How to Select the Best SaaS Management Platform in 2024?

Clock icon
min read time
March 8, 2024
Share via:

On average, an organization uses 130 SaaS applications for internal communications, collaboration, and business operations. In 2024, considering the growth of remote work culture and the ease of SaaS availability, the number of apps and their respective spending will only get higher.

The use of SaaS is very cost-effective, and organizations save money because they don't need to buy expensive infrastructure upfront. According to Flexera, SaaS applications account for 19% of a company's spending, averaging $2,623 per employee. It is less than what's spent on on-premise software.

However, if businesses switch to SaaS without a good SaaS management system, they might spend too much and lose control over their tools. This can lead to problems like not knowing which apps are being used and wasting licenses.

To tackle these challenges, you can use SaaS management tools. However, choosing the right platform for your organization can be tough, with many options.

That's why we've crafted this article—to help you understand what factors to consider when selecting the best SaaS management platform for your business.

Keep reading this article to learn how to select the best SaaS management platform. We’ve also compiled a list of SaaS management tools to save you time and research.

What are the challenges in managing SaaS applications?

As SaaS tools are easy to purchase, anybody in an organization with a credit card can buy a SaaS app. This easy SaaS buying process leads to decentralized buying or "Shadow IT." 99% of the time, the finance and procurement teams will not know that shadow IT is happening.

Before you know it, the company has several hundred apps, some with low or no active usage and often overlapping functionality. When different departments buy software independently and track it with outdated methods like Excel, it creates problems for IT teams.

Some of these difficulties are as follows:

1. Incomplete and outdated information about vendors and spend

Managing SaaS applications can be tricky due to incomplete and outdated information about vendors and SaaS spend. This happens because the SaaS market is always changing, with vendors updating their offerings and prices regularly.

You must keep track of these changes for budgeting and decision-making. Without accurate data, you may struggle with contract negotiations and resource allocation.

Also, managing SaaS applications involves collecting app usage data from department heads, but this information quickly becomes outdated.

Excel sheets may have spending details but often lack accurate usage data. To address this, automated tools can provide real-time insights, aiding in better decision-making and resource optimization.

2. Zero application visibility in a company

Without proper optimization in managing SaaS applications, you cannot get the most out of them. If you have a decentralized SaaS procurement process, employees might opt for apps with similar features or sometimes without the knowledge of IT teams.

Imagine your company has no idea which apps are being used or if there's an overlap in functionality. For example, one team buys Mailchimp for emails, while another gets Omnisend for the same purpose without informing anyone.

When a company lacks visibility into its applications, it faces serious problems.

  • First, there's a higher risk of security breaches because no one monitors which apps are being used.
  • Then there's the compliance issue – the company might accidentally break some rules without knowing it.
  • Plus, productivity suffers when apps aren't being used effectively. Money is wasted on unnecessary apps, and shadow IT makes security even worse.
  • Aligning tech with business goals becomes a headache, and employees get frustrated with bad app experiences.

3. No central repository for contracts and invoices

Without one main place to keep SaaS contracts and invoices, they might be lost in an employee's emails, computer files, or other places.

When the employee leaves, all that data could disappear, which would be bad for the organization because vendor contracts often need SLAs and other agreements. Losing them could mean losing money.

4. Unaware of vendor pricing changes

When buying SaaS apps, you typically put a lot of effort into researching and checking everything thoroughly.

But here's the thing: Due to the dynamic nature of the SaaS market, SaaS vendors often change their pricing and plans. Reports show that they might bump up their prices by as much as 10% every year.

But it's not just about the prices. SaaS vendors also adjust their regulations regarding compliance, security, and support. These changes can be hard to track for teams without SaaS management software.

5. No visibility into usage data

It's hard to manage SaaS apps when you can't see how many of the available resources you're using. Imagine you're paying for licenses, but you're not sure if your team is actually using the software much.

Not being able to see your usage data makes it hard to manage SaaS effectively. You might end up spending money on stuff you don't actually use much, which is a waste. It leads to wasted money and resources, which is a big problem in SaaS management.

Plus, if you don't know how often you're using each tool, you can't figure out if you need more or less of it. So, you could end up with too many licenses or not enough, both of which can impact your budget and productivity.

