Let’s talk about SaaS. The topic is becoming more and more cost-intensive and thus it is also more important for your company to establish SaaS management.
Do you know what makes a good and successful SaaS management? Is it the individual subscriptions and accounts? Is it accountability within the organization? Who has the authority to book SaaS applications? Is it an interplay of multiple categories? How important do you consider the management of SaaS applications in your company?
At SAMtoa, we believe that SaaS application management is not yet getting the attention it needs in most organizations. SaaS spending is on the rise and yet no one really feels responsible.
We would like to discuss with you below the 6 most important categories for successful SaaS management.
We look forward to hearing your opinions and experiences on the topic of SaaS.
Integration of all stakeholders
The first category of successful SaaS management is the integration of all stakeholders.
Stakeholders are employees who influence the actions of a company and its management.
The decentralized use and procurement of SaaS applications makes it difficult to achieve uniform SaaS management. This already requires the attention of a company’s executives. They must recognize the importance of SaaS management, actively support it, and provide it with the necessary resources. In addition, the SaaS strategy must be embedded in the IT strategy. This is the only way to achieve collaboration that spans across your company’s departments.
Is the topic of SaaS visible in your company? Is it sufficiently perceived by the executives or would you like to receive greater support?
The next category for successful SaaS management is approval processes.
Successful SaaS management cannot function without structures from management, but also without support from employees. SaaS has the advantage that applications can be booked quickly and flexibly. However, this advantage means that it is becoming more difficult to identify all the SaaS applications being used and to check their use. This means that shadow IT is growing in companies, read more in our article Shadow IT is coming back.
You can achieve secure booking of SaaS applications through defined approval processes. These must be fast and uncomplicated so that they are accepted and carried out by the employees.
You can list applications that have already been tested and approved in a SaaS product catalog. Products from this catalog can be booked directly by employees. A review process should be established for new SaaS products. This must also be fast and efficient.
Does your company have such an approval process, perhaps even with a product catalog? Or can employees simply book SaaS applications as they need them? Does an approval process slow down creativity? Is corporate security a priority?
The third category of successful SaaS management is IT security.
With on-premise installations of software, companies still have/had the storage location of the data in their own hands. SaaS solutions change this. This is one of the reasons why SaaS applications should be checked before use. Especially applications that are used in critical business areas need to be closely scrutinized.
Have you used SaaS applications whose vendors have changed the location of your data? How did you deal with this?
Another aspect of IT security is dealing with passwords. The more accounts you have, the more difficult it becomes to manage them. Using the same password for all applications is anything but secure. But who can remember all the different passwords for many different applications? A single sign-on tool can help. If this is not possible, a password tool should be used. Both are more secure than using only one password for everything “out of habit”.
Do you have lifecycle processes for software asset management in your company? Of course, most people will say.
And what about lifecycle processes for SaaS management? In many cases, probably much worse. And that’s where the problem lies, because SaaS will play an increasingly important role in the future.
Lifecycle is the fourth category of successful SaaS management.
The familiar lifecycle consists of the phases software requirement, license procurement, software use and software removal. If the corresponding activities are not carried out within the lifecycle phases, an authorization tangle is created that can only be unknotted again with great effort. Especially software degradation is often forgotten in the SaaS area. Thus, the mountain of unused accounts is constantly growing.
The fifth and therefore penultimate category of successful SaaS management is inventory.
By this we mean that every SaaS application used must be known within the company. Regardless of whether it is paid or free of charge.
Good SaaS management can only work if all deployed SaaS applications are known.
Figuring out all the SaaS applications is a daunting task. For this, as we wrote in one of the previous posts, it is helpful to have a procurement process in place. However, how do you find the SaaS products that have not been centrally sourced?
With an existing overview of all applications and their number, you create advantages in contract negotiations and important insights into your company.
What path did you choose to identify SaaS products in your organization?
The final category of successful SaaS management is contract management.
You need to note that SaaS contracts have two key features:
- They are distributed in the subscription model
- Price increases by the provider are possible with each extension
In order to optimally design the contracts and best prepare for renewal negotiations, you should have negotiated framework agreements with your most important SaaS providers. In addition, the renewal dates of the individual SaaS applications should be synchronized so that the requirements can be negotiated in bundled form. Otherwise, you will often have to renegotiate contracts, the value of which is not worth the effort.
How many renewal events do you estimate occur in your company per year? And are these already bundled per provider or are they many small blobs?
Previously, we at SAMtoa have compiled and briefly explained to you the six categories of successful SaaS management.
Here is a summary of the six categories:
- Integration of all stakeholders
- Release process
- IT Security
- Contract Management
There are many individual points to consider within these categories.
Want general information on SaaS management? Check out our website SaaS Management by SAMtoa.
Do you also want to directly find out your company’s SaaS maturity level in order to receive individual tips and valuable insights for your company? Then you can book our SaaS Management Maturity Assessment directly: Booking SaaS Management Maturity Assessment.
If you are still unsure and want to have a first look, you can do a free short version. You can find all the information you need on our website.
Licensing expert of SAMtoa GmbH