Adopting SaaS solutions at VA shouldn’t be difficult, time-consuming, or stressful. It’s our job in the Office of Information Technology (VA OIT) to make sure the process is easy-to-understand, fast, and simple. This allows VA to tap into emerging technologies in the market and provide a digital experience that’s on par with the private sector. SaaS solutions are a critical tool in VA’s mission to provide Veterans with better access to health care and VA benefits.
To encourage the VA to adopt SaaS solutions, we must make it easy for front-line staff to connect with experts in technology and the SaaS process at VA. By lowering the barrier to entry for VA staff, we can encourage more requests and build momentum across the VA to use the best available tools for the problems at hand. We use the principles below to design an intake process that meets customers where they are and provides a clear path to achieving their goals.
- Be transparent. Provide VA customers and the vendor community as much plain language information as possible early in the process.
- Publish a public list of already approved SaaS products
- Provide customers with a single point of contact who provides a "concierge" level of customer service throughout the entire process.
- Ensure VA customers have the support they need with technical, security, and procurement expertise throughout the process.
- Ensure everyone involved has a clear understanding of the problem.
- Understand the types of data used in the solution to determine data security requirements.
- Automate the process where possible.
- Minimize the time, effort, and data you ask for from customers.
- Provide weekly updates to customers on the status of intake requests.
- Collect customer feedback on the intake process. Use this information to improve the process.