2nd September, 2020
TABLE OF CONTENTS
In the early part of my career (circa 2010,) I had the privilege of working with some large Fortune 500 enterprises. During those days, the cloud wasn’t still too mainstream (Market Size - 5.56 Billion USD,) and we were all fascinated looking at the data centers managed and maintained by my employer.
The IT asset management software acted as the command center that effectively helped the organization manage, support, and secure the assets in the data center. Today, the landscape has changed drastically, and the cloud market has grown ~60x since 2008 (Market Size - 375 Billion USD in 2020).
As mentioned in the earlier post, SaaS is at an infancy stage worldwide. It will grow significantly in the years to come (expected market size - $832.1 Billion by 2025).
This shift to the cloud poses an enormous challenge to the traditional IT Asset Management (ITAM) model. A large portion of the assets are moving to the cloud, and Software Asset Management (SAM) is gaining prominence.
On the other hand, also gone are the bloatware days where many tools came bundled in one package. I remember Microsoft Office used to come with more than five tools, and I never used anything beyond Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
Also, some of the other tools had excellent alternatives in the market. However, the enterprise software locked us in with specific tools that are not the best in the breed from a usability and productivity perspective.
With the emergence of SaaS players, we have seen an end to bloatware. Today, individuals & enterprises can subscribe to the best-in-class software at a fractional cost in a decentralized manner. SaaS adoption is growing multi-fold, and in the not-so-distant future, it is expected to be the default option to consume enterprise software.
We see two emerging trends:
Traditional assets, such as servers, are moving to the cloud, and we see the emergence of AWS, Azure, and GCP
Enterprise software will be consumed only in a SaaS delivery model in the next ten years.
Both these trends have huge repercussions on the traditional IT Asset Management (ITAM) and Software Asset Management (SAM) models.
Some of the critical challenges are:
Decentralization: The unit cost of SaaS tools being meager has made the try & buy decision frictionless for teams and individuals. The end users can purchase the tools using their credit cards and deliver the outcomes. The model of managing the licenses centrally using the traditional software asset management tools is dead.
Costs Add Up: Given the low unit cost, the attention given to renewal & termination of the SaaS licenses in organizations is minimal. Though the unit costs are lower, the costs increase and translate to a more significant number at an organization level. If you can’t monitor these, you cannot manage these.
Data Sprawl: With the wide adoption of SaaS tools in a decentralized manner, organizations are losing control over the data and its security. This problem is going to increase with the increase in the adoption of SaaS tools.
Access Control: In a SaaS environment, given the SaaS applications' decentralized usage, on-boarding and off-boarding of users and management of their access privileges is an impossible task leading to system access to rogue users.
Compliance: The compliance and regulatory mandates across industries have increased multi-fold. There is a need for every SaaS tool being used to adhere to the organization’s regulatory and compliance practices. Do the buyers of these tools know about the compliance requirements of the SaaS tools?
As you can see, these challenges are just the tip of the iceberg. IT Software Asset Management platforms are not designed to handle these scenarios, and managing the new environment requires a new breed of software designed with the SaaS first approach.
We are determined to build a comprehensive SaaS management platform that holistically solves the challenges that come with the adoption of cloud and SaaS.
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.
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.
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.
SaaS management platforms can vary in their use-case, functionality, and costs. In this list, you’ll find the best 30+ apps to help you narrow down your search.
JumpCloud changes the way IT administrators manage their organization by offering a comprehensive and flexible cloud directory platform.
Lacework is a good cloud security posture management tool, but if you're looking for a user-friendly tool with no or low learning curve, then it may not be suitable for you.