February 16, 2023

Guide To SaaS Management: What It Is, Best Practices, And More

SaaS application Management can feel like the Gordian Knot of modern businesses. Strangely, the answer to this tangled mess isn't a sword - it's actually a lot of really simple tools that work together. 

But with so many different services and complex tools for today’s SaaS stack, what makes SaaS Management so important? 

Well, if you want to: 

  • Manage your software stack efficiently 
  • Keep customers engaged 
  • Ensure everything is working as it should be (or better!) 

It would be advised to invest time in understanding your SaaS Management. 

SaaS application Management can help remove organizational barriers, optimize operations, and enable collaboration. So don't let intimidating tech jargon stop you from taking advantage of powerful digital tools—let SaaS management handle it!

What Is SaaS Management?

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) management is the process of proactively monitoring and managing a company's entire software technology portfolio. It also includes its purchases, onboarding, licensing, renewals, and offboarding of SaaS applications.

It focuses on the experience of software vendors and customers in terms of managing the SaaS offering, including deployment, updating, usage monitoring, customer onboarding, analytics, and other related tasks. 

SaaS application management helps to ensure that all users are given a smooth user experience when interacting with the product or service. Additionally, SaaS application management provides valuable insight into customer behavior to help optimize usage and improve customer experiences over time.

The first step rests on understanding and controlling identity and access. Once done, SaaS management proceeds to streamline processes such as

  • User lifecycle management (ULM)
  • Spend optimization
  • Application configuration
  • Visibility/auditability

If SaaS management practices are implemented correctly, it means more time for everyone to get back their time to focus on other tasks, meaning fewer errors, shorter ticket queues, and greater productivity among employees. 

What Is a SaaS Management Platform?

SaaS management platforms allow organizations to manage their software from a single source. It eliminates the need to use multiple software systems and provides users with an integrated platform to control their SaaS subscriptions, scopes of access, and billing.

Benefits include cost savings, more efficient operations, and easier administration of SaaS resources. SaaS application management platform also makes it easier for users to collaborate, whether working remotely or in the same office. What's more, SaaS platforms are flexible and affordable, which makes them perfect for businesses of all sizes, from small startups to large multinationals. 

How Can Businesses Benefit From SaaS Management? 

SaaS management can bring untold benefits to companies as it can help streamline many operations. Moreover, SaaS management is a valuable tool that can help businesses maximize productivity levels, reduce IT costs, and many more

Dive in and discover how SaaS application management can help your business stay ahead of the competition and benefit from all its advantages.

1. Visibility into your SaaS estate

SaaS applications can pose hidden visibility challenges, making it hard to comprehend the scope of SaaS apps currently running in your environment and who is using them. 

As a solution, SaaS app management makes tracking SaaS solutions easy and gives your SaaS estate an extra layer of oversight. Using SaaS app management, you can keep up with the latest feature releases and ensure your platform remains secure and running smoothly without hiccups or data loss!

2. SaaS spend optimization - Increase SaaS ROI

While SaaS apps are now the backbone of many businesses, their ROI can be tricky. SaaS apps often require ongoing maintenance and management; sometimes, those costs outweigh the benefits. 

Fortunately, SaaS app management can optimize SaaS Spend Optimization; researching competitive pricing and finding cost efficiencies in SaaS app usage will reduce overall spending and allow a business to get the most out of their SaaS investments. 

3. Security gaps removal and compliance certainty

Activating SaaS software management is one of the most effective ways for a company to achieve security gaps removal and compliance certainty. When SaaS management is utilized, the ability to detect security and compliance issues before they become expensive, time-consuming problems makes it invaluable. 

Additionally, SaaS software management can provide notifications when changes occur within a company’s network infrastructure, further protecting its data and systems from harm.

4. Operational efficiency

Achieving operational efficiency with management SaaS is more straightforward said than done. 

Still, if you have a plan and stick to it, you'll be enjoying the success of smooth operations in no time. This technology makes it possible to automate routine tasks that free up resources and time to focus on core business activities. 

It provides real-time visibility into resource management, performance data, and even project analytics so management can easily measure progress toward meeting goals. 

SaaS management also helps companies save money as they no longer need to host expensive on-premise systems or hire IT staff for tech upkeep.

