Reducing the Risk of SaaS Sprawl with the Power of Automation


When organizations have a large number of SaaS applications in their SaaS stack, it can lead to SaaS Sprawl, resulting in issues such as Shadow IT, security breaches, and overspending. 

While SaaS apps bring many benefits to companies, having too many applications in the SaaS stack can be problematic. The risk of SaaS sprawl can be mitigated through the use of automation. 

On average, mid-size organizations use hundreds of unique SaaS applications to accelerate their digital transformation. While SaaS has helped organizations complete work faster and more accurately, it has also created challenges for IT and security teams to keep track of SaaS usage. This is known as SaaS sprawl.

The primary reason for SaaS sprawl is that individual users sign up for SaaS apps without consulting IT. This leads to a lack of standardization, and employees may choose apps based on their personal preferences, resulting in a disorganized and fragmented SaaS landscape.

To prevent SaaS sprawl, it is essential to have centralized app procurement and employee training. IT managers should also establish automation models to develop and analyze organizational SaaS inventory and ensure that apps and users are properly tracked and monitored.

Optimizing the SaaS stack by eliminating duplicate apps or apps with overlapping functionality is important to overcome SaaS sprawl. This will help maintain an accurate security posture and ensure that the organization's SaaS usage is streamlined and efficient.

But this is more than just a simple cattle drive. These apps are not just physical herds, but digital ones and the stakes are much higher. With each app comes a new set of security and compliance risks that must be carefully managed.

IT admins must be vigilant, always on the lookout for new apps that may have slipped through the cracks, and ready to take quick action to secure them before they can cause any damage. In addition, they must be able to identify which apps are essential to the business and which are just digital cattle rustlers trying to steal valuable data and resources.

How To Reduce The Risk Of SaaS Sprawl With Automation?

As organizations continue to adopt more and more SaaS solutions, they often face the challenge of SaaS sprawl. This refers to the proliferation of multiple, often redundant, SaaS applications being used within the organization, leading to inefficiencies, higher costs, and security and compliance risks.

Thankfully, automation and the implementation of SMPs can help organizations eliminate SaaS sprawl and optimize their SaaS stack. By using an SMP like Zluri, IT managers can easily identify and eliminate duplicate apps, reducing SaaS sprawl and the potential for Shadow IT (using unapproved SaaS applications within the organization).

Let's delve deeper into the issues and explore effective solutions for eradicating them.

  • Implementing Strategies to Remove Shadow IT Effectively

Shadow IT, using unauthorized software and applications within an organization, can lead to wasted resources and compliance violations. Employees may sign up for apps they are more comfortable with rather than using those sanctioned by the IT team. This can result in an overlap of functionality and no added value to the organization. 

Additionally, Shadow IT can violate regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, PCI DSS, ISO 27001, or SOC 2, as data may be stored in unknown and unauthorized locations, leading to data breaches and fines.

Automation can help to eliminate Shadow IT. For example, Zluri, an automation tool, can discover 100% of SaaS apps used within an organization through its extensive library of 225,000+ apps. It uses methods such as integration with SSO and IDP, financial systems, API integrations, browser extensions, and desktop agents to discover Shadow IT. 

The tool also uses the DUAAS framework (duplicate apps, unused apps, abandoned apps, auto-renewal, and suitable license) to eliminate Shadow IT-causing apps and prevent potential compliance violations and damage to the company's reputation.

  • Integrating SaaS applications with existing IT systems

Integrating SaaS applications with existing IT systems and processes can help streamline operations and improve efficiency. In addition, automation can be used to automate the integration process, making it faster and more reliable.

For example, using automation to integrate SaaS applications with an identity management system can ensure that only authorized users can access the software. This can be done by automating the provisioning and de-provisioning of user accounts and by using automation to enforce security policies, such as multi-factor authentication, across all SaaS applications.

Similarly, automating the integration of SaaS applications with security systems, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, can help protect against cyber threats and data breaches. This can be done by automating the configuration of security policies and controls across all SaaS applications, such as data encryption and access controls.

Zluri directly integrates with 800+ SaaS applications, setting it apart from other SSOs and SMPs. The platform allows accessing the information on user access levels and permission and collecting license details for each user, including plan, pricing, and available features in the tier. It also provides access and audit logs to gain deeper insights into app usage by collecting data directly from the source.

  • Optimizing SaaS Spending

Managing many SaaS applications within an organization can be complex and time-consuming. This is because SaaS applications are typically subscription-based and require ongoing monitoring and maintenance to ensure they are being used efficiently and effectively. As a result, one of the key challenges of managing SaaS applications is preventing unnecessary wastage, which can occur in a number of ways.

