Tracking technology, eliminating security risks and increasing user satisfaction, managing resources, and budgets, creating and analyzing reports are just some of the interconnected tasks of IT and finance leaders. It's no wonder that automated SaaS management (SM) tools with the possibility of streamlining these labor-intensive processes are gaining in popularity.
However, since not all SM platforms are alike, this blog post will define essential features in today's SM tooling marketplace. These features range from policy management to the automation of administrative IT workflows to even role-based access management. These tools can also be geared for overseeing licenses or for generating reports on usage, security and compliance, implementation, and future planning.
For enterprises throughout industries, here is an outline of the most in-demand features for SM tools:
- Automated discovery of company-wide SaaS
- Overall expense reduction
- Broad vendor integrations
- Top-grade security
- Analytics-driven command over SaaS
1. Automatic discovery of company-wide SaaS
Leading SaaS management platforms have the ability to automatically discover, then list, all of a company’s SaaS software. This reporting includes subscription as well as acquired license information.
Automated discovery reduces the time-consuming, manual task of finding, viewing, and adding details about every SaaS acquisition and license.
You know how long it takes to reach out to the department leaders to get all the information on SaaS tools they use and how often running the spreadsheets gets so complicated because the employees change so fast.
As one example, Harry's, a leading provider of personal care products, estimated to have 80 apps deployed while in reality, they had more than 146 apps on their payroll.
2. Overall expense reduction
As enterprises add SaaS tools, ongoing monitoring of the subscription stack becomes more difficult. This results in extravagant and unnecessary expenses, wasted technologies, and organizational inefficiency.
SM platforms help companies see what SaaS subscriptions are owned but not used in order to reestablish control in the areas of cost reduction.
From there, companies can boost organizational efficiencies(e.g., become more productive with the tools they already own) or shed expenses by canceling unused subscriptions.
Insights on SaaS utilization and cost spend enable every step of the SaaS management process –from considering SaaS deployment for the highest ROI, to planning and negotiating renewals. This information is also key for finance functions like corporate card management, cost reporting, procurement, and accounts payable.
3. Broad vendor integrations
The features discussed above are made possible through integrations and partnerships with SaaS providers. As a general rule, consider how expansive (or limited) these connections are before investing in a SaaS management solution.
For example, providers should list at least 2,000 SaaS vendors, and work with multiple, single sign-on (SSO) systems, HR and ERP applications, contract management tools, and cloud access security brokers.
An array of integrations and partnerships ensures simple management, measurement, and access. In particular, confirm necessary financial integrations, to obtain 100% of visibility on spend.
It's important to have clear processes that drive error-free outcomes when calculating SaaS expenses. The right partners can help implement business process management software.
Finally, platforms should work with cost management tools on wider expense management initiatives and surface shadow IT. Target integrations like SAP Concur, Expensify, and Nexonia.
4. Top-grade security
Regulation compliance is fundamental to SaaS management. Though many platforms utilize SSL encryption and advanced server infrastructure, however, consider the added benefit of SOC 2 compliance.
SOC 2 compliance is critical for technology-based businesses that store consumer information in the cloud. When a SaaS management solution obtains this compliance, it reflects a commitment to security, accessibility, procedural ethics, and customer privacy.
LeanIX is an example of a vendor that maintains SOC 2 compliance.
Working with SOC 2 compliant vendors remains a vital point when selecting a vendor to work with.
Additionally, verify that the platform keeps pace with SaaS security using safeguarded databases with superior AES-256 cryptographic libraries.
Finally, determine whether a system is compliant with the coding guidelines of a particular industry. Hosting via the reliable Google Cloud platform, which is supported by experts in data, platform, and network security is a wise choice.
5. Analytics-driven command over SaaS
A SaaS management platform uses intelligent tools and analytics to supply CIOs with improved spend transparency and usage insights.
This intelligence should be delivered in an easy-to-consume interface with reporting and dashboard visuals. CIOs shouldn’t have to make sense of static data points from disparate sources. Instead, their platform should support rich visualizations for decision-making speed and effectiveness.
Powerful solutions that cut costs, increase efficiency and supercharge SaaS administration
According to 360 Market Updates, the worldwide SaaS spend management platform market is predicted to witness promising growth in the upcoming years.
Prompted by the development of new SaaS services as well as the intensifying competition among key players in the industry, the market is predicted to hit $1518.2 million by the end of 2026, with a compound annual growth rate of 21.2% from 2021 to 2026 forecast period.
That’s no surprise, given the robust features of the SaaS management system and the persistent utilization of SaaS services by companies across the globe.
This bodes well for enterprises with significant SaaS deployments. With innovative management tools in their hands, they can better allocate resources, improve user engagement, and reduce manual, error-prone reporting.
Of course, they can achieve the most pressing goal too –maximize the capabilities of their SaaS, and optimize workflows for business growth.
So what are the irreplaceable SaaS management features you need to successfully manage SaaS in your organization?
SaaS management can either be a tool or platform, a supporting system, or a system driving decisions.
A single tool is a one-time thing that can help you cover specific needs — SaaS discovery or cost optimization while a SaaS management platform is an automated ongoing companion that drives decisions by helping leaders with complete SaaS intelligence into SaaS adoption, culture sentiments, department collaboration, and AI-supported insights.
The verdict? Find a SaaS management platform that covers all the features important to you, and complement it with specific leadership skills such as communication and negotiation skills. There is no perfect platform, but you can come pretty close to it if you do your research properly.
After you’ve found the perfect platform, make sure to understand why SaaS management means more savings and security, and get to know the four tenets of better enterprise SaaS management.