SaaS Operations - The Complete Guide

Until now, SaaS operations (SaaSOps) was not a priority for many IT leaders. But due to remote work, they are forced to set up some form of SaaS operations system inside their companies. 

But due to a lack of information on how to efficiently manage SaaS apps, companies do not get full benefits for their money.

In this post, we will discuss how IT teams can get the most out of their SaaS apps while minimizing the risk through efficient SaaS operations inside their company.


There is an evident growth of SaaS in companies, and one of the main reasons behind it is the employees. 

An employee signs up for a SaaS application, explores it, uses it if they feel it's good, and abandons it when they find a better one. This leads to SaaS wastage. 

When they forget to cancel the subscription, it keeps getting renewed. Thanks to auto-renewals. 

Therefore, IT teams need to implement SaaS management tool, or it might lead to:

  • App redundancy: Most of the time, companies have redundant applications in the form of duplicate apps, unused or underused apps, apps with the same functionality, or extra licenses, or wrong tier plans. You can use our DUAAS framework to deal with it.

  • Shadow IT: It has been a known issue for a long time, but the problem has become worse in the SaaS world. Un-provisioned SaaS applications can bring security and compliance threats to your business, leading to hefty fines and loss of reputation.

  • SaaS sprawl: Too many applications inside the companies also brings many problems. It's easy for any employee to sign up for a new application, and it leads to security, compliance, and financial threats for organizations.

What is SaaS Operations?

SaaS operations consist of procuring the right set of SaaS apps, managing access to these apps by users/departments, monitoring their usage, and offboarding them properly when they are no longer needed.

To simplify, it's the operations part of SaaS management, where you manage, track, comply and secure your SaaS applications.

Benefits of SaaS Operations for Companies

SaaSOps helps in monitoring your SaaS landscape. It allows you to take control of the SaaS stack by managing, tracking, and controlling your SaaS tools from one place. 

With a SaaS management tool, you know who uses which app and which features are used, manage users' access, maintain a healthy relationship with your SaaS vendors, and be audit-ready.

Some major benefits of a SaaSOps are: 

1. Manage SaaS spend

Through our survey report, we found that for 31% of companies, SaaS takes 10% of their overall budget. By centralizing your spending, you get a picture of where your money is being spent. This will help you get more from your SaaS stack by eliminating unnecessary applications. 

You can use our DUAAS framework to eliminate SaaS waste. In short, you remove the duplicate apps, unused licenses, prevent auto-renewal of apps that you don't want to renew, get rid of abandoned apps, rightsize your license tiers.

It will help you cut out all excess expenses, helping improve your return on the SaaS stack.

2. Fast and Secured Onboarding and Offboarding

Onboarding and offboarding are some of the most strenuous, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks for the IT department. But if they are left loosened, it might bring disruptions and data leak threats to your organization. 

With a SaaS management system, you can automate the onboarding and offboarding process, making it easy to give access to new joiners and revoke accesses while offboarding. 

In Zluri, a SaaS management system, all you need to do is add an employee to the system and assign them their respective departments. Zluri creates a SaaS onboarding workflow process automatically for them. And subsequently, they get access to all the tools at one click.  

Similarly, it is equally important to offboard the ex-employees by revoking their access. Unrevoked licenses can bring all kinds of security threats to your organization. Zluri performs better at this task compared to other solutions that do the same job, like SSOs.

3. Ensures Security and Compliance

A SaaS management platform (SMP) will make it easy for you to stay compliant with all regulations. 

For example, if you are doing a GDPR audit, you need to see whether all your applications follow the GDPR norms. You will need to do a lot of extra work and research if you don't have an SMP.

If you miss out on these compliance regulations, you might be fined heavily, and/or lawsuits may be filed against you. 

Challenges in SaaS Operations 

Visibility issues

If you have just started a company, it might be easy for you to manage SaaS spend. But once it starts expanding, it would be difficult to track expenses. 

When you are working towards growth, it's natural to spend dollars and dollars on tools that can help you drive sales. But at the same time, it's important to keep track of the existing tools; otherwise, it's very difficult to know whether you are getting a return or not.

Overspending

It is not easy to find out about overspending in SaaS unless and until the finance department finds an inefficiency. Overspending can happen in the form of redundant unused or underutilized apps or shadow IT signed up by employees. 

Inefficient onboarding and offboarding

When new employees are supposed to request access to a tool every time, it is going to waste a lot of productive hours. Instead, they should be given access to all the tools that they need on the date of joining. 

Similarly, when an employee leaves your organization, it's your responsibility to revoke their access, but manually doing so can be time-consuming. And if there are small errors in the process, ex-employees can still have access to your critical data, which might lead to costly insider threats and data breaches

Compliance threats

While procuring SaaS, you need to make sure that the vendors follow the compliance regulations needed for your industry. If it's just a couple of SaaS tools, you might know their compliance status by heart, but when there are thousands of tools lying in your SaaS stack, it is absolutely impossible to keep track of each and every tool. Breach of compliance might push you to pay expensive fines and strict lawsuits.

