SaaS applications come with various use cases and functionalities to serve a unique purpose in an organization. Its ease of availability, use cases, and flexibility have made businesses purchase them in abundance.
It is reported that an enterprise-sized organization uses 200+ SaaS applications on average. Though the users can get their work done quickly using these applications, managing these many apps can be cumbersome without a proper SaaS app management strategy.
IT, finance, and procurement teams need 100% SaaS application visibility to manage and control these applications. If they can’t see into their SaaS stack, they are unlikely to optimize it.
In order to get 100% visibility, you need a SaaS application discovery tool like CloudEagle.
So, how can it help you discover SaaS apps? Learn more about it in this article.
What is SaaS application visibility?
A simple Google search will reveal that SaaS visibility is a management activity that shows you what apps your teams use to carry out their daily activities.
And the process of listing or finding those applications is called application discovery.
Getting 100% SaaS visibility is crucial, as it can help finance teams optimize SaaS spending, procurement teams streamline the buying process, and IT teams prevent maverick spending and shadow IT.
Pain points of zero application visibility
Anyone with a credit card can purchase a SaaS app; this ease of availability that SaaS offers is the reason for Shadow IT, and the management teams will have no idea what the teams are purchasing and using.
Paul Lanzi is the COO and co-founder of Remediant, an enterprise IT security platform. His team handles HR, finance, IT, and compliance operations using multiple applications.
“I spend hours logging into each application to view the app usage and check if the licenses are fully utilized and whether I need to de-provision users on certain apps,” says Paul Lanzi.
Due to a lack of SaaS app visibility, he and his team spend most of their time discovering apps and their usage but miss out on taking quantitative steps leveraging those data.
Visibility is not just about revealing the applications being used; it is more about discovering, managing, controlling, and optimizing the entire SaaS portfolio of a business.
How does CloudEagle help you discover SaaS apps?
It has an extensive database of applications that can automatically categorize SaaS and non-SaaS stacks; you don’t need expert help to identify them. CloudEagle’s procurement workflows will automate and streamline your procurement process and renewal workflows.
CloudEagle offers expert negotiation services for seamless SaaS purchasing in addition to products. Our experts will perform detailed vendor research and negotiate on your behalf to secure the best deals.
Now, let’s talk about application discovery, the founding feature of CloudEagle. The platform enables businesses to discover SaaS apps using four methods,
- SSO integration
- Finance integration
- Direct integration
- Browser extension
- Desktop agents
Let’s discuss those in detail,
1. SSO integration
Single sign-on is an authentication system where you can access multiple platforms and services using the same credentials. It combines various applications' logins into one, so you only need to enter your credentials once, and you’ll be able to access multiple applications.
CloudEagle can integrate with single sign-on systems like Okta, Google Workspace, Active Directory, and OneLogin to retrieve application data. Using this, CloudEagle can look into your SaaS stack and gather insights on provisioned users, vendors, login sessions, application status, SaaS or non-SaaS checks, and more.
CloudEagle can connect with HRIS platforms to collect user data for provisioning and de-provisioning users.
Using SSO and HRIS, you can collect all application and user-related information like
- Application and its category
- Vendor details
- SaaS or non-SaaS categorization
- Provisioned users
- Department that uses it
- Matching master application
- Application business owner
- Licenses bought
- App covered in contract
It is an extensive dashboard that displays all the information in one place. If you don’t want it to look cluttered or care only about a few details, you can enable or disable the opinions in the drop-down menu.
“We were able to quickly identify all the applications used by our teams, along with the app usage and spending data, accurately." "More than a platform, CloudEagle felt like an extension of our team,” says Iffi Wahla, CEO and co-founder of Edge.
Click here to learn more about how Iffi Wahla and his team got 100% visibility and negotiation assistance using CloudEagle.
2. Finance systems integration
Integrating with your financial systems will reveal app spend data, usage-based spending, and other financial details. CloudEagle has an extensive list of financial system integrations available for easy connection.
With this integration, you can effectively track and analyze your financial data for better decision-making and to optimize your financial performance. Also, financial integration will reveal apps that got missed on SSO integrations.
