Software as a Service (SaaS) Solutions
SaaS solutions offer many advantages over custom developed systems, but until recently lacked flexibility and configurability. This frequently meant the only choice was a custom build. All too often custom-built systems are a costly and static point in time solution. This limits future use and leaves departments with systems that become increasingly expensive to manage and maintain.
SaaS options have advanced rapidly in recent years with some, like Enquire Lifecycle Management, addressing issues of flexibility and configurability in addition to other key benefits government should consider when implementing a new grant management system.
Let’s unpack 6 points governments should consider when adopting a system to track and manage the funding lifecycle.
What to Consider When Adopting a SaaS Grant Management System
1. Best Practice
Many governments and agencies use a combination of internally developed highly specified systems delivered to meet aging “as-is” requirements. The demand for improved standards and processes have matured in recent times. Funders are seeking greater transparency and effectiveness of funding.
New funding program management SaaS systems are leading the way in applying best practice processes to management and administration through their direct experience across a wide range of clients and industries with input from practitioners world-wide.
2. Cost Effectiveness
Developing custom built systems often results in remarkably high upfront costs compared to SaaS grant management systems. Development and implementation can stretch over extended periods, making them prone to changing requirements and business conditions.
Typically, this occurs due to a lack of understanding of sector-wide best practices for fund management processes, and the costs associated with building from scratch. Additionally, custom built systems become complex and expensive to adapt to future changes and demands.
3. Data Integrity
Inflexible or out of date systems that no longer meet current needs result in practitioners abandoning these systems, and workarounds come into play. The integrity of fund program management is reduced with data, decisions, reports, and other project related information, stored, and managed separately.
This can introduce errors, inaccurate and out-of-date data, as well as a lack of a repeatable and consistent approach to reporting, reducing transparency and accountability. As such, governments should aim to implement SaaS grant management systems with integrated reporting protocols.
To be effective SaaS systems must offer flexibility to support the processes and requirements of government clients which are often significantly more demanding than private sector needs. Funding management in government often involves complex workflows, participation of a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, support for program/project hierarchies and the need to measure and report on program results that may be delivered by a variety of projects.
Providing a deep level of configurability ensures the solution can be tailored to meet specific demands for data, roles for users and processes to support administration and management. This can be adjusted as needed.
In advanced systems like Enquire clients can update configurations on their own in real time, create custom data fields and reuse/clone workflows, forms, templates, and reports. Importantly these configurations do not require any programming and do not impact the integrity of the overall system.
Fund program management is core to delivering many government policies. As such it is important that the system integrates with other common systems. Important data, like financial payments, must interface with other systems to ensure data integrity and accurate reporting. Documents must be shared, tracked, and managed between systems to eliminate expensive duplication. Access and roles should be aligned with single sign on systems already present and reflective of the organisation.
SaaS solutions that integrate with 3rd party systems help ensure government funding management can more easily respond to future changes by supporting the secure and open exchange of information, eliminating silos that impede efficient and effective management.
Enquire Lifecycle Management
Enquire Lifecycle Management is a leading SaaS grant management solution, designed to meet the demands of government grant program management. Since its inception, Enquire has managed over $18 billion worth of grants across commercial organisations and government departments throughout Australia and internationally.
See how Enquire Lifecycle Management is made to assist government organisations here.