1st May, 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Optimized SaaS stack in an organization not only helps in reducing the overall spending on SaaS applications but also provides a better experience to the end-users–the employees.
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.
The increase in the number of applications used by organizations brings numerous challenges if not managed properly. SaaS sprawl, shadow IT, compliance, and security risks are some of the challenges that rapid adoption of SaaS applications can bring. Further, duplicate applications, underutilized licenses, and reduction in employees' productivity can be seen too if SaaS applications are not procured and managed properly.
The best way to ensure that applications are serving the purpose for which they were procured is to gain visibility and control over them.
In this post, we are going to discuss various tips IT and business leaders can use to establish SaaS management ownership across the organization to get the best return on investment.
Inventory of all the SaaS applications used in the organization should be kept updated. A complete and up-to-date list of SaaS applications inventory helps IT and business leaders to make strategies for SaaS optimization. A single source of truth for all applications helps in retrieving information quickly to make any decision related to a specific application. For example, having renewal dates help in planning when to discontinue, negotiate or renew an application.
Furthermore, IT and business leaders, with the help of users, should create a holistic overview of every application which gets procured in the organization. Information such as the cost of the application, the reason for purchase, departments/users who use it, contract terms, etc., should be kept in the record. This helps in making various decisions related to the applications. Decisions such as removal of the application, negotiation with vendors based on utility data, etc., can be made using that record.
A SaaS management platform like Zluri can be used as a single source of truth for organizations' SaaS stack. Zluri gives a complete overview of all SaaS applications in a single and intuitive dashboard. Information such as renewal date, number of active and inactive licenses, and applications utility data can be quickly viewed with Zluri. Additionally, Zluri provides real-time reports of the utilization of different applications. Also, it reduces the compliance and security risks associated with the application by automating various tasks.
Employees who use SaaS applications should be aware of the organization's SaaS strategy so that they are aligned with the IT and business leaders' objectives. Organizations should make employees aware of the SaaS purchase and adoption guidelines to ensure that every procurement of applications is in line with the SaaS governance. Further, employees should be trained and educated about the compliance, security, and privacy requirements of different SaaS applications. This way, employees become familiar with different pros and cons of the applications, and it also inculcates a sense of accountability in them for the applications.
Organizations should also let employees provide regular feedback and metrics of applications they use.
Further, employees who procure applications on behalf of the organization must do a proper evaluation of them from different perspectives. They should evaluate the security, privacy, and risks as well as the cost of the application while procuring it. A well-trained and aware employee should only be allowed to procure the application, considering that confidential information resides in the applications. Additionally, organizations can incorporate a review mechanism before procurement of the applications to ensure that applications are procured as per the organization's SaaS governance.
SaaS management involves managing the entire lifecycle of SaaS applications from procurement to till its disposal/retirement. Regular SaaS applications inventory updates, renewal alerts, automated onboarding, and offboarding are some of the best practices for SaaS applications. IT and business leaders should ensure that best practices for SaaS application management are implemented throughout the lifecycle.
Some of the best practices for SaaS applications management include automated renewal alerts, a repository for SaaS contracts so that they can be retrieved efficiently, mapping application spending, and assigning super admins for every application.
For example, to enhance the user experience as well as reduce manual efforts and save time for admins. Organizations can automate the onboarding process using applications like Zluri. This way, administrators can give access to all the relevant applications to newly hired employees with a few clicks. Similarly, at the time of offboarding, administrators can quickly revoke access to the applications.
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. 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.
Discovering your organization’s SaaS subscriptions: 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.
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 spend. It also helps you find the hidden apps spend.
Smooth 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.
10% of company revenue is spent on SaaS. It’s a staggering metric, and a high percentage of income is wasted inefficiently on business tools. In comparison, companies spend, on average, 15% on employees annually.
With this explosion of SaaS at companies, there arise SaaS challenges caused by apps getting out of your control. These SaaS challenges varies in three dimension: spend management, security and complance risks, and various SaaS operations tasks like automating SaaS procurments, renewals, employees onboarding and offboarding.
‘Muda’ is used to describe any activity that uses resources but doesn't generate value. It is the Toyota system for identifying and eliminating waste in all forms. It is the same thing that helps Toyota sell more cars than Ford, General Motors, and Honda at a higher margin.
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.
In this post, we've discussed 7 symptoms of an unoptimized SaaS stack and solutions to optimize the same.
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