Security threats

When your employees sign up for an application, they overlook the security factor and start using it if they feel it's better than one prescribed by IT. So, they give out critical information while signing up for an application, which can make your organization vulnerable to phishing attacks and other cyber attacks.

Why You Should Use a SaaS Management Platform

A SaaS management platform (SMP) is a centralized system that serves as a single source of truth to discover SaaS apps and get insights on their usage to make procurement, renewal, and termination decisions. 

SaaS management platforms can be an effective investment for companies with a lot of SaaS apps trying to get the best out of them. It can help you in the following ways:

  • Get visibility into your SaaS ecosystem. When you are an enterprise with thousands of applications, a spreadsheet for managing them is a bad idea. It gets cumbersome after a while as you constantly need to update them whenever there is a price change or a new SaaS app has been bought etc.  It is hectic and time-consuming. A SaaS management platform can put all this information in one place, which will be more accurate than spreadsheets or other manual methods. 

  • Build smooth and efficient workflows. When you have plenty of tools, it can get messy with accessibility issues. An SMP can streamline workflows and sort the accessibility issues for your organization. It means more time working and less time figuring out what to do with the tools.

  • Safe and secured offboarding and fast onboarding. When an employee leaves your organization, the first thing you need to do even before removing their name from the payroll is revoking their access to all the applications. 

    If you fail to do so or if there is a glitch in this process, it may lead to terrible data breaches and insider attacks for your organization.

    Also, while a new employee is onboarded or an existing employee is promoted to a new title, you need to make sure that they are given access to the right tools the same day. Or else there can be a loss of productivity. 

    A SaaS management tool makes giving and revolving access a breeze by making sure your data is safe while offering access to the right ones.

  • Track your expenses. When you have too many applications, it is difficult to keep track of the costs of all the applications. By having a single source of truth for all your expenses, an SMP helps you to effectively track your spendings and manage all your subscriptions. 

  • Enhances collaboration over departments. Like we already saw, inefficient workflows can cause productivity deficits among departments as well. When all these barriers are removed, you can collaborate more effectively with your teams and also work more productively.

How Can Zluri Help

An SMP can find all the applications that are hidden in your SaaS landscape. There is no more a need for you to add them manually as you do in a Spreadsheet. It also automatically updates the pricing and license information from the SaaS tool, cutting your time spent on data entry.

Now, let's see how Zluri can help you with SaaS operations.

Establishes a single source of truth: Zluri serves as a single source truth for all SaaS apps in your organization. It helps you monitor, manage and optimize your SaaS spend and also identifies whether a particular application brings an ROI to your business.

With this data, you can get rid of the forgotten, unused, and underutilized subscriptions. Also, understand the real SaaS spending in your company. 

Zluri helps you administer your SaaS landscape in the following ways:

  • Have a bird's eye view of the tools present in your SaaS landscape

  • Manage workflows of vendor approval, renewals, and termination of licenses

  • Eliminate unused and redundant applications

  • Automated onboarding and offboarding of employees from SaaS tools

Software recommendation: Within a week of onboarding, Zluri analyses your whole SaaS landscape and starts giving recommendations for cost-friendly and secure solutions. Its smart intelligence helps you while making important purchase-related decisions. 

Automate SaaS management: Every SaaS tool that enters your SaaS landscape adds administrative pressure on the IT team. Right from maintaining the SLAs to renewals, everything must be properly taken care of. 

Zluri automates such processes helping you focus on other important aspects of your business. For example, the finance team no longer needs to break their head every month to check the expense sheets to see how much money is being spent on SaaS. 

Automate onboarding and offboarding: It's the responsibility of the IT department to help employees who are onboarded newly to an organization. They have to be taught about the usage & procurement of SaaS apps and the IT policies.  

Zluri automates the onboarding process so that any new employee joining a particular department will have instant access to the SaaS stack pertaining to them. 

Similarly, when an employee quits an organization, it's vital to suspend their licenses. If it is overlooked, it might lead to critical security breaches. With just a single click, Zluri can revoke the licenses of users, preventing them from further access. 

Additionally, when you define the role and department of a user, ZLuri can automatically create their respective workflows, making it easy to give and revoke access.

Incorporate Policy Management: Zluri can help you with policy management by creating and managing SaaS policies within the company and their integration into your day-to-day work activities. This gives your employees guidelines to help them properly utilize and maintain the SaaS tools in their routine work.

Track everything with Reporting: You get real-time inputs on everything that's happening within your SaaS stack. It gives you all the information you need about your SaaS tools right from implementation to disposal. You can know how your business uses these tools and how you can optimize them.