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What is SaaSOps?

SaaSOps is a practice referring to how software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications are discovered, managed, and secured through centralized and automated operations (Ops). When SaaSOps practices are implemented by an IT team, companies can benefit from reduced friction, improved collaboration, and better employee experience.

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How did SaaSOps get started?

BetterCloud CEO David Politis defined the term “SaaSOps” for the first time at the 2019 BetterCloud Altitude conference. At the time, SaaS usage was exploding (and still is), bringing with it a unique set of challenges for IT.


To manage an average of 110 SaaS apps in today’s workplace, IT teams end up burdened with hours of tedious, manual management tasks just to provision and deprovision accounts. Security risks abound as unwitting employees can create data breaches in seconds with file sharing apps. Costs increase as redundant SaaS applications are adopted, and licenses remain active long after employees depart.


With SaaSOps, IT teams now have a framework for tackling these new challenges. These practices, philosophy, and frameworks were fully explored by Politis in a two-part book series: The IT Leader’s Guide to SaaSOps. In Volume 1: A Six-Part Framework for Managing Your SaaS Applications, Politis discusses the challenges of managing a rapidly growing SaaS stack, as well as strategies for overcoming them. Volume 2: How to Secure Your SaaS Applications, deep dives into how to secure SaaS data without sacrificing user productivity, as well as operational best practices for SaaS security.

What are the three practice areas of SaaSOps?

SaaSOps is far more than simply optimizing your spend with SaaS vendors. The SaaSOps framework encompasses new processes, skills, and responsibilities for IT in today’s digital workplace.

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SaaS Discovery

SaaSOps professionals need the visibility to know which apps are being used by employees and how those apps are being used. When employees are logging into unsanctioned apps, especially with OAuth, it can pose a security threat to the IT environment. Different departments can easily start using different SaaS apps that perform similar functions. With increased visibility into their SaaS stack, SaaSOps engineers can consolidate apps to improve collaboration and optimize spend. They can also secure their environment by removing access to risky apps.

SaaS Management

Automation is a primary lever SaaSOps professionals can use to deliver real impact. They need a robust, no-code automation platform optimized for SaaS that can provide zero-touch automation for onboarding, offboarding, and other common IT tasks. IT departments can maximize their operational efficiency with faster help desk ticket resolution and the elimination of manual IT work, allowing for greater focus on more strategic projects.

SaaS Security

SaaSOps professionals are responsible for securing company SaaS data and maintaining regulatory compliance. They need to be able to quickly locate potential threats in their SaaS stack, get alerted while files are overshared, and automate threat remediation. They also need a way to implement a least privilege access model across their SaaS apps with unified roles and permissions.

What tool do you need to implement SaaSOps practices?

To implement SaaSOps practices in an organization, SaaSOps engineers need a fully featured SaaS management platform (SMP). An SMP gives IT everything they need to overcome the challenges of SaaS sprawl.


In 2021, Gartner defined SMPs as “stand-alone tools that can discover, manage, and secure multiple SaaS applications from a central admin dashboard, delivered as a turnkey service.” From a single platform, SaaSOps engineers can see all the apps in their IT environment, take bulk action across multiple apps and accounts, get file oversharing alerts, and automate everything from user lifecycle management to threat remediation.


For further details on how an SMP helps discover, manage, and secure SaaS applications, check out the SaaS Management Platform Mega Checklist. This in depth resource is a comprehensive guide to evaluating and purchasing an SMP. It details how an SMP can help, how it stacks up against other solutions, how to calculate ROI, and detailed questions to ask SMP vendors.

What are some of the IT roles related to SaaSOps?

Shortly after defining the term SaaSOps for the first time, BetterCloud CEO David Politis encouraged the IT professionals in attendance at Altitude 2019 to update their job titles and descriptions to include it.


By the time the 2020 State of SaaSOps survey came out, almost 30% of the respondents said they had included SaaSOps in their job title or planned to include it soon. By 2021, that number had risen to 60%.


Some of these new job titles included:

  • SaaS Operations (SaaSOps) Supervisor
  • VP, SaaS Operations (SaaSOps) 
  • SaaS Operations (SaaSOps) Engineer
  • SaaS Operations (SaaSOps) Lead

According to Indeed, the most common responsibilities of these roles include, but are not limited to: 

  • Researching and recommending SaaS for use in an organization and developing a process for sanctioning new apps
  • Managing employee access to SaaS apps 
  • Manage the onboarding, offboarding, and mid-cycle changes of employees to the appropriate SaaS applications
  • Create and manage workflows in an SMP to automate time-consuming SaaS management tasks
  • Provide training on how to use different SaaS apps
  • Create policies and processes for protecting sensitive and proprietary company data 

Why do CIOs need a SaaSOps team?

The workplace has changed, with over 100 SaaS apps now in use by the average company. A dedicated SaaSOps team, following the practice areas of SaaSOps framework described, will make sure employees know how to leverage these tools effectively. A SaaSOps team can also strategically deploy new apps to promote cross-functional collaboration. Without a SaaSOps team, organizations can end up with data or process silos that hamper productivity and performance.


Data security is the second reason a SaaSOps team is a must-have. The most popular file sharing SaaS apps make it very easy to overshare sensitive or proprietary data.  If IT doesn’t have the time, tools, or skills to secure the data residing in a SaaS stack, the risk of a data leak will grow with every new app that gets added—and every new employee that joins as well.


A final reason that CIOs need a SaaSOps team: competitive business advantage. One important way businesses can stay ahead is by implementing innovative, transformational technology—like powerful new SaaS apps—quickly and efficiently. A seasoned SaaSOps team following SaaSOps practices will see up to 50% more employee productivity than those that do not.

How can I get involved with the SaaSOps community?

SaaSOps is not just a set of practices for managing SaaS—it is a movement with an active community of IT professionals. At live Zoom discussions, during conversations on the Slack community, and more, SaaSOps can professionals share ideas, learn from each other, and discover new ways to uplevel their IT skills. Learn more and get involved at:


The SaaS Management Platform Mega Checklist

How to Buy an SMP and Save Your Helpdesk

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The State of SaaSOps

Since 2012, we’ve been surveying IT professionals and publishing research to better understand what the shift to SaaS means for IT, end users, and organizations. Every year we explore IT’s biggest challenges and concerns, trends in SaaS adoption, and what the future holds—making this the industry’s largest and longest running research of its kind. We hope our insights help you evolve your SaaSOps practice and thrive through change.

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Gartner Market Guide for SaaS Management Platforms 2021

In this report, Gartner analysts share the latest research on the growing SMP market. Learn how IT leaders can drive continuous improvement and achieve efficiency benefits with SMPs.

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Listen to the Podcast for Current and Aspiring IT Leaders

"In SaaSOps I see the ability to automate tasks I've done manually in the past and apply a fix that will work going forward."

Andy O'Rourke, IT Automation Specialist at Khoros

"I immediately updated my LinkedIn info to include SaaSOps IT professional because that's what I am."

Dennisse DeJesus, SaaS Ops - IT Support at General Assembly

"SaaSOps is where I'm realigning my career goals."

Jay Feliciano, SaaSOps - Engineer II at Spotify

"SaaSOps helps to demonstrate that we're not just a cost center, but that we bring value to the company."

Randy Tanenhaus, SaaSOps and IT Manager at ClassPass

"Information technology has evolved and so have my responsibilities. SaaSOps defines this evolution."

Chloe Becquet, SaaSOps/IT Director at BounceX

Learn more about the SaaSOps platform trusted by thousands of customers