Everything You Need to Know About SaaS Operations Management

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Calender
May 30, 2024
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Are you struggling to manage a multitude of SaaS apps within your organization? This situation often leads to shadow IT, SaaS sprawl, and other operational challenges.

The SaaS market is valued at over $195 billion and has grown by 500% in the past seven years. Given their widespread use, it's understandable if you've found it challenging to keep track of all these applications.

However, managing them via spreadsheet is neither recommended nor sustainable in the long run. This is where SaaS operations management becomes a game-changer.

It offers a structured approach to managing your entire SaaS ecosystem. This approach ensures efficient and secure resource utilization across your organization.

If you want to increase your organization's efficiency, this article will help you better understand what is SaaS operations management (SOM). You will also get tips on using this approach to manage your SaaS environment and streamline operations.

SaaS Operations: What Does It Mean?

It is the operational procedure associated with discovering, purchasing, managing, and removing SaaS applications in an organization. Essentially, it is a set of techniques that allow IT leaders to manage the business's SaaS apps effectively.

This includes choosing the best SaaS apps for each department, sticking to an IT budget, controlling team and employee access to SaaS apps, automating time-consuming SaaS administration chores, securing sensitive information, and training staff on SaaS.

As businesses adopt more software tools, managing SaaS stacks (i.e., SaaS operations) becomes increasingly critical.

Check this table to understand the different steps involved.

One critical aspect of SaaS operations is the management of such operations, which is crucial for organizations.

What is SaaS operations management?

SaaS operations management is an IT practice focused on optimizing SaaS apps within an organization. It involves overseeing these cloud-based applications' deployment, maintenance, security, and performance to ensure they meet business needs.

Its primary objective is to minimize inefficiencies within an organization’s SaaS portfolio and optimize the utilization of SaaS solutions. It entails a centralized SOM software system that tracks SaaS usage, spending, and other critical data while optimizing related operations.

Why do businesses need to optimize SaaS operations?

SaaS operations management is crucial since dealing with an increasing workload may lead IT managers to neglect details. This can result in deploying rogue SaaS applications without business approval, leading to increased expenses and security issues.

Optimizing SaaS ops help businesses in:

  • Getting maximum ROI and value of the application
  • Increases productivity through automation workflows and collaboration
  • Enhance user experience for employees
  • Seamless integrations for easy adoption and scalability
  • Improving data security and compliance.

Check this table to understand the various use cases of SaaS operations management within organizations.

Benefits of SaaS operations management

SaaS operations management is crucial because IT managers handle growing workloads and may overlook details. This can lead to the deployment of unauthorized SaaS apps, increasing costs and security risks.

Optimizing SaaS operations helps you:

  • Maximizing ROI and value: Efficient SaaS operations help you save costs by managing subscriptions effectively. This includes avoiding unused licenses and retiring redundant applications.
  • Improved efficiency: Automating tasks such as employee onboarding/offboarding saves time and improves overall operational efficiency.
  • Increasing productivity: It streamlines workflows, reduces manual tasks, and speeds up processes, improving overall productivity. This enhances collaboration among teams using integrated SaaS tools, leading to a better user experience.
  • Enhancing user experience: Effective SaaS operations ensure smooth onboarding and offboarding. They provide employees with quick and secure access to essential apps.
  • Seamless integrations: Centralized management of SaaS integrations enables businesses to adopt new applications smoothly. It integrates them into existing workflows as the organization grows, enhancing flexibility.
  • Improving security and compliance: SOM helps implement strong security measures such as access controls, data encryption, and compliance monitoring. It ensures protection against unauthorized access and data breaches to meet regulatory requirements.
  • Centralized data protection: SaaS operations ensure secure application management with centralized controls and automated workflows. It swiftly addresses security risks like data breaches and unauthorized access.

Challenges of poor SaaS operations management

Poor SaaS operations management can lead to several challenges that affect businesses:

1. Performance Issues: Poorly managed SaaS apps may lead to performance issues such as slow response times, frequent crashes, or unreliable availability. These can significantly impact user experience and productivity within the organization.

Employees may face delays in accessing critical applications, leading to frustration and decreased efficiency. Moreover, customers relying on SaaS products may experience service disruptions, potentially affecting satisfaction and loyalty.

2. Security Risks: Inadequate SaaS operations management can expose businesses to vulnerabilities. This includes outdated software versions, weak authentication mechanisms, or improper data handling practices.

The consequences of security breaches can be severe, ranging from unauthorized access to sensitive data and compliance violations (such as ISO, SOC 2, GDPR, etc.) to financial losses and damage to the organization's reputation.

3. Cost Overruns: Poorly managed SaaS operations can lead to unexpected costs that exceed budgetary allocations. This can result from inefficient resource usage, unnecessary subscriptions, or failure to optimize licensing agreements.

Budget overruns strain financial resources, potentially affecting other critical business areas. It also highlights inefficiencies in cost management and resource allocation, hindering long-term sustainability.

4. Customer Dissatisfaction: When SaaS operations are not effectively managed, customers may experience dissatisfaction due to poor service quality, inadequate support, or outdated features.

Unsatisfied customers may seek alternative solutions, leading to customer churn and revenue loss. Negative word-of-mouth can also harm the company's reputation and ability to acquire new customers.

5. Operational Inefficiencies: Poor SaaS operations management can result in inefficiencies within the organization's internal processes and workflows.

Operational inefficiencies can slow down business operations, reduce agility, and increase the likelihood of errors. It can also hinder collaboration among teams and departments, impacting overall productivity and innovation.

