What is SaaS Management?
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Software as a Service (SaaS) management is an integrated approach for centralizing a company’s cloud-based application inventory, streamlining the onboarding and offboarding of employees, monitoring tool usage for efficiency and cost-effectiveness, and implementing security measures to protect against unauthorized or harmful usage of technology assets.
In this blog post, we'll dive into what SaaS management is and why it is required. You'll learn how it helps businesses save money, stay secure, and grow easily. Plus, we'll share handy tips on using SaaS Management Platforms to keep things neat and safe.
Why do Businesses Need SaaS Management?
SaaS solutions have become an integral part of companies, regardless of the industry or business type. Whether your company’s core business is centered around SaaS or not, it's almost certain that business operations rely on various SaaS solutions to function efficiently. This is true for businesses across the spectrum, from start-ups to multinational corporations.
Increased SaaS Adoption and Complexity
In the year 2022, organizations across the globe had an average utilization of 130 software as a service (SaaS) applications. Starting from 2015, there has been a consistent growth in the number of SaaS applications adopted by companies. (Statista)
SaaS applications are much quicker to deploy compared to traditional software, sparing businesses the heavy lifting and time consumption of extensive setups and cost-effective nature of these cloud-based solutions is highly appealing, especially for businesses looking to optimize expenditure. It can readily accommodate the fluctuating demands of a business, scaling up or down as needed. This ability to effortlessly adapt to changing business requirements makes SaaS an obvious choice for many organizations.
All these SaaS adoptions cause the number of SaaS applications being used within an organization to multiply, and so does the complexity of managing them. It’s like having too many cooks in the kitchen; things can get chaotic very quickly. This is precisely why businesses need SaaS management. Through effective SaaS management, organizations can maintain a structured and efficient environment despite the diversity and volume of applications in use. It essentially acts as a guiding hand, ensuring that the myriad of SaaS applications is utilized optimally and securely.
To really get a handle on SaaS investments, you need SaaS Governance, and that’s where SaaS Management comes in. It's like having a trusty sidekick that watches over how everyone is using the tools, and it gives you the lowdown on what’s going on. This way, you can easily see if you’re spending money on stuff you don’t need and make smarter choices based on real info about how the tools are being used.
One of the most common SaaS security risks is misconfigurations and 34% of SaaS security misconfigurations are caused by lack of visibility.
SaaS management goes beyond basic gatekeeping by employing advanced tools like Resmo to uncover Shadow IT and third-party app usage across the company to get full visibility of the tech stack. This enables the identification of potential security issues and risks associated with all applications, authorized or not, ensuring a comprehensive security stance.
It's super important for companies to follow the rules about how data is handled, who can get to it, and how it’s kept safe. SaaS management helps by giving a central place, kind of like a control panel, where the people in charge can see and handle all the SaaS tools the company uses. They can check who’s using what, if there are extra security steps like multi-factor authentication turned on, who has special access like admin rights, and if people are using the same passwords too often. Having this all in one place makes it way easier to make sure only the right folks can get to certain data, which is usually what the rules say has to happen. By keeping an eye on everything from one spot, SaaS management helps companies follow the rules and avoid getting into trouble or having to pay fines.
SaaS management acts like a vigilant caretaker that ensures all tools are operating efficiently. By keeping an eye on the performance and swiftly addressing any issues, it prevents disruptions and guarantees a seamless workflow. This is vital because when the tools work smoothly, the team can focus on being productive without facing any unexpected hitches. Essentially, SaaS management serves as a safeguard for the uninterrupted performance of your business operations.
Once a SaaS tool is acquired through purchase or subscription, it's vital to assess its ongoing value and efficacy within the organization. Questions such as "Is this tool being actively used by the employees?", "Is it worth the continued investment?", "Should we consider an alternative?", and "Does it comply with regulatory requirements?" are essential to address. SaaS Management plays a crucial role in this context by providing the necessary data to analyze the performance and utilization of the tool. With access to this data, executives are empowered to make well-informed decisions regarding their SaaS investments, ensuring optimal use and compliance with regulations.
Businesses often change directions - they might shift focus, launch new products, hire more people, or downsize. These changes can affect the tools and subscriptions they need. SaaS Management helps businesses easily adjust their set of tools to match their current needs. This way, companies can make sure they're not wasting money on tools they don’t need or missing out on ones they do.
SaaS management is a powerful ally for any business using online tools. It not only helps in cutting down unnecessary costs but also keeps data secure, ensures compliance with regulations, maintains smooth operations, aids in making intelligent decisions, and adapts effortlessly to the evolving needs of the business. To make all this happen, having a SaaS Management Tool is key. Let’s dive into what it is.
