What Are User Roles — And Why Are They Key To Scaling Your Business?

In an era where information is a vital asset, user roles play a pivotal role in managing and protecting the data that represents your brand online.

By Jessica Belsito

Dec 6, 2023

4 min

As multi-location businesses scale, it's crucial to have a robust platform to manage, organize, and disseminate complex information for each of their locations. These businesses often involve multiple users, each responsible for specific tasks or functions. To maintain control, security, and efficiency across an organization, defining and customizing user roles and permissions for each individual location is essential. In this blog, we'll explore the concept of user roles and why they're critical for running effective businesses at scale.

What are user roles?

User roles are predefined sets of permissions that dictate what actions or tasks a user can perform within a system, application, or organization. These roles are designed to group users based on their job functions, granting them access to specific features and functionalities as required. In essence, user roles define the actions a user can take — and can delineate what resources the user should be able to access.

What is the risk of not accurately defining user roles?

When operating at scale, customizing user access based on roles and responsibilities is crucial for security, accuracy, and workflow efficiency. Similar to having specific keys for specific doors, roles and permissions ensure the order and safety of your brand. Without this, using one master key for everything and everyone can lead to disorganization, risking security and hindering brand consistency.

Why are user roles important across your multi-location business?

Scalability: user-permissioning and role-based access control go hand in hand with scalability. As businesses grow, they involve more users, locations, and functions. Without well-defined user roles, it can become challenging to maintain control and security over the ever-expanding user base.

Streamlined operations: user roles help streamline business operations by making sure that individuals have the appropriate level of access and control. For instance, in a multi-location business, specific user roles can be created for employees in different regions or departments. This ensures that users can perform their job functions without unnecessary access to other areas of the system. As a result, the right people are given the right tools to get their work done, leading to increased efficiency.

Data security: user roles are crucial for protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access. By assigning the appropriate roles and permissions, businesses can control who can view, edit, modify, or delete data. This granular level of control helps maintain data integrity and accuracy.

Trust and accountability: user roles contribute to trust and accountability within an organization. When individuals are granted specific permissions, they understand their responsibilities and the scope of their actions. Trustworthy data is essential for maintaining a positive brand image online, as customers rely on accurate and up-to-date information.

Compliance and auditing: in many industries, compliance with regulations and standards is a critical aspect of business operations. User roles facilitate compliance by allowing organizations to enforce specific access controls to meet regulatory requirements. Furthermore, user permissions enable auditing and tracking of user actions, making it easier to identify any unauthorized or inappropriate activities.

In an era where information is a vital asset, user roles play a pivotal role in managing and protecting the data that represents your brand online. They are fundamental to the smooth and secure functioning of modern multi-location businesses, especially as your business grows.

With this in mind, these are a few questions you should be asking when evaluating vendors to manage your multi-location business:

In a franchise business model:

  • Can you create user roles aligned to the responsibilities of each of your team members (including your corporate team and your franchise managers)?

  • Can you create user roles that have access to one, some, and all of your locations?

  • Can you incorporate your review and approval workflows within this platform?

In an agency model:

  • Can you create user roles that align exactly to the responsibilities and actions of your team members and clients?

  • Can you create view-only or review-only permissions for clients that are scoped to their specific locations?

In a large enterprise model:

  • Can you create user roles aligned to the tasks owned by different departments and members of your team?

  • Can you grant/restrict access at the granularity required for each employee interacting with the vendor?

Ensuring that a vendor can accommodate the right user roles significantly impacts how easily and effectively your organization can scale. This is why it's crucial to ensure that the vendor you select has the user roles you need out-of-the-box so that you can hit the ground running.

If you want to learn more about how Yext's user permissions and roles help multi-location businesses succeed, click here.

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