With management SaaS tools, companies can achieve instant returns from streamlined operations, and costs will only get lower as they become efficient. 

5. Employee satisfaction

Running a business can be much work, and any successful enterprise needs an efficient management team to reach its full potential. But how do you ensure everyone is on the same page? 

That's where management SaaS comes in! It provides businesses with an all-in-one platform that helps management teams stay organized without getting bogged down. From assigning tasks to monitoring progress, SaaS management ensures everything is running smoothly, allowing employees to focus their creative energy on meaningful projects.

The Impending Need For SaaS Management

With SaaS adoption continuing to skyrocket, we must recognize the impending needs of SaaS management. 

An efficient SaaS management lifecycle is the tool that organizations need to reduce not only overlap but also secure SaaS applications, optimize SaaS costs, and make SaaS renewals a breeze! 

Investing in the right SaaS management strategy is now inevitable for any business looking to save time and money in the long run. 

Thus, we listed some urgencies for companies to maintain healthy SaaS management processes. 

1. Lack of visibility and control

About 40% of SaaS purchases are made without the IT team's permission due to the growing popularity of shadow IT among end-users. These impulsive end-user purchases do not involve proper due diligence, as they focus on resolving immediate issues. 

Procurement and IT leaders require complete visibility into the SaaS ecosystem to determine which applications offer a good ROI and which business units can do without. If end-users do not thoroughly vet applications for data security, API integrations may expose your organization's confidential data and pose cybersecurity risks.

2. Ineffective SaaS license management

The rise of SaaS sprawl increases the chances of mismanaged licenses, leading to underutilization and poor management. Failure to undergo proper software asset management training increases the risks of this happening. 

Poor licensing management can result in former employees having access to SaaS apps and exposing confidential information, while unused licenses can waste departmental budgets without offering any benefits.

3. Improper spend management

The IT team can efficiently manage and control the spending for organization-wide applications like Microsoft Office, G-Suite, or Dropbox. However, niche SaaS needs in different departments may not be known to the procurement and IT teams, resulting in unchecked SaaS spending. 

Without a SaaS management plan, end-users buying frenzy may result in unchecked spending.

Overspending in SaaS can occur in several ways, such as:

  • Signing up for a free trial and forgetting to cancel the subscription
  • Investing in SaaS applications that offer similar features
  • Purchasing SaaS apps for one-time use, such as investing in a webinar tool for a single annual webinar 

SaaS Management Best Practices

Many small businesses and enterprises need help with SaaS management, but there are several best practices to track and manage SaaS spending effectively. Implementing these practices can help organizations gain control over their SaaS stacks and ensure that they are spending their money efficiently.

1. Identify the existence of SaaS apps

Identifying the existence of SaaS apps is the first step in SaaS management best practices. This step involves conducting a comprehensive audit to determine the number and types of SaaS applications used across the organization.

The audit process can be challenging because many SaaS applications are purchased and used without the knowledge or approval of the IT department. 

To overcome this challenge, organizations can encourage employees to self-report their use of SaaS applications or use automated discovery tools that can scan the network for SaaS usage.

Once the SaaS inventory is complete, organizations can implement the other best practices.

2. Understand SaaS usage data

Understanding SaaS usage data is another critical best practice for effective SaaS management. This practice involves analyzing data on SaaS applications to gain insights into how applications are being used across the organization.

By understanding SaaS usage data, organizations can identify which applications are being used most frequently and by which teams or departments. The companies can use this information to make informed decisions about which applications are essential and which can be eliminated or consolidated.

3. Discover redundancies and overlaps

The third step in SaaS management best practices is discovering redundancies and overlaps, which involves identifying SaaS applications with similar functionalities and eliminating those that are no longer needed due to organizational or technological changes. 

Departments purchasing different SaaS applications can result in overlaps and redundancies, making it necessary to coordinate and standardize across the organization. Organizations can analyze their SaaS inventory and usage data to discover overlaps and redundancies and identify applications that are no longer necessary. 

4. Trim down unnecessary SaaS spend

Trimming down unnecessary SaaS spend is the fourth step in SaaS management best practices. It involves identifying unused SaaS licenses, negotiating better terms and prices with vendors, optimizing the SaaS stack, and eliminating optional applications. 

