SaaS Operations Glossary

SaaS Operations Glossary

You may have heard of or will hear terms like SaaS agreement, SaaS stack, IAM, SSO, SLA, etc. when you start your career as a SaaS operations manager, IT asset manager, software asset manager, or IT admins. 

Knowing the terms and acronyms used in SaaS operations will help you to communicate and collaborate better.

In this post, we have discussed the commonly used terms and acronyms in SaaS operations.

Auditability: Auditability is the ability to control, track, and view changes made by the administrators. Auditability is essential for security and regulatory compliance.

Authentication: Authentication is the process of verifying the identity of the user or the device. Users can prove their identity by various authentication methods, like providing their credentials or password.

Authorization: Authorization is the process of giving a user the ability to access the file or resource. It is a process through which a server assesses whether or not a client is authorized to use a resource or access a file.

BYOC: Bring Your Own Carrier or BYOC provides you the ability to choose your own carrier that suits your business needs. It is done to transform your setup from on-premises to a cloud-based environment. It brings flexibility, mobility, scalability, and more control to your business.

CASB: Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is a technology that monitors traffic between a cloud service provider and your end-users to enforce your organization's security and access policies. It helps to prevent leakage of sensitive data, stop malware and other threats, discover and control shadow IT, and ensure regulatory compliance.

Data sprawl: It refers to the increasing number of different kinds of digital information (data) created, collected, stored, shared, and analyzed by businesses.

Digital transformation: Digital transformation uses technology that helps improve your business and meet the changing business and market requirements. It integrates digital technology in all business areas, fundamentally changing the way you operate and adding value to your business.

DLP: Data Loss Prevention (DLP) is a set of technologies and processes that monitors and inspects data on a corporate network to prevent the loss or misuse of critical data due to cyberattacks.

Deprovisioning: Deprovisioning is the act of removing the user's access to applications, systems, and data within a network. When a user is offboarded or changes roles, deprovisioning removes their access rights and deletes accounts associated with the user.

Endpoint Management: Endpoint management is the practice of authenticating and supervising the access rights of the endpoint devices to a network and applying security policies that prevent any external or internal threats.

End-User License Agreement: The end-user License Agreement or EULA is a legally binding agreement between the SaaS vendor and the end-user that allows the user to use the application as per the terms and conditions mentioned in the contract.

Enterprise License Agreement: Enterprise License Agreement is a contract between the organization and the SaaS vendor that allows you to purchase and use the SaaS application as per the terms and conditions mentioned in the agreement.

IAM: Identity and Access Management or IAM is a framework of policies and technologies to manage who has access to what. It ensures that the right people in the organization have appropriate access to the technology resources.

Incident Management: Incident management is a process of responding to an unplanned interruption or reduction in the quality of an IT service and restoring the service to its operational state, helping to minimize the impact on business.

ITSM: IT Service Management (ITSM) refers to implementing, managing, and delivering quality IT services in the best possible way to meet the needs of the business. It improves business performance through better IT delivery.

ITAM: IT Asset Management or ITAM is a type of business management that is directly connected to your organization's IT infrastructure. It is a process of managing the lifecycle of an organization's hardware and software, network, and non-network devices. 

IT Contracts: IT contracts are the legal agreement between the SaaS vendor and the organization that contains clauses for pricing, renewal, data privacy, service level agreements, etc. 

Knowledge Base Management: Knowledge Base Management is a self-service online library of information about a product, service, department, or topic that needs to be actively managed and updated. It is a centralized repository where information is stored, organized, and shared.

Multi-factor Authentication: Multi-factor Authentication works on the principle of combing more than two or more authentication methods—something you know,  something you have, or something you are. It is an authentication process that requires the user to provide two or more verification factors to gain access to a resource like applications, an online account, or a VPN.

Migration Costs: It refers to the cost of moving data from existing applications/systems to the cloud. It is basically the initial cost of implementing the SaaS application and depends on the scale of the project and the data involved in the migration.

PIM: Privileged Identity Management (PIM) is focused on controlling user access to high-value IT infrastructure. It provides the ability to control, manage, and monitor access to critical IT resources of your organization.

PAM: Privileged Access Management (PAM) is an information security mechanism that safeguards identities with special access or privileged user accounts. It allows complete control of data, infrastructure, and assets.

Provisioning: It refers to the steps required to manage access to data and resources and make them available to the users and systems. When a user is onboarded, provisioning grants a user access to applications and systems.

Redundant applications: It means when two or more applications have features or functionality that overlap with one another and are used to accomplish the same task.

Role-based access control: Role-based access control or RBAC restricts network access based on the user's role within an organization. The role in RBAC refers to the level of access that users have to the network. This protects sensitive data and ensures users can only access information and perform any actions as per the requirements of their roles.

ROSS: Return on SaaS Stack or ROSS is a framework that helps you evaluate and optimize the value you get from your SaaS stack.

SIEM: Security Information and Event Management SIEM provides organizations with detection, analytics, and response in one place. It refers to the real-time analysis of security alerts from SaaS applications, IT, and network infrastructure. In short, it can be considered a log management system specialized for security.

