Why Don't More Apps Provide User Roles?

04.14.2023 03:29 PM Comment(s)

I've been checking out a lot of apps to get a sense of what kind of workflows are available in the SaaS industry (software as  a service) and it's disappointing to see how many don't offer user roles with different permissions for different back-end users.

This means that there is one account for all activities with that platform and if someone has access to it, they could publish or change whatever they want. There are no checks in balances possible to approve an activity before it is put into action. 

Newsletters, social media posts, podcast episodes -- so many things have the potential to either publish innocent mistakes or rogue retribution, including enabling hacking and blocking legitimate users from accessing it again. It's kind of a security nightmare and I'm sure it probably causes a lot of unnecessary worry.

So now I'm trying to find more apps that either have different administrative privileges for different user roles or can be integrated into apps that do (assuming staff haven't shared the passwords to said apps with staff) as a workaround to the lack of user roles in the original app. 

Note that I am an affiliate marketer for companies I've written and linked to in this post, indicated with an asterisk(*). This means I can earn a commission if people click the links and make a purchase after.

Using a suite of tools like Hubspot, Freshworks* or Zoho One* (that's the one I use) help you overcome part of the problem, at least with certain types of apps.

I use Zoho apps because, as a suite of tools, they're easy to integrate with each other and I no longer have to hunt to find tools that integrate with the ones I already I have. 

Another reason I use them is because if I decide to hire a virtual assistant or an intern down the line, I can give them a user role in my Zoho organization. It will not only put lots of controls in place, but will make onboarding them super easy and fast, plus you only use one login for many of the tools for everything from content marketing to customer service management

Here's how user roles work in Zoho CRM*. It puts my mind at ease knowing I'll never have to give a hire the ability to compromise or even overthrow my business, at least for the tools included in my suite.

I'm not sure if user roles are uncommon in tools that aren't part of a suite. Maybe the companies that own them feel that user levels aren't necessary with two-factor authentication.  

With TFA, you can only go rogue for so long until you're either locked out by the system or your superiors who want to stop activities they've found you doing.

But two-factor authentication doesn't stop people from going rogue in the first place and doesn't prevent problems before people do them.

As I'm a freelancer, I don't really have to deal with these things (yet), but as a very security-conscious professional, I'm concerned on behalf of companies and the people who register their details with them. So many internal breaches are possible. Also, life is already stressful enough. 

SaaS owners, why not make it less stressful for business owners and their staff?