26th April, 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
An optimized SaaS stack provides organizations with a smooth experience for the employees and saves a lot of costs for the organization. Additionally, it helps in eliminating shadow IT risks and managing SaaS sprawl.
Nowadays, every business is using one or more SaaS applications to do various tasks such as communication, collaboration, onboarding, payroll management, etc. With the rise of pandemics, the adoption of SaaS has become more in organizations.
Though SaaS applications bring many benefits, having too many applications can affect productivity as well as the increasing the cost of the business if they are not utilized properly and fully. This is why SaaS optimization is vital for any organization which uses a large number of applications.
For employees, SaaS optimization simply refers to improving the performance of the applications when they try to access them. For instance, if an employee wants to access certain data, then they should be able to get it promptly. On the other hand, SaaS optimization for organizations is to manage their SaaS stack efficiently to get the best return on investment.
In this post, we are going to discuss some of the ways to optimize organizations' SaaS applications.
Organizations which use a large number of SaaS applications are often prone to SaaS sprawl and redundant/duplicate applications. Further, a large number of applications also gives rise to shadow IT and may reduce employees' productivity.
There are various ways in which you can manage SaaS sprawl in your organization.
Now, let’s dive into the ways which you can incorporate in your organization to get the best return on investment from software as a service (SaaS) applications.
SaaS governance is an amalgamation of practices and processes that businesses put together to bring the best out of SaaS applications. It ensures that applications procured are properly used and measured to make data-driven decisions. From procurement of applications to its disposal, IT lays down policies for organizations' SaaS stack.
These policies are to mitigate security and compliance risks as well as to optimize the application cost across the organization. In other words, the objectives of SaaS governance are to reduce costs, mitigate risks and optimize license provisioning.
For instance, you can create standard applications for different purposes and let departments and employees know about them. In this way, any employee who requires an application for a specific purpose can go through the standard application.
And if the application is part of the standard application, then employees can use it; otherwise, reach out to relevant people for the request of procurement of that application.
Applications are used by employees for different purposes. IT leaders should allow employees to procure applications within the framework of SaaS governance. But, at the same time, ensure that applications which are procured are secure and don't come with any potential threat.
Employees should be accountable for the applications they procure and should be able to provide insights about them like how they are using them, the pros and cons of the application, is there any similar application in the organization, etc.
In this way, information technology (IT) leaders can get more ideas and understanding about the application to make crucial decisions.
A review process should be conducted periodically to get quality control of new applications. Further, proper training should be provided so that employees have ideas about different risks associated with the application. This ensures that employees are making the right decisions within the organization's policies while procuring applications.
It's imperative to know what different applications are being used in the organization and for what purposes. Gaining visibility of all applications across the organization has many benefits, such as it helps in finding duplicate applications and understanding the underutilized or unused applications.
With complete visibility and understanding of applications, IT leaders can make more informed decisions. Regular auditing can give the complete picture of organizations' SaaS applications, and duplicate/unused applications can be eliminated to reduce the cost as well as eliminate risks associated with shadow IT applications.
You can also conduct regular surveys within the organization to find out how different applications are used. Further, you can ask for employee feedback about different applications to understand whether the applications are serving their purpose or not.
For example, if an employee has an account on two different project management tools, such as Jira and Trello, then you can remove one of them to reduce license cost as the tools serve the same purpose.
The SaaS management platform offers a variety of features and functionality that reduces manual effort and give visibility and control over SaaS applications. IT leaders can understand the organization's SaaS application's key metrics with the help of SaaS management platforms (SMP) to make informed decisions.
With the help of the SaaS management platform, IT can manage the entire lifecycle of the applications from procurement to renewal/disposal. Further, SaaS management platforms keep you audit-ready by ensuring that applications are compliant with regulations.
SaaS management platform (SMP) acts as a single source of truth for all applications of the organization and helps IT leaders, to make data-driven decisions.
For instance, if your organization uses over 100 applications and there are many applications with overlapping functionalities and features. Then a SaaS management platform can provide you with information about the overlapping applications. With the help of data provided by it, you can make a decision to remove those applications which seem not important.
Automation saves time, increases efficiency, optimizes cost, and reduces manual effort. Various tasks such as renewal date alerts, provisioning applications to a new employee, or removing an unused license can be automated. This way, IT can save a lot of time, optimize cost and provide a better experience to end-users.
For example, whenever a new employee comes in, the organization can automatically assign the relevant application to him/her. Similarly, whenever an employee leaves the organization, all the applications whose access was given must be revoked. It can be exhausting to do onboarding and offboarding manually. So, automating the onboarding and offboarding process can save a tremendous amount of time.
Zluri is a SaaS management platform that enables organizations to gain complete control over their SaaS applications. With Zluri, organizations can automate various tasks like onboarding, offboarding, compliance management, etc.
Zluri has the largest app library with over 120000+ applications. Zluri discovery engine uses five methods to discover all your apps with near 100% accuracy.
Some of the key features of Zluri are:
Automated employee onboarding & offboarding: Zluri has a powerful automation engine that enables organizations to give or revoke access to employees with a few clicks. Further, its contextual recommendation system provides information about which applications a new employee needs, based on the department and seniority of their role. It also recommends different channels/groups to which an employee should be added.
Renewal Monitoring: With Zluri, you don't need to worry about surprise renewals. Zluri alerts about your upcoming renewals, giving you enough time to decide whether or not you need the app. You can decide that through the SaaS usage insights from Zluri.
Applications Cost Optimization: Zluri helps you standardize your applications and eliminate budget wastage. Zluri traces your SaaS ecosystem and monitors, measures, and helps you take control of your SaaS spending. It also helps you find the hidden apps spend.
Vendor Management: Zluri has an automated vendor management system with all the features needed to manage your SaaS stack. It maintains a SaaS system of record by integrating with your core business system, after which it prepares to maintain your vendor life cycle with your predefined workflows.
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.
Though with all its goodness, SaaS brings financial, security, and compliance risks to organizations. For IT teams, issues like providing and revoking access to employees during onboarding and offboarding or when their role changes are very time-consuming.
When an organization has a large number of SaaS applications in its SaaS stack, it gives rise to SaaS Sprawl.
In this post, we've discussed 7 symptoms of an unoptimized SaaS stack and solutions to optimize the same.
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.
ITAM and ITSM are the two most common responsibilities in the ITOps domain. The use cases and working approaches of the two, on the other hand, are complementary yet vastly different.
Bringing accountability and ownership across organizations for SaaS applications is one of the foundational steps to ensure that organizations' SaaS stack is optimized and fully utilized.
IT and security teams also use tools for securing endpoint devices and applications that employees use so that organizations' data remains secure. Apart from collaboration, communication, and security, there are many other tools that organizations can use and provide to employees to ensure that work is done properly in a remote work setup.