6. Maintaining security and compliance

Making sure SaaS apps are secure and compliant with necessary guidelines can be tough. Sometimes, people end up with more access than they need, or they keep access even after they don't need it anymore. This can lead to hackers getting in where they shouldn't.

When you don't control who can access what, it's a problem. People might get access to things they shouldn't, which can cause data leaks or other security problems. It also makes it tough to follow laws like GDPR, HIPAA, or SOC 2, which vary based on where and what industry you're in.

Proper provisioning and deprovisioning are important in this context. If you don't deactivate access when people leave the organization, they still pose a significant threat by potentially retaining access to sensitive tools and data.

To keep things safe and legal, you must ensure people only have the access they really need. That way, we reduce the risk of unauthorized access and stay on the right side of the law.

What is a SaaS management platform?

A SaaS management platform (SMP) is a software that helps organizations handle their SaaS applications effectively.

A SaaS management platform enables organizations to effectively manage and control their SaaS applications. Through integrations, it can provide complete visibility into your apps, spend, vendors, licenses, contracts, and users, empowering you to manage your entire SaaS lifecycle from a single dashboard.

If you're curious to know about the definition of a SaaS management platform from Gartner's perspective, here's it.

According to Gartner, SaaS management platforms (SMPs) are standalone tools that provide centralized management and security for multiple SaaS applications through a single admin dashboard, which is delivered as a complete service.

Image of Gartner's SaaS management market guide

It’s like a single pane of glass view to monitor the buying and usage of all SaaS applications. It sounds cool and useful; how do companies manage SaaS applications today?

They do it mostly with spreadsheets; manual SaaS application management is no longer feasible. Hence, the need for SaaS management software grew.

But are SMPs future-proof, or will it just be another hyped trend?

Let's check out some key insights from Gartner's 2022 report on the “Market Guide for SaaS Management Platforms” to understand this emerging market.

Gartner's research highlighted several key findings and recommendations regarding managing SaaS applications management.

  • Gartner predicts that by 2026, 50% of the organizations using multiple SaaS apps will use an SMP tool to manage and track them, up from less than 20% in 2021.
  • SaaS spending is growing rapidly, with organizations averaging over 125 SaaS applications per year and an annual spend of $1,040 per employee.
  • Organizations are seeing their spending on SaaS apps grow rapidly, increasing by 15-20% yearly.
  • The proliferation of SaaS applications poses financial, security, and operational risks due to poor visibility and decentralized procurement processes.
  • Despite the clear need for SaaS management solutions, the market for SMPs is still in its early stages, posing risks of investing in inadequate tools.

This proves that SMPs are future-proofed.

‍When should an organization consider using a SaaS management system?

Managing hundreds of SaaS applications manually is time-consuming and not scalable in the long run for ‍a company.

When your SaaS portfolio is small, say around 50 apps, your teams might handle them manually. But as you add more, you'll likely need software to manage them efficiently.

Not just the number of applications, here are some more factors that necessitate using a management system:

  • SaaS spending is beyond control,
  • IT teams don’t have 100% visibility on the SaaS stack,
  • Software intake requests are getting lost in the clutter,
  • SaaS contracts are hard to find, even after scrolling through 100s of emails,
  • Teams are spending too much time negotiating with the vendors,
  • Unverified spending and shadow IT have skyrocketed.

These are the possible indicators to look for, but it is recommended that you choose an SMP before you start experiencing these red flags.‍

Choosing a SaaS management software: A Checklist to Select the right tool

Several tools are available today to manage SaaS apps. Some focus on security, application visibility, procurement, vendor management, workflow, etc. Here’s a simple checklist to help you select the right tool:

1. Complete SaaS visibility = Easy SaaS management

Application discovery should be the table stakes for an ideal SaaS application management tool. It must automatically discover all the applications and vendors used in your company.

The SMP should be able to automatically find and categorize apps and vendors into relevant software groups, and have the ability to segregate them as SaaS and non-SaaS applications.

An ideal SaaS management platform should possess an extensive integration library. It should be able to integrate with SSO, finance, HRIS, and other internal systems. In addition, it should have customized connectors to integrate with other SaaS applications used within an organization.

These integrations will enable an SMP to identify all applications used within an organization and organize them in a single dashboard. It's not just apps; it’ll provide a centralized view of spending data, vendors, purchased licenses, contracts, and usage insights for each application.