One way to achieve this is through using an SMP tool, such as Zluri, which allows IT administrators to manage their organization's SaaS portfolio effectively. Zluri provides a centralized dashboard that displays important data related to all the SaaS applications within the organization, making it easy for IT managers to check usage statistics and identify potential issues quickly. 

Additionally, Zluri offers license and renewal management features that allow IT managers to keep track of all licenses used within the organization, preventing the auto-renewal of unnecessary apps.

Furthermore, Zluri provides notifications for renewal dates, allowing IT managers to make informed decisions about their license plans. For example, if an organization is currently using the pro version of a SaaS app, but their work can be done with the basic version, they can downgrade their licenses after analyzing Zluri metrics. Similarly, the organization can upgrade its licenses if more features are needed.

  • Reducing security & compliance issues

Organizations have been struggling with the problem of SaaS sprawl in recent years. This issue affects both the organization's security and compliance matrices. When employees sign up for SaaS apps without the approval of IT admins, these unsanctioned apps can create vulnerabilities that lead to security breaches. Hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities to cause severe damage, alter the organization's data, and demand ransoms for access.

Compliance is also a crucial aspect of running a business. Government authorities have set various regulations and compliance standards for companies to protect customer data and ensure security. Examples of these standards include GDPR, HIPAA, SOC2, ISO 27001, and PCI DSS. Different organizations may be required to maintain different standards depending on their industry. For example, tech companies may need ISO and SOC certifications, while payment-related businesses may need PCI DSS.

To mitigate these issues, IT admins should closely monitor vendor services to ensure they are compliant. Using an SMP such as Zluri can help keep track of security and compliance metrics in real-time. These tools can also provide detailed reports on which SaaS apps are not in compliance and what actions need to be taken.


Overall, compliance is a continuous process and requires constant monitoring to ensure the safety and security of customer data. With the right tools and practices in place, organizations can effectively manage their SaaS stack and protect against potential security breaches and compliance violations.

IT Teams that Use Zluri Prevent SaaS Sprawl in Their Organization


With the increased use of SaaS apps comes the risk of SaaS sprawl, where an organization loses control over the number of apps they use and the amount of data they store. To combat this problem, IT teams can utilize Zluri. This powerful automation tool helps organizations keep track of their SaaS apps, automate the management process, and reduce the risk of SaaS sprawl.

One of the key features of Zluri is its intuitive dashboard, which allows users to easily view and manage all their SaaS apps in one place. This makes it easy for IT teams to identify and eliminate any unnecessary apps, saving the organization time and money.

Additionally, Zluri can streamline the onboarding process for new employees by providing quick access to their needed SaaS tools. This reduces waiting time for employees and eliminates the risk of Shadow IT.

Another important benefit of Zluri is its ability to enhance security and compliance. The platform offers strong SaaS discovery capabilities and provides security and compliance measurements to ensure your organization stays compliant with all its SaaS apps. This is especially important in today's business environment, where data breaches and cyber attacks are becoming increasingly common.

Zluri is a powerful automation tool that can greatly benefit your organization. You should give it a try by requesting a demo today!



Introducing Zluri APIs - Extensibility Beyond Integrations That Aren’t Off-the-Shelf

Symptoms of an Unoptimized SaaS Stack (+ Solutions)

Shadow IT in the SaaS World - A Complete Guide

SaaS Vendor Management in 2023: The Definitive Guide

SaaS Sprawl - The Ultimate Guide


Introducing Zluri APIs - Extensibility Beyond Integrations That Aren’t Off-the-Shelf

Zluri APIs can be called from internal and external applications to create a bridge that helps assign licenses, manage contracts, and a lot more!

Symptoms of an Unoptimized SaaS Stack (+ Solutions)

In this post, we've discussed 7 symptoms of an unoptimized SaaS stack and solutions to optimize the same.

Shadow IT in the SaaS World - A Complete Guide

In this post, you'll learn about shadow IT due to SaaS apps. You'll also learn the most common types of shadow apps categories, shadow IT risks, and shadow IT benefits.

SaaS Vendor Management in 2023: The Definitive Guide

An obese SaaS stack leads to SaaS wastage. It's a disease! It not only causes financial issues but also gives you security and compliance problems. That's why you must keep tight control on your SaaS stack. And it begins with managing your SaaS vendors. 

SaaS Sprawl - The Ultimate Guide

When an organization has a large number of SaaS applications in its SaaS stack, it gives rise to SaaS Sprawl.

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