CloudEagle can integrate with 12 different financial systems and connect with your bank or credit card to gather SaaS spending data. Credit card integration can help you identify unverified spending and shadow IT.
To successfully eliminate "shadow IT" and get complete control over who is purchasing the apps, you need financial system integrations and spending details from CloudEagle’s dashboard, which will show,
- Vendor spend (Year wise and month-wise)
- Billing frequency
- Payment terms
- Payment method
- License per cost
- Discount per license
- Usage model
CloudEagle does provide a plethora of spending data by integrating it with your financial system. You can enable or disable the options you want to see on your dashboard. Make a note of what to track to get the desired results.
Click here to learn how Sophie Wang and her team saved 50% on a particular vendor.
3. Direct integrations
CloudEagle has 600+ out-of-the-box integrations to help you connect with any SaaS applications in your stack using API connectors and SSO and finance system integrations.
Also, it comes with custom API connectors to integrate with applications that are not on the list.
You can check the usage status, number of users using it, license usage, provisioned users and their roles in the application, user activity, pricing details, and more using direct integrations.
Direct app integrations can enhance SaaS app discovery by enabling users to directly access and use the applications they need from other applications they are already using.
You can get activity status and usage insights more accurately using direct integration; combine it with SSO and Finance, and you’ll have up-to-date app usage insights and visibility. Leverage this data to renegotiate with the vendors and get the best pricing deals on applications.
“I’m a big fan of CloudEagle, and I strongly recommend them for any teams looking to get visibility into their SaaS applications, provision users, and financial spend data," says Alice Park from Remediant.
Thanks to the integrations, intuitive dashboard, and ease of use, Alice Park could provision and de-provision users in a few clicks. This is how they achieved it.
4. Browser extensions
CloudEagle has a browser extension for popular web browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Use the extensions to get a 360-degree view of your SaaS stack and what your employees are searching for and logging into.
CloudEagle will not track all the websites that your users access. Options are available to enable and disable tracking, so users can manually choose which websites to track and which not to track.
Their login time on a particular website and how much time they spend on it will be noted. And all the data will be collected, consolidated, and reported in the dashboard.
This will help you understand the requirements and desires of your team so that you can create an elaborate SaaS buying plan.
5. Desktop agent
How to track and manage desktop applications?
CloudEagle has desktop agents in place that performs a similar task as browser extensions. It tracks login times and the amount of time spent in the application.
Though this is an optional functionality, you can still gain many insights. Every time a user opens an application, it will be considered an impression, and CloudEagle will automatically identify the name of the application along with the login times and the user accessing it.
Once it gets hold of this crucial information, it will start displaying it on the dashboard. You can use it more like a monitoring dashboard to check whether your licenses are adequately utilized.
Unverified spending and shadow IT can be significantly eliminated using the desktop agents of CloudEagle.
How do you get 100% application visibility into your SaaS stack?
The easiest way is to open a spreadsheet and start listing the apps your teams are using, then log in to each application to find its usage details.
Mostly, small-sized businesses use the above method because the number of SaaS applications they use is less than 50.
But it's not the same in most businesses that use 100+ SaaS applications; tracking using spreadsheets will be time-consuming and unscalable.
In these cases, you need the best application discovery tools to integrate with your system and reveal the list of applications and accurate usage and optimization insights.
But this is where things have changed.
Application discovery - The Start of SaaS management
SaaS management is the process of discovering, tracking, managing, controlling, and optimizing the SaaS stack used within a business.
Businesses use SaaS portfolio management apps to keep their SaaS portfolios under control, and SaaS discovery is the table stakes of these apps.
Years before, SaaS app management tools served just two purposes: SaaS app discovery and app usage insights.
Now, the apps have evolved with more detailed functionalities and use cases that can manage the entire SaaS lifecycle; CloudEagle is a prime example. It allows you to do much more than just increase the visibility of your SaaS stack.
Here’s how the lifecycle works:
It is a continuous process from procurement to compliance, with discoverability being the crux of it.
Why is simply having application discoverability insufficient?