Dashboard of CloudEagle which is the best SaaS management platform

You can use this comprehensive visibility to identify sanctioned and unsancationed applications and optimize them. Analyze the usage data and see if the usage justifies the spend on each application, making way for more cost optimization opportunties.

Visibility is a crucial aspect of a SaaS management system, and integrations are key to enabling comprehensive visibility. Therefore, when selecting a SaaS management platform, prioritize choosing one with an extensive integration library.

2. Centralized contract inventory

Managing over 100 contracts and invoices can be chaotic and inefficient. Just imagine the wasted spending because of missing important contract details like renewal dates, billing frequencies, or auto-renewals.

SMPs should be capable of gathering all contract metadata, allowing you to identify vendors on auto-renewal and understand payment terms, all from one dashboard. This makes it simple to negotiate effectively with your SaaS vendors.

Select an SMP with the AI metadata extraction feature, as it’ll enable the platform to automatically pull out metadata from contracts, ensuring quicker and more accurate data retrieval.

This feature allows the platform to automatically extract metadata from contracts, such as key dates, parties involved, clauses, and other pertinent information. As a result, it streamlines the data retrieval process, making it quicker and more accurate.

Image showing CloudEagle's contract renewal module

This not only saves time but also minimizes the chances of errors that can occur during manual extraction. Additionally, having metadata readily available facilitates better analysis, reporting, and decision-making within the organization.

Select a platform that combines all contracts and invoices in one place for easy access. So that you no longer have to look for contracts and invoices from employee mailboxes or shared folders.

Perhaps hearing about a customer's successful journey of centralizing their SaaS contracts and eliminating manual methods could provide valuable insight. This could help you narrow down your search and select the right platform for your contract management process.

Here’s the incredible story: Here's how Aira centralized its SaaS contracts.

3. Provisioning and deprovisioning

Your organization could encounter various challenges without proper provisioning, deprovisioning, and access control.

For example, former employees retaining user credentials pose a significant security risk to the SaaS portfolio. Other common SaaS security risks include data breaches, insider threats, account takeovers, compliance breaches, shadow IT, and data loss.

Check this table to understand the different risks that may arise in the organization.

Image showing a table of various SaaS risks

IT managers require a dedicated tool to oversee, monitor, and bolster the security of SaaS applications while managing employee access.

Since an SMP can pinpoint all the applications within your organization, it should be able to send you alerts about any security weaknesses detected in any of the apps being used.‍

Automated user management tools can streamline provisioning and deprovisioning, centralize access controls, and enhance SaaS security. These tools help mitigate threats, comply with regulations, and manage access effectively.

Also, enforcing consistent access control policies across the organization helps maintain compliance with regulations and reduces insider threat risks.

These tools simplify access management, reducing administrative tasks and swiftly revoking access for departing employees to minimize unauthorized access risks. The central control hub helps manage access to different SaaS apps, ensuring sensitive data stays safe with precise permission control.

4. Procurement workflows for a streamlined process

The first editions of SMPs had basic features like discovering applications and managing contracts. But things have evolved since then. It is 2024; now, you must look for a tool to streamline your procurement process.

Procurement teams face challenges in gathering requirements from the team, getting approvals from the right stakeholders, and then sending requests for proposals (RFPs) to vendors.

All these manual processes are just a waste of valuable time and energy.

Image of CloudEagle's procurement workflows

‘Also, in 2024, Slack-based workflows are increasingly in demand. Using Slack integration to manage procurement workflows has become a game-changer for efficiency, making the procurement process smoother.

Past problems like lost emails, constant follow-ups, and frequent platform logins are no longer issues. Slack is the cornerstone of fostering collaboration, improving communication, and enabling well-informed decision-making.

When selecting a SaaS management tool, look for one that also serves as procurement software. But remember, not all platforms have this feature. Use customized workflows to automate your procurement process and save time for important business tasks.

Auto-renewals are one of the major reasons for overspending. Renewal workflows are needed more than ever. Select a software that can automate renewal reminders, enabling you to stay ahead of renewals every time.

5. Expert negotiators/Assisted buying

The key to reducing SaaS costs starts with vendor negotiations. SaaS providers have become smarter, so it's time to reinvent your negotiation skills.

