SaaS User Management - The Ultimate Guide


Employees play a crucial role in any IT strategy. Without taking the employees into account, no IT strategy can succeed. The same applies to SaaS management strategy as well. IT leaders must manage app users to get the best value from their SaaS stack. Not being able to handle the users could lead to financial, security, and compliance risks for the company.

To optimize their SaaS stack, IT teams must know how many apps they have and how the employees use them.

Key Takeaways:

  • The SaaS User Management platform helps you get complete visibility into user data and application usage.

  • A SaaS User Management tool like Zluri helps rightsize your licenses and plan your budget.

What is SaaS user management?

It's the process of gathering insights on SaaS usage inside the company to get a better return on the SaaS stack.

To do this, the IT team needs to collect information on:

  • How many applications are there in the company

  • Which employees have access to which applications

  • What permissions do they have inside the applications

  • If they are actively using the apps

  • Whether they are satisfied with the apps provided

  • Whether they get access to new apps when required

  • If users sign up for new apps without approval

  • Whether proper user offboarding happens or not

Importance of SaaS User Management

At a bare minimum, every IT team wants to keep a record of which employees have access to which apps. Though this information is available for individual apps in the admin account, there is no single dashboard with all the information.

Usually, this record is maintained on spreadsheets. In short, this helps IT to check whether all the applications are provisioned and to keep an eye on the SaaS sprawl. Now, let's see how this database is helpful in detail.

1. Helps at the time of onboarding and offboarding employees

Adding or removing their name from the directory is necessary whenever a new employee joins or leaves an organization. If you don't have a well-organized database, this process might become cumbersome.

Only when you know application-level access you will be able to revoke it when an employee leaves. Unrevoked licenses can lead to severe threats, and no company would want their ex-employee to have company information after they leave the company.

Similarly, when onboarded, employees need access to birthright applications. Or else it might hinder their productivity.

2. Not managing app users cause unnecessary administrative work

If you don't manage users properly, you will waste time contacting employees multiple times for every new task. You may want to check if employees have app licenses that they are not using, or you may want to check if new licenses are required.

If you plan a budget for the next year, you will have no idea how many licenses are required for which apps. Having a user accounts database will ease the whole process for you.

3. User management keeps you safe from risks.

Not being able to manage app users can lead to data breaches and compliance issues or might burn your budget via app redundancy.

If you don't have the list of apps and the number of users, it's difficult to know if you need to increase or decrease the number of licenses. Knowing if all the apps comply with the regulatory requirements is also challenging.

Challenges with SaaS User Management

When SaaS user management is unorganized, companies face a lot of challenges. So, your employee directory system must be in sync with each other. Furthermore, there are a lot of chances for errors, which can sometimes cause expensive losses for the company.

Let's see some other challenges due to poor SaaS user management.

Data-related risks during employee offboarding: 

If there are cracks in your existing SaaS user management, ex-employees can still access company-sensitive data. When the access isn't revoked or the process is broken, your employees can keep accessing the files, which might put your company at risk of compliance and data breach.

Productivity issues while onboarding: 

When a new user is onboarded, the systems must be updated. They must be given access to all the tools they need to do their daily work. If you don't have accurate SaaS user data management, they need to wait for days or weeks to get access to all the required applications.

Why Should You Use a SaaS Management Platform

A typical SaaS user management directory should have these features to prevent inefficiencies. 

  • Role of employee: What are the applications they have access and to what level?

  • License: Whether it's a paid or free license?

  • Renewal due: When is the license expiring?

  • Usage: Whether an application is used excessively or scarcely?

Though it's possible to manage this record in spreadsheets for small companies, spreadsheets are challenging to manage as the company grows. If your company has less than 25 employees, you can probably handle your SaaS directory in a spreadsheet. But even that needs constant updating from your end.

Now imagine an organization with 500+ employees using thousands of applications. Even thinking about having a directory in a spreadsheet is mind-boggling. It is very time-consuming and prone to errors.

That is when you need a SaaS management platform. You can focus on other essential aspects of your business if you have an automated system to store this information, which will act as a system of record.

A SaaS management system will help you in the following ways:

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1. Planning your budget: Knowing the number of applications and licenses you have lets you plan your budget easily. Also, when you know about the usage stats, you can deprovision the apps that are not in use, very scarcely used, or are redundant. This way, you can save a lot of money, which can be used for other crucial business plans. 

2. Getting application visibility: Since it is very easy to procure a SaaS app today, there is a high chance that your employees have signed up for redundant or unsafe applications. If you have an eye on the whole SaaS landscape, you can discover the applications your employees can access and revoke.

3. Right-sizing licenses: For example, two different departments have separately signed up for an application; you can find the exact number of people using it and make it into a single subscription. This will help cut costs as most applications have "Enterprise" plans priced comparatively lower than others.

4. Controlling access to apps: Certain applications are used to store sensitive information. In that case, you can decide whom to give access to and whom not to. You can also control the privileges an employee has in an application.

5. Renewing/terminating SaaS apps in time: There wouldn't be surprise renewals when there are timely alerts on renewals. Based on the usage stats, you can decide whether to renew or cancel a particular application. A single system of record with all the information regarding apps and licenses will simplify the complex shift of responsibility from an IT command center approach.

SaaS User Management Best Practices:

SaaS Management Best Practices

Now, let's discuss the best practices for managing SaaS users management. It is not just enough to implement a SaaS management solution. You must also have standard operating procedures to maximize your systems' value. 

  • Audit the SaaS tools you have in your SaaS ecosystem. Have a holistic view of your organization’s SaaS apps.

  • Track software renewals. Be alert on the SaaS applications nearing renewal and take proactive decisions on whether to renew or terminate them.

  • Track Software Usage. Find how your employees use an application. SMPs are best for this job.

  • Look out for new software. Be informed about new solutions that could replace your existing ones with the same functionality but at lower costs.

  • Automate workflows. Use the necessary tools to automate your workflows and processes to save time.

  • Take expert help for SaaS procurement. Some service providers in the market, like Zluri, can save you money and the headache of negotiation. For example, Zluri's SaaS buying can save you up to 50% without any upfront cost.

  • Choose user-friendly. Select the most easy-to-use front-end design.

How Can Zluri Help?

  • Zluri can help you track the applications in your SaaS directory, maintain a healthy relationship with vendors, and save money. 

  • Zluri's discovery engine takes input from your SSO provider like Okta, spend management apps like Quickbooks & Xero, and desktop and browser agents and surfaces your SaaS landscape with 100% accuracy. 

  • Zluri not only manages your spending but also tracks the applications in use and how much they cost, and within a week of signing up, it understands your SaaS ecosystem and starts recommending cost-effective and better SaaS apps.

  • Understand the tools your employees adopt and make more informed purchases in the future. 

  • Zluri 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.

Book a Free Personalized Demo to understand Zluri’s SaaS user management.


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