Challenges in SaaS Employee Onboarding or “Registration Fatigue”

Theory: easy to explain

Employee onboarding is a crucial organizational process designed to integrate new hires by providing them with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary for effective contribution. The strategic importance of onboarding lies in its impact on high engagement and retention during the initial months of employment. A well-structured onboarding process not only accelerates new employees' realization of their full potential but also fosters the adoption of shared values, particularly in the context of cybersecurity, contributing to the development of a security-conscious organizational culture.

The rise in SaaS adoption has transformed the onboarding landscape, requiring companies to integrate new hires, often with limited in-person interactions, into numerous SaaS Apps. The challenges of SaaS sprawl add complexity to the onboarding process, which is crucial for employee engagement and retention. While introducing new team members and creating a welcoming initial experience is essential, ensuring access to the tools and resources vital for their roles is equally critical for fostering productivity. Effective IT support becomes instrumental in facilitating this access, particularly in the context of fully remote onboarding.

Before the onboarding process even begins, you need to complete the following IT tasks:

  • Procuring and assigning appropriate configured devices such as laptops or desktops,
  • Installing the necessary software (especially email accounts) and applications.
  • Sharing information on cybersecurity and password policies.

Reality: a bit more complex

An organization ranging from 500 to 2,000 employees typically utilizes around 1,500 cloud applications each month.

When starting a new job at an average organization, one is likely to encounter a barrage of requests to authenticate registration on various apps for HR, productivity, finance, or team-specific tools in the initial weeks. While some apps may be familiar, many will be new territory, potentially leading conscientious employees to feel guilty about verifying email legitimacy and causing others to assume everything is safe. Poorly managed registration processes and unclear steps for cloud app onboarding can result in confusion and serious security risks, especially considering the limited information provided in "request to confirm registration" emails.

Additionally, from an IT Admin perspective, the complexity of managing privileges and access in an environment with numerous platforms and applications increases the likelihood of lapses and errors during onboarding, given the tedious nature of manual checks in a diverse technological landscape.

Solution to mitigate “Registration Fatigue”

In the corporate setting, the IT department should transparently communicate to new hires the list of employed cloud services and provide clear instructions on how to register, including, if possible, specifying the activation date. The onboarding process for SaaS Apps may pose challenges for organizations with extensive decentralized business IT, but automation can simplify the procedure.

Simultaneously, it is crucial for cloud application providers to enhance user clarity, and businesses should insist on such support from their contracted companies. Application providers ought to incorporate comprehensive context into the account registration and confirmation process, outlining steps and contacts to dispel uncertainties. Many account confirmation emails lack adequate information, often consisting of just an unfamiliar logo and a "click here" button leading to pages requesting emails and passwords. Users should receive guidance to validate the legitimacy of such emails, clarifying aspects like being signed up by a colleague.

Additionally, new employees should be guided on expectations, with fundamental security training commencing on their first day before gaining full access to systems and data. This training should emphasize good practices, such as avoiding entering credentials on every registration page and refraining from using corporate credentials for personal cloud app access.

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