Consider choosing a SaaS management tool that offers negotiation services. These experts can negotiate with your vendors on your behalf, ensuring you get the best deals.

Assisted buyers will conduct thorough vendor research based on your needs and present you with the top five SaaS applications to choose from.

Some tools provide precise price benchmarking data, allowing you to compare prices and give your negotiators an edge during procurement.

Why go through the hardships of research and vendor negotiations? Let the experts do the heavy lifting for you to run your core business effortlessly.

6. Vendor research

Finding vendors can be tough, especially when your procurement teams have other important tasks to handle.

Consider selecting an AI-powered vendor recommendation engine that suggests software vendors based on your needs. Some tools offer in-depth analysis of SaaS vendors, including their current users and relevant reviews.

With these tools, your teams won't need to spend time searching through Gartner and Capterra for reviews. Instead, they'll see relevant product reviews directly, helping them make well-informed decisions.

7. SaaS spend optimization

How will you optimize SaaS spending if you don’t know how much your teams utilize the apps or where waste occurs?

Dashboard of CloudEagle

CloudEagle’s 2023 SaaS spend trends report shows that SaaS spending is the third-highest expense in an organization. So, look for an SMP with cost optimization capabilities to optimize SaaS costs.

Choose a SaaS management software capable of identifying duplicate, redundant, and unused applications in your SaaS portfolio. Later, you can use this data to analyze the usage of those apps to make the right cost optimization decisions and save on SaaS spend.

In this recessionary environment, where every organization is looking to cut costs, an SMP with a spend optimization capability can help optimize your stack. You can avoid overspending on SaaS, boost your ROI, and increase your bottom line.

Here’s why your finance team needs SaaS management software: Check this out!

‍You should be able to quickly spot apps that aren't used much, unused licenses, duplicate applications, and hidden apps within your organization. Once you identify them, you can quickly eliminate redundancies and optimize your tech stack.

8. License management

A proficient SMP should efficiently manage software licenses within an organization. It should have sufficient direct integrations to have a detailed look into the purchased licenses of each application, including its usage data.

Moreover, the tool should have provisions to identify and reclaim unused licenses. There are SMPs with license reclamation workflows that can deprovision users for low license usage automatically and harvest them for the next user.

It is recommended that you select a SaaS management platform with reclamation functionality, as you will likely encounter various unused licenses.

Don’t let those licenses go waste, impacting your ROI, use the workflows to harvest them and redistribute those licenses and assets to other employees more efficiently, boosting cost-effectiveness and productivity.

9. Software asset management

A good SMP should have the capability tol manage all your software assets from acquisition to retirement. This means overseeing SaaS contracts and licenses at every stage, from deployment and tracking to optimization and eventual retirement.

The main goal is to get the most value from software assets while keeping risks and costs under control.‍

CloudEagle - The best SaaS management platform

Choosing SaaS management software doesn't have to be difficult. We've outlined the key factors to consider, and now we're unveiling the platform with all the essential management features you need.

If you need an SMP tool that fits the above-mentioned criteria, consider checking out CloudEagle. We understand the challenges of finding and managing tools within your company, so we developed this user-friendly solution to simplify SaaS management.

While many SMPs offer insights into your existing SSO and finance systems, CloudEagle provides intelligent advice beyond contract renewals and security vulnerabilities.

At CloudEagle, we strongly believe that making an informed decision upfront can save you time and money by avoiding the need for change management later.

Here’s a quick rundown of the features:

Application discovery: CloudEagle offers a complete view of your applications for simplified administration and prompt risk management. It enables you to oversee usage, track access, and ensure security measures are in place.

Image of CloudEagle's dashboard

Cost optimization: Integrating CloudEagle with internal systems offers insights into SaaS usage and spending. It provides accurate spending breakdowns and real-time monitoring for informed decision-making and cost efficiency.

Image of CloudEagle low usage application dashboard

CloudEagle identifies and handles duplicate, free, and unnecessary apps, making it easier to decide which licenses to keep and renew. It tracks contract renewals and sets proactive alerts, preventing missed deadlines.

Assisted Buying: If your team doesn't have the time or resources to handle SaaS procurement negotiations, you can choose our assisted buying services. Our SaaS experts will carefully assess your requirements, conduct market research, and use pricing benchmarks to negotiate effectively on your behalf.