SaaS agreement: SaaS Agreement is a legal contract between the SaaS vendor and an organization that lays out the terms and conditions of a SaaS app. It clarifies the responsibilities of the SaaS vendor and the organization.

SaaS buying: SaaS Buying is a step-by-step process that includes identifying your business requirements, planning your budget, and conducting market research to find a suitable SaaS vendor.

SaaS Management: SaaS Management is a practice of monitoring and managing the purchasing, onboarding, licensing, renewals, and offboarding of the SaaS applications within the organization. 

SaaS Subscription Management: SaaS Subscription Management is a practice that helps organizations to manage the various subscription models of the SaaS applications. It provides full visibility into your SaaS stack, offboard the redundant and unused apps, helps with license and access management, measure value for your SaaS stack, manage security & compliance risks, etc.

SaaS Optimization: SaaS optimization refers to improving SaaS application performance and building an optimized SaaS stack for your organization. It will help you to eliminate Shadow IT and SaaS sprawl and will save you a lot of costs. 

SaaS Challenges: SaaS challenges refer to the risk arising due to the increasing usage and number of SaaS apps. The significant challenges include SaaS apps spend management, security & compliance risk, and SaaS operations.

SaaS Sprawl: SaaS Sprawl is a phenomenon where the number of SaaS applications on a network increases, and IT teams lose control of managing it. SaaS sprawl leads to shadow IT, security breaches, and overspending.

SaaS Discoverability: SaaS discoverability refers to the process of discovering the SaaS applications in the organization through various methods like single sign-on, browser extensions, finance and expense management, desktop agents, API, etc.

SaaS Stack: A SaaS stack is a collection of SaaS applications that are run and managed in an organization.

SaaS Security Posture Management: SaaS Security Posture Management (SSPM) is a solution to security and compliance management in your cloud resources. It provides control on all aspects of SaaS applications security to ensure that applications are secured from external and internal threats.

SaaS User Management: SaaS User Management is a data centralizing process and tool to organize a company’s SaaS workforce information in a single source. It is a process of gathering insights on SaaS usage within the organization to get a better return on the SaaS stack.

SaaS Lifecycle Management: SaaS Lifecycle Management is a practice for managing SaaS applications and vendors that starts with finding the SaaS vendor that suits your organization’s needs, managing the vendors, tracking their performance, and terminating contracts, if required.

SaaS Operations/ SaaSOps: SaaS Operations or SaaSOps refers to the operational process that sorts, manages, and secures all your SaaS applications. It starts from procuring SaaS apps, controlling access to these apps by users/departments, monitoring their usage, and removing/deleting them as per the requirements.

SaaS Security: With the increase in usage of SaaS applications, there is an increase in security attacks and data breaches. It prevents phishing, account takeovers, data access risk, lack of transparency, data theft, etc.

SaaS Wastage: SaaS wastage refers to the SaaS apps for which you are paying but not using to their utmost potential. It consists of duplicate apps, unused apps, automatic renewals, abandoned apps, and purchased top-tier licenses.

SaaS Spend Management: SaaS spend management is a practice of controlling and managing SaaS costs. It includes identifying the SaaS apps in your organization, right-sizing the number of licenses and claiming the best value, and eliminating the unplanned costs due to automatic renewals.

Shadow IT: Shadow IT is the use of software, hardware, and cloud services outside the IT environment of the organization, i.e., using without the knowledge or approval of IT teams. 

SSO: Single Sign-on (SSO) is an authentication process that allows a user to access multiple SaaS applications with a single set of login credentials. It means once a user logs in, you do not have to log in repeatedly for every SaaS application linked to the system. 

SLA: A Service Level Agreement or SLA is a level of service you expect from a SaaS vendor, laying out the metrics by which service is measured and the remedies or penalties agreed on service levels if not achieved. Further, it should be updated as and when there is any change in the service.

Unoptimized SaaS Stack: Unoptimized SaaS stack means when there is no optimization of the SaaS stack of your organization. The presence of redundant apps, procurement of new SaaS applications takes a long time, trouble in managing user access for SaaS apps, you are unaware of your actual spending on SaaS apps, missed or automatic renewals, etc., can lead to an unoptimized SaaS stack.

Vendor Lock-in: Vendor Lock-in is a situation in which a company becomes restricted or gets locked into a single cloud vendor or service provider. SaaS vendor lock-ins are restrictions that prevent users from switching from one service provider to another.

VPN: Virtual Private Networks or VPNs allows users to establish a secure connection within a network to ensure that sensitive data is safely transmitted. It creates a secured network tunnel using which users can send/receive information securely.

VPC: Virtual Private Cloud or VPC is a secure, isolated private cloud hosted to securely access over the internet or public cloud.

Zero Trust: Zero Trust is a security strategy indicating that you shouldn’t grant implicit trust to a user, device, or application. It is a framework for securing organizations in the cloud that asserts that no user or application should be trusted by default.

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