Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer volume of SaaS apps that your business utilizes? Do you find it challenging to maintain visibility and control over your SaaS landscape?
As the number of SaaS apps businesses utilize grows, so does the difficulty of managing and safeguarding SaaS applications.
This gets worse with the rise of shadow IT, where employees purchase and use SaaS apps without the knowledge of IT, posing compliance problems and potential security breaches.
In this article, we'll walk you through the SaaS management best practices to follow in 2023, providing practical solutions to keep your SaaS stack optimized and under control.
What is SaaS management?
It is a business process that enables organizations to track and manage a business's IT portfolio, including onboarding, offboarding, renewals, and purchases.
Businesses that follow effective SaaS management strategies can gain better visibility into their SaaS usage, boost efficiency, minimize human errors, and prevent potential risks associated with unmanaged apps.
SaaS management is now an essential process for professionals in IT, finance, and procurement, as it helps them optimize the use of SaaS and comply with procurement regulations and guidelines.
Do businesses need SaaS management?
Building a SaaS-dependent platform necessitates careful consideration of numerous factors, irrespective of whether your business is new, small, or enterprise-scale.
Implementing enterprise SaaS management strategies can provide various advantages to businesses.
Prevent shadow IT and purchases
To begin with, it can help minimize shadow IT, which implies apps and products purchased within an organization without the knowledge of the IT, finance, or procurement departments.
A SaaS management platform can measure software usage, spend, and identify employee-used shadow products, allowing the IT department to eliminate respective apps and keep things running smoothly and safely.
Second, SaaS management allows procurement and IT departments to gain visibility into the SaaS portfolio and discover which apps provide good ROI and any redundancies through direct and system integrations.
SaaS management apps streamline the process of renewing subscriptions, enabling teams to focus on finding fast solutions to hassles. It can automate repetitive tasks and enhance the productivity of the team.
Good licensing management
Third, good license management is vital for scaling SaaS businesses that necessitate managing licenses for multiple versions of the same software.
Mismanaged licensing can result in the rise of unused or underutilized licenses that can impact your bottom line. Ensuring that a license is properly assigned to certain teams or employees is essential.
SaaS licensing optimization assists in maintaining value by guaranteeing that the number of licenses corresponds to the number of users. To effectively manage and optimize your licenses, follow these license management best practices.
Maintains Security and reduces risk
Finally, SaaS management enhances security and mitigates risks by offering insight into all SaaS apps the business utilizes. This makes it easier to manage the many nodes in your network and account for every risk element that could jeopardize your business.
This is increasingly important as more businesses migrate from on-premise software to SaaS, raising the risk of data breaches and other cybersecurity events.
IT and procurement managers can ensure the security of any app is correctly monitored and controlled by their IT department by using enterprise SaaS management software.
Enterprise SaaS Management Best Practices in 2023
Surface your SaaS stack
Managing SaaS applications can be difficult, especially if you don't have access to your team's applications. As a result, the first step toward effective SaaS management is to get visibility into your SaaS stack by bringing it to light.
Once you get complete visibility of your stack, you must categorize all of the applications used by your team. This will give you a clear picture of which apps are used, who is using them, and how often they are used.
You can also identify the resource gap and communicate with your team members to understand their requirements and provide them with the apps they need.
This will prevent employees from involving themselves in shadow purchases.
Monitor application and license usage
Monitoring the usage of each app and license is another essential practice. Tracking usage data can help you determine how frequently each app is used, who uses it, and how much it costs the company.
This information can be extremely useful during contract negotiations with vendors because it allows you to negotiate based on real consumption rather than estimates.
Negotiating based on consumption ensures that you only shell out for what you utilize, which can help you save funds and optimize your SaaS stack. Integrations will enable you to analyze user activilty and usage insights in real-time, helping you to make informed decisions.
Identify duplicate and redundant applications
Identifying duplicate and redundant apps is an important step in SaaS management because it allows businesses to save money and minimize potential security threats.
Without centralized visibility and control, employees are prone to buy and use apps without IT's knowledge or consent, resulting in several apps with similar capabilities.
Duplicate and redundant applications can result in the waste of resources, resulting in poor ROI. Furthermore, using different apps with similar functionality can create security lapses and increase redundancies within your SaaS stack.
Businesses can make informed choices about which apps to delete by identifying the usage of each application, resulting in cost savings and improved workflows.
Analyze the spending on each application and vendor
Another important practice of enterprise SaaS management is analyzing expenses for each app and vendor. To properly manage SaaS apps, businesses must first evaluate how much they spend on each app.
This analysis can reveal where they've spent the most and where they've spent the least, assisting the team in making the required optimization decisions.
This will help the finance team plan the budget meticulously for the future. And also, it’ll show how much each department is spending on applications, which will help the team allocate resources accordingly.
Centralize software assets
Centralizing software assets is critical for easy SaaS management. Keeping all apps, licenses, contracts, and other application assets in one location improves visibility and control while reducing duplication and unnecessary spending.
