With so many apps to choose from, it’s not only difficult to find the right SaaS app, it’s difficult to manage these SaaS apps once you buy them. In this blog post,we walk you through the three main aspects.
- Why is it so hard to manage SaaS apps?
- Understand what is a SaaS Management Software?
- What are the criteria to choose the best SaaS management platform?
Pain Points of Managing SaaS Apps
Anybody with a credit card can buy a SaaS app; this leads to decentralized buying. Before you know it, the company has several hundred apps, some with low or no active usage, often with overlapping functionality. Decentralized buying along with traditional and non-scalable ways of tracking SaaS apps, like Excel sheets have created several challenges for the IT teams. Some of these challenges are as follows:
1. Incomplete and Outdated Information About Vendors and Spend
Usually, an IT manager will go around, asking the department heads, which apps are bought and used by each of the departments. By the time, they are done filling out the sheet, it becomes outdated. The sheet usually has spend and vendor details, but license count and usage data are often missing. It does not give real-time feedback on who’s using and not using the SaaS app.
2. Unaware of Low-Usage and Duplicate Applications in a Company
In most companies today, employees are the decision-makers on what applications they should buy and use for their teams. Bottom’s up decentralized buying is a necessity to move faster and grow the company. However, when teams research and buy apps in silos, it often leads to duplicate apps with overlapping functionality, apps not being removed after the trial period, and low usage apps going unnoticed.
3. No Central Repository for Contracts and Invoices
Since there is no central place to store the contracts and invoices, over a period of time, vendor contracts are hidden or sometimes lost in an employee’s emails, hard disks or shared storage. When employees leave, these contracts are often lost forever. At the time of contract renewal, a lot of time is spent searching for old contracts, trying to figure out the payment trends & terms.
4. Unaware of Changes at the Vendors in Your Current Portfolio
Buyers usually do a fair amount of information gathering and diligence when buying the app. However, over a period of time as the vendor introduces new product features, integrations, discovers security vulnerabilities, receives user feedback or pricing changes, the buyers are often surprised and caught unawares.
So how can companies manage the SaaS chaos? Here comes the SaaS management platform.
SaaS Management Platform
“Platform that helps enterprises to monitor the purchase, usage, renewals, and discovery of all the software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications in a company.”
Wow! A single pane of glass view to monitor the buying and usage of all the SaaS applications sounds really cool and useful, then how do companies manage SaaS applications today?
IT teams do proactively manage SaaS applications in their company today. This is however done manually using spreadsheets. An IT manager forwards the excel sheet to various department heads and relies on them to update the applications bought, the licenses being used, etc. As you can imagine, these manually updated spreadsheets, circulated every month or quarter can go out of date very soon.
Wouldn’t SaaS Management software sound like a good investment that automatically tracks and updates your vendors and spend? Wouldn’t it be great if you could save money on unwanted, underutilized apps and actually spend on tools that make your employees more productive and help your company grow faster?
Evaluation Criteria for a SaaS Management Platform
There are several tools available today to manage SaaS apps. Some of them focus on security, some on ease of use, IT workflow, etc. Here’s a simple checklist to look at when purchasing a SaaS management platform:
1. Automatic Discovery of New Vendors and Spend
Your SaaS Management platform should automatically discover all vendors and applications used in your company. Not only should it discover but also categorize the apps and vendors automatically in its appropriate software category. This will be possible if the tool integrates into your Single Sign-On (SSO) systems like Okta, Google Workspace, OneLogin, 0Auth, and also your financial systems like Expensify, Oracle NetSuite, Intuit QuickBooks, etc. With the combined knowledge from the two systems, SaaS management platforms can identify the usage and spend on different SaaS applications in your company.
2. Contract Management
Handling 100+ contracts and invoices is a messy and unproductive task. Imagine wasted spend due to missing out on crucial contract information like contract renewal date, billing frequency, or auto-renewals. SaaS management platforms should be able to extract all the contract metadata so you can figure out which vendors are on auto-renewal and what the payment terms are – all on a single dashboard, making it easy to negotiate proactively and smartly with your SaaS vendors.
SaaS management software should bring together all contracts and invoices in one place for easy access. You no longer have to try to delete contracts and invoices from employee mailboxes or shared folders. Use a single platform to view invoices and contracts, manage updates, and view billing trends. With effective contract management, you can unlock useful insights that lead to smarter vendor negotiations.
3. SaaS Security
IT managers need a dedicated SaaS management platform to manage, track and enhance the security of SaaS applications and to control access to their employees. Since the SaaS management platform knows all the applications in your company, it should be providing you updates on any security vulnerabilities discovered with any of the apps in use.
IT managers need to be aware of security vulnerabilities or non-conformities for all applications in the company. Even when considering purchasing, a SaaS management platform with up-to-date vendor information can definitely help here.
4. Usage Tracking and Analytics
Knowing which apps are used by employees and which are not, will help you prioritize spend and prevent data on multiple app clouds. One way is to track application usage. Tracking usage on your apps can allow you to make informed decisions before renewal comes up. Once that is taken care of, you can focus on increasing the adoptions of these apps
IT managers would agree that a robust tracking and analytics tool stack can create wonders and help you better track and understand your company’s performance.
5. Know All About Your Vendors
It’s not enough to just know who your vendors are, but also all the information and ongoing changes with them like product features, reviews, competitors, security vulnerabilities, funding info, # of employees. This way you can keep an eye on your present vendors and also possible alternatives.
CloudEagle Makes SaaS Management Easy
CloudEagle meets all the above criteria and more. We understand the hassles involved in finding and managing tools at your company that help make your employees more productive. While most SaaS management platforms provide a view of your existing SSO and finance system in a platform, CloudEagle acts as an intelligent system that can advise you about not just when a SaaS contract renewal is coming up or if there are security vulnerabilities discovered. It can go beyond SaaS management to suggest the next best tool you should be buying to make your employees productive, increase your revenue and grow your business.
At CloudEagle, we strongly believe that if you make an informed buying decision upfront you will save time and money avoiding the change management process later on.
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