Image of CloudEagle's assisted buying dashboard

Procurement Workflows for Efficiency: With CloudEagle, you get automated workflows to simplify your SaaS procurement. Tasks are assigned automatically, and stakeholders are notified through Slack, email, and in-app alerts, ensuring prompt approvals.

Moreover, CloudEagle's "Slack for Procurement" bot speeds up communication, reducing coordination time by up to 25%. This Slackbot improves workflows, shortens turnaround times, and enhances SaaS procurement efficiency.

Contract management: CloudEagle simplifies contract management by gathering and organizing contracts from applications into a centralized repository. It seamlessly connects with spreadsheets for tracking contracts, automating the extraction of renewal-related details.

Through direct integrations, CloudEagle lets you see purchased licenses alongside usage data, helping you optimize ROI. With its license harvesting workflows, you can ensure that purchased licenses are used efficiently and effectively.

Image of CloudEagle's contract information dashboard

With CloudEagle's direct integrations, you can view purchased licenses alongside usage data to optimize ROI. CloudEagle's license harvesting workflows ensure the purchased licenses are optimized and appropriately utilized.

User provisioning and deprovisioing: CloudEagle's auto-provisioning workflows automate user provisioning within your organization. This enables your IT team to decrease reliance on time-consuming manual processes, saving over 500 hours annually.

Image of CloudEagle's auto-provisioning rules

With over 300 integrations, you can establish provisioning, modifications, and deprovisioning rules, simplifying user lifecycle management. CloudEagle seamlessly integrates with your SSO and HRIS, consolidating all user data into a centralized location.

Check out a testimonial where Alice Park from Remediant found CloudEagle effective in the employee onboarding and offboarding processes.

Leverage analytics dashboards for monitoring and reporting: With CloudEagle, you can access user-friendly analytics dashboards to track real-time SaaS usage, costs, and security.

You can generate reports covering 44 parameters across 8 categories, including SaaS spend visibility, renewal management, budgeting, and optimization.

Renewal management: When opting for a SaaS management tool, it should have advanced renewal management features. When you use hundreds of SaaS apps in your organization, tracking their renewal manually can be daunting.

This will lead to auto-renewal, overspending and even application downtimes, leading to operational inefficiencies.

To stay ahead of renewals, use CloudEagle’s renewal workflows that send reminders 90 days before the renewal deadline, giving you enough time to analyze usage and renew the contracts on tiem.

Top SaaS management platforms

‍It is always a good practice to be mindful of other platforms in the market tool; notable mentions are,

  • Vendr
  • Zylo
  • Spendflo
  • Productiv
  • Sastrify
  • Zluri
  • NachoNacho
  • Torii
  • LeanIX
  • CloudFX

Click here to learn more about these platforms.


There you have it—a quick guide on choosing the best SaaS management platform for your business in 2024. Carefully weigh various factors when choosing a SaaS management platform for your organization. This ensures optimal performance, efficiency, and security for your organization's cloud-based applications.

After hours of interaction with business owners, we found what they sought in a platform designed to manage SaaS apps. Use this SaaS management checklist to choose the right platform to manage and optimize your SaaS stack.

By following a structured approach and adhering to the best practices mentioned above, you can review the available options and make an informed decision.

With careful planning and thorough evaluation, you can confidently choose the best SaaS management tool that enables your organization to efficiently manage and optimize its SaaS ecosystem in 2024 and beyond.

If you need assistance selecting the best SMP, consider scheduling a demo with CloudEagle.

Frequently asked questions

1. What are the SaaS management best practices?

The best practice is to use a SaaS management tool, as handling all the applications manually can be cumbersome. Also, while choosing a SaaS management solution, remember to select a comprehensive tool that offers SaaS management, procurement, and vendor management solutions.

2. What are the SaaS selection criteria?

While selecting a SaaS application, the first thing to consider is the number of users in the application and the relevant reviews. User interface, pricing, support, and features are the other factors that you must be aware of while choosing SaaS applications.

Written by
Joel Platini
Content Writer and Marketer, CloudEagle
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec pellentesque scelerisque arcu sit amet hendrerit. Sed maximus, augue accumsan hendrerit euismod.

Discover how much you can save on SaaS

Calculate SaaS savings and start optimizing today!