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SaaS Best Practices for a Remote Work Surge

For IT teams who need assistance right now, Productiv can help quickly measure real-time usage of your SaaS applications, rightsize your licenses, and support remote collaboration. Measuring and driving productivity for remote workers is in our DNA, and we’re here to help you as you navigate this new, and likely stressful situation. We are offering a free 30-day trial of Productiv, so that you can quickly start understanding your organization’s current collaboration and productivity. To learn more, contact us here or below.

 

IT teams are under a remote collaboration stress-test with millions of employees suddenly working from home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). What are the best practices for IT to support remote teams? How can IT see which applications are carrying their weight and driving productivity? Which applications can be quickly right-sized — up or down — to meet new business requirements? 

SaaS Application Usage

Productiv measures SaaS application usage and engagement at the feature level in real time. Since the remote work shift beginning in February, Productiv data shows dramatic changes in application engagement (or, what happens after a user logs in): 

  • Sharing video in Zoom has increased 175%; while overall Zoom usage and Zoom meetings have both increased by more than 50%;
  • Remote collaboration tools, like Slack and Microsoft Teams, have increased usage by nearly 100% each, with more people expanding their use of these applications;
  • File sharing systems, like Box and Dropbox have increased more than 20%, as employees are viewing and editing shared files with their colleagues

Remote Work Best Practices for IT Leaders

Productiv works closely with IT leaders and has identified four best practices to help adapt to this rapidly evolving remote collaboration challenge:

  • Ensure access and adoption. Are you set up to allow remote access to the software your teams use to get work done every day? This is the first question any IT leader will need to ask when faced with a surge in remote work. If there are cloud-based versions of applications your employees typically use in the office, are you set up to deploy them and will you have the necessary usage data to successfully drive adoption in those applications? 

Key Takeaway: A centralized and accurate list of applications and licenses is essential to evaluating and expanding remote adoption. 

  • Leverage already-remote teams as a model. Is your application stack optimized for remote collaboration? Previous “nice-to-have” applications may now be mission-critical in a remote-first work culture, and perhaps your organization already has a subset of remote employees whose application engagement can be replicated across your business. With more and more employees finding value in tools like Slack and Zoom, for example, this is an opportunity for you to reconsider those applications against the solutions you already have in place. 

Key Takeaway: Understanding what applications are already working well for remote work will help you anticipate and quickly react to needs. 

  • Manage license types by individual. Your sales team may have Zoom’s Pro licenses since they are frequently holding virtual meetings longer than 40 minutes, while an engineer who meets less frequently with external partners may not need such a license. But when you’re dealing with a sudden surge in remote work, you need to adjust your license provisioning strategy. Using an engagement-based approach, IT leaders can get regular updates on engaged and provisioned users on an application-by-application basis and automatically deprovision, upgrade, or downgrade licenses based on individual usage patterns to ensure each user has the appropriate license to get their work done.

Key Takeaway: Getting the right license types into the right hands has never been more important.

  • Minimize work interruption and maximize collaboration. As discussed in our recent interview with a customer, with engagement-based SaaS management, IT leaders can see whether files are being shared in Box, or video is being enabled in Zoom (compared with just seeing whether or not provisioned users actually logged in to those applications), giving a more complete picture of the effectiveness of remote collaboration. With feature-level engagement data, IT leaders can better understand the role that these tools play in enabling remote collaboration, better measure the effectiveness of remote work policies, and drive better adoption of these tools to ensure collaboration continuity remains uninterrupted at times of crisis. 

Key Takeaway: It’s the true test of IT, using technology to drive employee productivity–now more challenging with remote teams.

 

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