1. Once you know the apps you’re using, and how much you’re using them, you must use the data to renegotiate with the vendors to change your pricing plans during renewals. Without a streamlined procurement process, you won’t be able to negotiate the plans.
2. SaaS visibility doesn’t stop shadow IT; you need a streamlined procurement process to limit unverified purchases and keep your spending under control.
3. SaaS contracts hold potential information that you cannot keep in your emails or spreadsheets; you need a centralized inventory to manage it effectively. This can make it easy during re-negotiations and auditing.
4. Once you discover how much you’re spending, you have to get on top of the renewals, and to do that, you need a robust renewal workflow to renew on time.
5. Because visibility will reveal unused, hidden, and duplicate apps, you can quickly eliminate them, but you have to ensure that your apps follow compliance and security guidelines which can be verified using a SaaS management system.
All SMPs started as application discovery tools, but they soon realized that businesses needed more than just discovery for effective SaaS application management. Hence, these tools evolved into the SMPs of today.
CloudEagle is one of the few SaaS application management tools that lets you manage your entire SaaS lifecycle.
Why do you need application discovery tools?
We have talked a lot about SaaS app management tools; now, let’s focus on app discovery and why you need tools for it.
It gives a bird’s-eye view of your SaaS stack; you can see which departments are using it, provisioned and de-provisioned user details, and activity status.
App usage details
“We didn’t know how much we were spending and on what. "My team and I had no information on how the licenses were being used, and we didn’t know if we were paying the right price,” says Iffi Wahla, co-founder and CEO of Edge.
The truth is that businesses cannot optimize SaaS spending if they don’t know how their teams utilize it. SaaS discovery tools provide accurate app usage insights and spending data.
You can use this data for vendor re-negotiation and get the best pricing deals based on your usage.
You have to log in to every application to retrieve the app usage data. But an app discovery tool will provide a consolidated list of all applications and their insights in one dashboard, thus saving you time.
Underused, hidden, and duplicate apps
Most SaaS wastage occurs due to duplicate apps. Two departments will use various apps to perform the same tasks; you can discover duplicate apps and eliminate them.
Get visibility into the underused and hidden apps, optimize them, or cancel the subscriptions.
SaaS discovery tools can automatically detect if your SaaS applications follow the right security and compliance standards. Customer data is vital; ensure that sensitive information is secured using these tools.
Get 100% SaaS application visibility with CloudEagle
SaaS application management begins with application discovery, which plays a vital role in helping businesses discover SaaS apps and optimize them using app usage insights and spending data.
Application discovery tools are an excellent choice for discovering SaaS apps, but most of those tools have now evolved into complete SaaS app management platforms. These platforms provide much more than application visibility; they help businesses manage the entire SaaS lifecycle.
Thanks to its SSO, finance, direct integrations, browser extensions, and desktop agents, CloudEagle can provide a comprehensive view of your SaaS stack and how your teams use it.
Learn how your applications and licenses are being utilized, eliminate duplicate and hidden apps, and prevent shadow IT using the SaaS app discovery feature of CloudEagle.
“I’m a big fan of CloudEagle, and I strongly recommend them for any teams looking to get visibility into their SaaS applications, provision users, and financial spend data.”
Alice Park, Remediant.
Get 100% application visibility and save on SaaS spend with CloudEagle.
Frequently asked questions
1. Does CloudEagle have a free trial? What are the pricing plans?
CloudEagle has a 15-day free trial available. Its pricing plans start at $500 per month; click here to learn about the plans.
2. What is a key feature of application visibility and control?
It provides a birds-eye view of your SaaS stack, prevents shadow IT, optimizes SaaS spending, helps businesses eliminate duplicate and hidden apps, and provides app usage insights for better vendor negotiations.
3. Is CloudEagle a SaaS platform?
Yes, CloudEagle is a product-based SaaS platform with expert SaaS negotiation services.
4. Why should I choose CloudEagle?
CloudEagle is a comprehensive platform with functionalities to manage the entire SaaS lifecycle, from application discovery and contract management to procurement workflows to automated provisioning and de-provisioning features.