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How SaaS Management Platforms Save Time and Money

Natalie Robb

February 24, 2021

5 minute read

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In recent articles on SaaS management, we discuss why you need it and how a SaaS management platform (SMP) helps to discover, manage, and secure the SaaS environment. So we move onto the next important topic: How do SMPs save organizations like yours time and money?

Here we discuss what’s behind the 2021 imperatives to use resources better and how SMPs fulfill them by delivering time and money savings.

Renewed call to improve resource use in 2021

As any experienced IT leader will tell you, we’ve been here before. IT budgets always expand and contract with changing economies. In 2008, IT budgets plunged amid the global financial crisis, and they did so again last year. In 2020, as IDC reports, IT spending was initially expected to grow, but was flattened by the unexpected pandemic.

Wedged between the two crises, IT leaders had years of significant change and growth in both budgets and new technologies. Notably, the world saw the rapid rise of cloud and SaaS. And with that fast growth came excess. In fact, some estimated nearly $18 billion was wasted in 2020, as nearly 40% of workloads are overprovisioned.

Now imagine if this 40% overprovisioning applied to SaaS licenses in your workplace? Even if waste was half that, at 20%, imagine what you could do with those extra dollars.

Looking ahead, according to Comptia’s Industry Outlook 2021, following the tighter budgets trends from 2020, 2021 budgets will likely stay constrained, even though hiring more tech staff will be a top resource issue.

Putting all these trends together, the urgency is to maximize resource use by squeezing out needless waste and increasing automation to multiply value.

To confront this challenge, SMPs are here to help. By taking complete advantage of a fully featured SMP, your IT department will be readily equipped to discover, manage, and secure your SaaS environment, while optimizing SaaS spending and driving new IT efficiencies.

First up, let’s explain how SMPs help IT departments stretch the budget.

How SaaS management platforms save on SaaS spend

So even if you think you have a strong grasp of which applications your employees use, you probably don’t have enough clarity to make smart SaaS spending decisions. But by using an SMP with a robust discovery capability that continually scans your environment, you do. At a glance, your IT team has full visibility at all times of both sanctioned and unsanctioned apps.

3 ways SaaS management platforms prevent needless SaaS expenses

Even in a world of nearly unlimited abundance, no organization should tolerate needless spending. All organizations should use an SMP for full visibility to eliminate the following:

  1. Identical SaaS app used in different accounts by different users and teams. When multiple teams sign up for the same app on their own, you miss out on enterprise volume pricing discounts, which is a really easy way to cut costs. Additionally, you’re probably missing out on preferred features, functionality, and support that comes with higher volume SaaS tiers. With new visibility from an SMP, you’ll be able to consolidate multiple accounts for better deals.
  2. Different SaaS applications that solve the same use case. In addition to all the above benefits that you’re missing out on, you also lose out on efficiencies related to SaaS app standardization, like user and IT productivity. An SMP gives you usage insights to standardize on the most used SaaS apps, which in turn, aid IT productivity.
  3. Unused and underutilized SaaS applications. If you’re like the usual organization, 15% of your apps have not been used in 30 days, and 10% have not been touched within the last 90 days. Full visibility around employee SaaS adoption and deep insights allows you to stop paying for apps with no or little employee use. And furthermore, by taking advantage of alerts and automation, you can build a workflow that makes sure no IT team time gets wasted, either.

SMPs reveal unsanctioned, risky SaaS that may lead to costly fines

By leveraging new insights on SaaS usage with an SMP, IT and security teams can consolidate control over their environment and help mitigate risk and potentially costly breaches.

In the end, not only do SaaS management platforms save money, but they also eliminate the frustration that comes from needless spending and IT inefficiencies.

So now, let’s discuss how SMPs deliver them.

How SaaS management platforms save time and grow IT efficiency

How SaaS management platforms save time is split into two categories:

  1. Streamlining daily repetitive tasks, and
  2. Automating the user lifecycle

To fully comprehend the efficiencies that comes with the centralization of SaaS operations, you need to step back. Think about day-to-day-management within each native SaaS console.

There’s a learning curve to master IT tasks within one native admin console, and it’s time-intensive to stay current with it as it develops and changes over time. Now multiply that challenge by 20, 40, or however many apps you have in your environment. In addition, consider how time-consuming it is to hop in and out of each console individually to perform the necessary admin tasks.

It can be slow, error-prone drudgery, indeed.

With a SaaS management platform, IT trades the native admin console juggling act for managing in a single, centralized tool

User, app, and file data are centralized, along with hundreds of administrator actions IT needs. This includes routine updates, bulk changes, and expedited security remediation. By trading the juggling routine for a single pane of glass, IT teams accomplish tasks in dramatically less time and with fewer errors.

Automating user lifecycle management using an SMP delivers the biggest IT efficiencies

This includes onboarding, offboarding, and the mid-lifecycle changes in between.

Automated onboarding creates Day One readiness and an impressive new employee experience. By setting up custom automated workflows, IT teams smoothly transition new employees from offer acceptance to the first days on the job. A few simple actions by human resources or IT activates workflows to provision a new user’s apps, assign permissions, share files and folders, add them to groups and projects, and more.

Simplified mid-lifecycle change automation boosts efficiency. Employees change roles or take extended leaves. IT can use workflows to make it fast and easy to change privileges and re-assign resources. Automated alerts communicate that transfer is complete and audit logs prove it’s done—both saving IT time.

Automated offboarding saves time and headaches. Offboarding is an involved series of steps that must be completed within a short period of time. On average, it takes more than 7 hours to offboard one user. So the best SaaS management platforms run workflows to automatically remove application and group access, transfer files, log all actions for reporting and compliance, as well as retain and then delete files according to security policy. It all adds up to significant time savings and new IT efficiency.

All in all, a SaaS management platform saves IT time and grows IT efficiency. Because of centralized administration, common tasks are easily automated to eliminate boring, manual repetitive work. Teams truly get more done with less—and focus on what’s most important.

Choosing the right SaaS management platform pays dividends

Of course, knowing what to automate and which tool to use is half of the battle. If you’re not sure how to begin, start by looking at how the lack of data-driven insight and visibility wastes SaaS licensing costs.

Next look at your IT processes and inventory your pain points. Where are you slow? Where do IT team members make the same mistakes? Which day-to-day tasks bog them down? Which process, if automated, would make the biggest impact on IT efficiency? Which automated processes still need greater improvement? Where could a larger range of workflow actions and pre-built integrations deliver even higher efficiencies?

As for which tool to use, SaaS management platforms are designed to deliver many benefits. They should save you from needless spending on licensing fees and wasted time spent on inefficient processes. If your current tools aren’t doing that, then it’s time for a better SaaS management platform.

But if your IT team isn’t using any SaaS management platform, you should be. Automating IT smoothes operations, saves precious labor time, and frees up IT hours to work on strategic, revenue-boosting initiatives.

To see how BetterCloud can help discover, manage, and secure your SaaS environment, request a demo.