically designed for infrastructure management play a pivotal role in these processes, enabling faster setup and continuous updates.
  • Application management - includes all the activities necessary to monitor and manage the actual application itself. SaaS tools used here range from tracking down and fixing bugs to ensuring that new features are properly rolled out. Their usage improves performance and helps maintain the overall quality of the SaaS apps.
  • User management - includes all of the activities necessary to manage the users of a SaaS product or service. SaaS tools are essential here as they can handle everything from creating and managing user accounts to providing support if something goes wrong. With SaaS tools, the user management process becomes far more streamlined and efficient.

Therefore, such SaaS tools form the backbone of SaaS operations, aiding in infrastructure, application, and user management tasks. Their integration into the SaaS operations lifecycle is pivotal in ensuring effective product or service delivery.

Some examples of SaaS ops

Some common examples of SaaS operations include:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
  • Human capital management (HCM)
  • Marketing automation software

These are all mission-critical SaaS applications that must be constantly available to support the business. SaaS operations teams must continuously monitor the system for any issues or potential outages to ensure optimal performance. They also work closely with the engineering team to implement new features and enhancements. In addition, they are responsible for ensuring that the system is properly backed up and that data is securely stored.

SaaS operations team structure

SaaS operations management is teamwork; it requires a team of professionals to perform the SaaS ops smoothly. The SaaS operations team is responsible for ensuring the smooth and efficient running of the software as a service platform. The team is typically composed of a few different roles, each with its areas of expertise.

  • Systems Administrator manages and maintains the underlying infrastructure that powers the SaaS platform. It includes the server hardware, operating system, networking, and storage.
  • Platform Engineer is responsible for developing and maintaining the SaaS platform's software. It includes the application code, database schema, and any third-party integrations.
  • Site Reliability Engineer ensures that the SaaS platform is always available and responsive. Those responsibilities include monitoring uptime, performance, and capacity. Reliability engineers also handle the incident response in case of an outage or degradation in service.
  • DevOps Engineer is responsible for automating the processes required to build, deploy, and operate the SaaS platform. It includes provisioning infrastructure, Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD), and monitoring.

SaaS IT operations management

SaaS IT operations management is the process of overseeing and managing the technology infrastructure of a SaaS provider. That includes ensuring the SaaS platforms and their associated applications' availability, performance, and security.

To effectively manage a SaaS platform, IT operations teams must clearly understand the system's architecture and components. They must also be familiar with the tools and processes, including various SaaS tools, used to monitor and manage the platform.

The goal of SaaS IT operations management is to ensure that the SaaS platform can meet the needs of its users reliably and efficiently. IT operations teams must constantly monitor the platform for issues and potential improvements to achieve this. They also need to work closely with the development team to ensure that new features are adequately tested before being deployed to production.

Benefits of implementing a SaaS operation model

There are plenty of benefits that come along with implementing a SaaS operation model within your business, such as:

  • Expenditure Cut - The most apparent benefit is the cost savings associated with not investing in and maintaining on-premises hardware and software infrastructure. With SaaS, all you need is a stable internet connection and web browser to access your applications – there's no need for costly upfront investments or ongoing maintenance fees.
  • Increased flexibility and agility - With SaaS, you can quickly provision new users and scale up or down your usage as needed without waiting for new hardware or software licenses. That makes it much easier to respond to changing business needs and opportunities.
  • Improved Security - SaaS operations can help improve your security posture by offloading many of the responsibilities related to patching, updates, and security configuration to the service provider. It can free up your internal resources to focus on more strategic tasks while maintaining a high-security level for your data and applications.

Tips for optimizing your SaaS operations

Let's go through a few expert tips for optimizing your SaaS operations:

  • Keep an eye on your system performance and capacity utilization.
  • Automate as much of your operations as possible.
  • Use a multi-cloud strategy to avoid vendor lock-in and ensure high availability.
  • Ensure your data is backed up and easily recoverable in case of an outage.
  • Implement a comprehensive monitoring solution to detect issues early and prevent outages.

Elements of SaaS operations management software

The elements of SaaS operations management software are designed to help manage the key aspects of a SaaS business. It includes features for managing customer accounts, billing, and payments and provides insights into how the business is performing.

Understanding how each element works and how it can improve your business is critical to get the most out of SaaS operations management software.

Account Management - The account management features of SaaS operations management software help you keep track of your customers and their subscription status. You can use this info to follow up with customers at risk of churning to offer them discounts or other incentives to stay subscribed.

Billing and Payments - SaaS operations management software's billing and payments feature helps you automate billing your customers and collecting payments. It can save you time and money while reducing the risk of errors.

Insights and Analytics - SaaS operations management software's insights and analytics features give you visibility into how your business is performing. It helps you to identify areas where you need to make improvements or to track your progress over time.

The five best SaaS operations management software

When it comes to SaaS Ops management, there are a few key software tools that can make your life much easier. Understanding the importance of such software in the context of running SaaS apps can empower your decision-making. So, here is a compilation of the best SaaS operations management software, so you can make an informed decision about which tool is right for your business.

SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor - This tool monitors server performance and applications in real-time, so you can quickly identify and fix any issues that arise. It also provides comprehensive reporting so you can track your progress over time.

Datadog - Datadog is a cloud monitoring platform that gives you visibility into all of your organization's metrics, from application performance to infrastructure health. It's easy to set up and use and provides detailed reporting so you can track your progress and identify areas for improvement.

New Relic - New Relic is a software analytics platform that helps you monitor and optimize the performance of your SaaS applications. It also provides comprehensive reporting so you can track your progress over time and identify areas for improvement.

AppDynamics - AppDynamics is an application performance monitoring platform that helps you monitor the performance of your SaaS apps in real-time. It also provides comprehensive reporting so you can track your progress over time and identify areas for improvement.

Dynatrace - Dynatrace is an application performance monitoring platform that helps you monitor the performance of your SaaS applications.

Splunk - Splunk is a software operations management platform widely used for searching, monitoring, and examining machine-generated big data. Its strong point is real-time data processing, which is beneficial when managing SaaS applications and their associated data.

PagerDuty - PagerDuty is an incident response platform for IT departments and DevOps teams. As SaaS apps become more sophisticated, having a tool like PagerDuty can help ensure that system incidents are effectively managed and resolved.

Final words

At the end of the day, SaaS operations are fundamental in ensuring that your software runs smoothly and efficiently. Whether you're a novice or an expert, knowing the different types of SaaS operations and how to implement them is essential for successful SaaS apps. We hope this guide has provided valuable insight into what SaaS operations management strategy entails, how you can use it for your SaaS products and service, and which SaaS tools to use for this purpose. 

Feel free to approach Apptension if you need professional guidance or assistance in developing a customized SaaS Ops management application. We've got a team of SaaS experts to turn your dream ideas into realities. Learn more on our SaaS development services page.