By monitoring SaaS usage data, organizations can reduce costs, improve efficiency, and improve collaboration across departments. Regularly monitoring usage data and negotiating better terms with vendors can help organizations significantly reduce their SaaS spending while still meeting their business needs.

How Do I Get Started With SaaS Management?

Managing SaaS applications can be daunting, especially for organizations with an extensive SaaS portfolio. 

Although companies can access and use software applications through the internet without installing them on their servers with SaaS. 

Here are the steps you can go through to get started with SaaS management. 

Step 1: Gain full visibility into your entire SaaS portfolio

To manage your SaaS portfolio effectively, you need to gain complete visibility into all your SaaS applications. 

This practice includes knowing who uses each application, how much you spend on each application, and which applications are redundant. 

You can use a SaaS management platform to discover and track all your SaaS applications. With this information, you can create a SaaS inventory and gain complete visibility into your SaaS portfolio.

Step 2: Automate everyday SaaS management tasks, especially user lifecycle management

Automating everyday SaaS management tasks can save you time and reduce errors. 

User lifecycle management is one such task that can automate. User lifecycle management involves:

  • Managing user access to SaaS applications.
  • Creating and deleting user accounts.
  • Monitoring user activity.

A SaaS management platform can help you automate user lifecycle management and other routine SaaS management tasks.

Step 3: Mitigate data security risks and protect sensitive data

Mitigating data security risks and protecting sensitive data when managing your SaaS portfolio is essential. 

A SaaS management platform can help you enforce data security policies, monitor user activity, and detect and remediate data breaches. 

It's also necessary to train your employees on data security best practices and use two-factor authentication to secure user accounts.

How Does A SaaS Management Platform Provide Value?

A SaaS management platform can provide significant value to a company by helping to gain complete visibility and control over the organization's SaaS portfolio. 

By centralizing all SaaS applications and their associated data, a management platform can provide insights into usage and spending, identify redundancies and overlaps, and help to trim down unnecessary SaaS spend.

Automating everyday SaaS management tasks, such as user lifecycle management, can streamline workflows, increase efficiency, and reduce the risk of human error. In addition, SaaS management platforms like Spendflo can help to mitigate data security risks and protect sensitive data. 

Also, by providing granular control over access and usage of SaaS applications and monitoring data breaches and security threats. 

SaaS Management Requires A SaaS System Of Record

To ensure effective SaaS management; it's crucial to establish a record-keeping system that can track and manage all SaaS applications. 

Once the initial discovery process is complete, the next step should be to create and maintain a comprehensive system of record that can benefit all application stakeholders and the organization.

This system of record is a valuable tool that provides visibility, collaboration, and information about SaaS applications to business units, teams, and end-users. 

A continuously updated system of record:

  • Addresses the lack of visibility by acting as a single source for all SaaS applications
  • Enhances team collaboration by creating a shared foundation for application information and reporting
  • Enables technology managers and users to monitor critical subscription information such as spending activity, licenses, and renewal dates

By providing these benefits, a record system helps businesses optimize their SaaS usage, streamline workflows, and reduce the risks associated with unmanaged SaaS applications.

Why Do You Need a SaaS Management Platform? 

SaaS app management brings a unique set of challenges that each organization needs to address and overcome, such as:

  • Tracking SaaS subscriptions
  • Managing user access to find the most cost-effective solutions 
  • Requiring specific expertise many organizations need to be equipped with

Fortunately, SaaS platforms like Spendflo provide solutions to those problems and efficiently manage SaaS applications within an organization. Therefore, Spendflo can bring valuable solutions which have enabled organizations to save time and money while efficiently managing SaaS apps.

Be Incharge Of Your SaaS Management Today!

Proper SaaS management is crucial for any business to manage its digital assets, ensure data security, and optimize costs. By understanding the guide to SaaS management, your company can gain complete visibility into its SaaS portfolio, automate management tasks, mitigate data security risks, and develop a system of record to track and maintain all SaaS applications.

If you're looking for the best SaaS management solution, Spendflo is a reliable and effective option for businesses of all sizes. 

Book a demo with Spendflo and be in charge of your SaaS management. With Spendflo's comprehensive features, businesses can make informed decisions and effectively manage their budget.

Vaishnavi Babu
Karthikeyan Manivannan

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