Decentralized assets can cause confusion and a lack of responsibility, resulting in extra costs and higher risks, or sometimes they might get lost in the shuffle too.
Businesses can streamline procurement processes and negotiate better vendor agreements by centralizing software assets. It also makes license management easier and ensures effective utilization of assets across the organization.
Use a SaaS management software
Finally, in our SaaS management best practices, let’s talk about the obvious practice of using SaaS application management software.
Businesses require enterprise SaaS management software to manage SaaS applications successfully. While it is possible to handle SaaS apps without software, the procedure can be time-consuming, error-prone, and confusing.
SaaS management platforms provide centralized visibility, automated workflows, and usage insights, which make it easier to surface and manage SaaS applications.
Businesses risk overspending on apps and licensing, a lack of control over SaaS applications, and increased security threats if they do not use SaaS management software.
Get rid of spreadsheet-based tracking methods and simplify SaaS management using software.
CloudEagle: The comprehensive SaaS spend management software
CloudEagle is a comprehensive SaaS spend management software that assists businesses in controlling and optimizing SaaS expenses and applications. CloudEagle satisfies all the SaaS management best practices mentioned in the previous section.
CloudEagle's 3S principle
CloudEagle uses the "3S" approach to assist enterprises in controlling SaaS sprawl. The concept includes:
See your apps: Gain complete access to your SaaS stack, track app usage analytics, easily detect underutilized, duplicate, and hidden apps, and manage shadow IT.
Save on SaaS spend: During SaaS contract discussions, use reliable pricing benchmarking data to strengthen your procurement team. Assign professional negotiators to deal with vendors on your behalf and use pre-negotiated discounts to reduce your SaaS expenses.
Streamline procurement: You can automate your purchase process by using dynamic procurement workflows. Instead of chasing approvals, your procurement team may save time and focus on vital tasks.
CloudEagle's Key Features
CloudEagle has an extensive catalog of 150,000 applications to suit your demands quickly. You may receive a bird's eye view of your whole SaaS stack and optimize SaaS costs with its 200+ integrations, browser extensions, SSO, and finance integrations.
CloudEagle allows you to maintain all your contracts and invoices in one location, retrieving them quickly during vendor negotiations, audits, and other activities.
Make asset centralization easier with SaaS contract management modules. Check out this interesting customer success story from Aira and how they centralized their SaaS contracts.
CloudEagle is equipped with SaaS buying workflows to help the procurement team automate SaaS purchasing.
Why waste time chasing behind approvals when you can automate repetitive tasks and focus on your tasks?
To learn more about the procurement workflows of CloudEagle, click here.
You can also use Slack for procurement. In Slack, the requester can generate an intake request, which will be allocated to the appropriate person for authorization, and the procurement team can start negotiating immediately.
CloudEagle will assign specialist buyers to assist you in finding the best SaaS software. They will conduct vendor research on your behalf and utilize price benchmarking data to negotiate on your account to get the required app.
CloudEagle’s renewal workflows will make it easier for you to stay ahead of renewals. The workflow will initiate 90 days before the renewal deadline and start sending reminders.
It’ll automatically escalate to various stakeholders within the team until one of them acts on it and renews the contract.
Check out how Falkonry streamlined SaaS renewals using CloudEagle.
CloudEagle allows you to manage all of your suppliers and contracts in one location, as well as gain extensive app usage insights, do vendor research, and manage the full vendor lifecycle.
CloudEagle saves you money on SaaS by providing precise app usage analytics and removing underutilized apps. It will examine your tech stack for duplicate applications, allowing you to replace them with reputable software in minutes.
Enterprise SaaS management is vital for companies that rely substantially on SaaS apps for day-to-day operations. It lets businesses function seamlessly by simplifying complex businesses processes/
Efficient SaaS management solutions can assist firms in optimizing their SaaS usage, streamlining procurement, and simplifying software asset management.
So, enterprises should adhere to the best SaaS management practices mentioned in this article to optimize their SaaS stack.
Thinking about how to manage SaaS applications? Looking for a top-ranked SaaS management software?
Frequently asked questions
1. What are the objectives of SaaS management?
SaaS Management best practices aim to reduce the risk associated with unmanaged apps, raise the value of bought software, and improve the efficacy of people who install SaaS applications. Businesses also use SaaS management to reduce the cost of SaaS applications.
2. How do I select a SaaS management platform?
Here are four steps to choose the ideal SaaS management platform;
Step 1: Evaluate the SaaS Discovery Capability.
Step 2: Assess the Capabilities for Cost Optimization.
Step 3: Determine the risk management and compliance capabilities.
Step 4: Assess Automation Capabilities.
3. What are some of the common challenges businesses face when managing SaaS applications?
Shadow IT, data security threats, subscription management, compliance issues, lack of visibility and control, and integration issues are some of the most typical challenges businesses face when managing SaaS applications.