Tips for optimizing your SaaS operations

To optimize your organization's SaaS operations and achieve the best value, follow these steps:

  • Monitor Usage: Track SaaS usage to identify popular, underused, or unused apps. This informs decisions on optimizing licenses and resource allocation.
  • Consolidate Licenses: Consolidate multiple licenses for the same SaaS apps to save costs, simplify management, and ensure agreement compliance.
  • Automate Workflows: Automate user management and app deployment tasks to save time, reduce errors, and maintain consistency across departments.
  • Enhance Security: Regularly update SaaS app security to protect data and comply with regulations like GDPR or HIPAA. Implement strong authentication and monitor for suspicious activity.

Implementing these strategies will help you optimize your organization’s SaaS operations. It will increase efficiency, cut costs, and maximize software investments. However, an advanced SaaS management platform (SMP) with procurement capabilities should be considered to achieve these goals faster.

To illustrate how such a tool can benefit you, you can try CloudEagle. It offers the capabilities to enhance your organization's SaaS operations and procurement processes.

How can SaaS operations management be streamlined using CloudEagle?

The best method to streamline your organization's SaaS operations is to use an SaaS management platform (SMP). For instance, CloudEagle, an advanced SaaS management and procurement platform, can assist you in streamlining your SaaS operations and administration in a variety of ways, including:

1. Complete SaaS visibility

Tracking SaaS usage and costs can be challenging for organizations. CloudEagle addresses this issue by offering comprehensive insights into your SaaS ecosystem, including usage and costs.

As a result, they allow you to make informed decisions about procuring, renewing, and terminating subscriptions or app licenses. This will also help with efficient SaaS contract management.

2. Spend optimization

CloudEagle aids in SaaS spend optimization by providing real-time spending data. It allows you to track and manage user/department-wise app spending in one location. This minimizes wasteful spending on unused or underutilized applications.

The tool consolidates spending information from different users and departments into one place. This helps you track and manage your costs more effectively and avoids unnecessary costs on apps that aren't fully utilized. 

3. Procurement workflows

Delays in software procurement can lead employees to purchase unsanctioned apps (shadow IT). An SMP tool can simplify your procurement process and prevent shadow IT.

CloudEagle's procurement workflows can streamline your SaaS procurement process, making it faster and more efficient. They automatically assign tasks to the appropriate stakeholders, speeding up approvals and saving time.

You can also leverage CloudEagle's new Slack-enabled procurement features. Now, you can initiate requests directly within Slack using the CloudEagle Slackbot. This integration initiates the required workflow, notifies stakeholders, and creates a private channel for smooth collaboration.

To discover how CloudEagle enhances company efficiency in the procurement process, explore Armory’s customer success story.

4. Employee onboarding and offboarding

CloudEagle’s automated provisioning and deprovisioning workflows make it easier to onboard and offboard employees. This guarantees that new employees have immediate access to the required tools and that offboarded employees don't have access to sensitive data.

The tool provides dedicated user provisioning and deprovisioning modules with auto-provisioning workflows based on roles and departments. This automation ensures new employees promptly access necessary applications, reducing the burden on IT teams.

Image of CloudEagle's user provisioning dashboard

When an employee leaves, CloudEagle simplifies access management. It displays all apps they've used, allowing quick deprovisioning from all with a few clicks, followed by account deletion.

To learn how CloudEagle can assist you with user provisioning and deprovisioning to maximize user value, listen to Alice Park from Remediant, who streamlined these processes using the platform.

5. Renewal Management

CloudEagle provides renewal workflows to make renewal operations more accessible for the team. You can set up reminders 90 days before the renewal date using the workflows. In the meantime, you can collect necessary usage data and prepare an effective renegotiation plan with the vendors.

As Falkonry faced challenges in managing SaaS renewals, they replaced spreadsheets with CloudEagle to better handle their growing range of applications. CloudEagle helped Falkonry manage contracts more efficiently.

Read the detailed success story of how they did it.

6. Compliance & security threats

CloudEagle streamline SaaS operations management by effectively addressing compliance and security threats. The tool offers centralized visibility of all SaaS apps, including shadow IT. It enables IT teams to monitor usage and ensure regulatory compliance.

Overall, integrating with existing IT infrastructure, platforms like CloudEagle enhance efficiency, strengthen security, and ensure compliance in SaaS operations management.

‍Conclusion

SaaS operations management is essential for firms that use various SaaS apps. It improves efficiency by providing complete visibility, usage and cost optimization insights, automation, and increased security and compliance. Using SaaS management software, businesses can further streamline their SaaS operations management.

In this article, you learned about the key components of SaaS ops management, its benefits, challenges, and how a SaaS management platform can help streamline SaaS operations.

CloudEagle is a comprehensive SaaS spend management platform with all the necessary features for effective SaaS ops management.

Schedule a demo with our experts to learn how CloudEale can help you improve your organization's SaaS operations management.

Frequently asked questions

1. What are some excellent practices for SaaS Operations Management?

Best practices for SaaS Operations Management include:

  • Having a centralized inventory.
  • Assessing usage and costs on a regular basis.
  • Setting security and compliance regulations.

2. How do businesses get started with SaaS Operations Management?

Businesses can begin using SaaS Operations Management by completing a SaaS audit, building a centralized inventory, establishing security and compliance regulations, and getting a SaaS management software like CloudEagle.

3. How does SaaS Operations Management help businesses ensure their SaaS applications are aligned with their overall business goals and objectives?

SaaS Operations Management assists enterprises in ensuring that their SaaS applications are aligned with their overall company goals and objectives by giving visibility into application utilization, reducing costs, and identifying possibilities for process enhancement.

Written by
Vibhu Jain
Product Manager, CloudEagle
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