What is a SaaS Management Tool?
A SaaS Management Tool a.k.a SaaS Management Platform(SMP) is a software solution, which can itself be delivered as a SaaS product, that enables businesses to effectively manage their SaaS applications. It achieves this by integrating with domain providers like Google Workspace or Microsoft, or through browser extensions, allowing it to track and monitor employee usage of SaaS tools. By providing valuable insights and metrics, such as usage statistics and security information, a SaaS Management Platform empowers organizations to optimize their SaaS utilization, enhance security, and ensure an efficient and productive SaaS environment.
8 Steps to Utilize SaaS Management Platform(SMP)
Centralize SaaS Stack
The initial step towards effective SaaS management is to gain visibility over the tools being used by employees. This can be achieved by integrating the domain provider and ensuring that employees have the SaaS Management Platform's (SMP) browser extension installed. By doing so, the SMP can monitor and track the usage of all SaaS tools, including any unknown or unauthorized ones, providing a centralized view of the entire SaaS stack.
Secure Access and Permission Controls
Ensure that individuals have the right access and permissions to use the SaaS tools within the organization. This can be achieved by establishing user roles and permissions within the SaaS Management Platform (SMP). By defining and assigning appropriate roles, businesses can ensure that each individual has the authorized access required to utilize the SaaS tools effectively and in line with their responsibilities.
Track Application Performance and User Activity
Leverage the monitoring and analytics capabilities offered by the SaaS Management Platform (SMP) to track and analyze application performance, user activity, and associated costs. By utilizing these features, you can gain valuable insights into the usage patterns and performance of your SaaS stack.
Optimize SaaS Stack
Regularly review the insights provided by the SMP to identify areas for optimization. Adjust resource allocation, negotiate better subscription terms, and scale applications to align with your evolving business needs.
Gain Security Insights
A SaaS management platform offers the capability to monitor and analyze security insights, providing valuable information to ensure a robust security posture. This includes monitoring Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) usage to ensure that all users have an additional layer of protection beyond passwords. Additionally, it helps identify any instances of duplicated or weak passwords, which are common vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious actors.
Streamline Onboarding and Offboarding
It provides provisioning user accounts, granting access to specific SaaS tools, and configuring permissions based on roles and responsibilities. This streamlines the onboarding process, ensuring that new team members have the necessary access to collaborate and contribute effectively from day one.Similarly, during offboarding, the platform facilitates the deprovisioning of user accounts, revoking access to SaaS tools, and securely managing the transition of departing employees.
Optimize Cost Management
Organizations can identify redundant or underutilized SaaS applications that may be inflating expenses unnecessarily. The platform analyzes usage patterns, subscription costs, and user activity to provide insights into where cost savings can be achieved. With these insights, businesses can make informed decisions about their SaaS subscriptions, reallocate resources effectively, negotiate better subscription terms, and eliminate unnecessary expenses.
Track Updates and Insights
Regularly explore the SMP's updates and industry insights to stay informed about new features, trends, and best practices. Continuously improve your SaaS utilization strategies for ongoing success.
By following these 8 steps, you can utilize your SaaS stack and drive success with your SaaS Management Platform. This will empower you to efficiently manage your applications, enhance security measures, optimize costs, and achieve scalability for your business.
The power of a SaaS Management enables organizations to effectively navigate the complexities of managing multiple applications. By doing so, businesses can unlock significant benefits, including cost savings, enhanced security, regulatory compliance, and improved operational efficiency. With the ability to centralize and streamline their SaaS ecosystem, organizations can optimize their resources, mitigate risks, and achieve greater success in today's digital landscape.
SaaS Management FAQ
How do you manage SaaS operations?
Managing SaaS operations involves overseeing and coordinating the usage, performance, cost, security, compliance, user access, and adaptation of SaaS applications within an organization.
How to choose SaaS management platform?
It's important to consider that not all SMPs may offer the full range of features mentioned here. Therefore, it is advisable to carefully select a suitable solution that aligns with your company's priorities and requirements. Choosing the right SMP will ensure that you have the necessary tool and capabilities to effectively manage your SaaS ecosystem and achieve your desired outcomes.
How does a SaaS management platform provide value?
A SaaS management platform delivers value by providing centralized visibility and control over an organization's SaaS applications. It optimizes costs by identifying underutilized tools, enhances security measures, ensures compliance with regulations, manages user access and permissions, and streamlines employee onboarding and offboarding processes.