How an app inventory can help wrangle your SaaS stack

SaaS Management

An app inventory can help understand which apps are in use. It will also tell you who these users are. You’ll also be able to see any overlap or under-utilization.

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October 31, 2022
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Employees used to just fall in line with the technology the IT department told them to use. SaaS apps have made it simpler to select the right tech for their tasks without much supervision.

The rapid increase of SaaS applications has led to SaaS sprawl, which leads to confusion and unexpected issues.

An app inventory can help understand which apps are in use. It will also tell you who these users are. You’ll also be able to see any overlap or under-utilization.

Here’s what an app inventory is, and why it is so important.

What is an app inventory?

An app inventory is another way to manage your SaaS stack. With an app inventory, you can streamline the decentralized and unmanaged SaaS usage in your company. An app inventory can show the different SaaS products spread across business units. Then, you can employ SaaS management techniques to optimize SaaS usage and weed out unnecessary apps.

An app inventory can mitigate security risks

SaaS apps open up more opportunities to collaborate amongst teams and with external contractors and partners. These apps also enable employees to experience flexibility and freedom to work from anywhere.

SaaS apps can cause security and compliance problems if not used correctly.

Here are some of the most common app security issues:

Access controls

Answering the question of “who has access” can become difficult as an organization grows and adopts more apps. Once employees or contractors leave an organization, this question can become a business-critical issue.

People with access to certain documents or systems can leak sensitive information to unauthorized third parties, becoming insider threats.

Password management

Companies can struggle with encouraging and mandating employees to use secure passwords. Weak passwords can endanger your security if your SaaS apps lack secure passwords or single sign-on.

Third-party SaaS providers’ security practices

Giving outside software access to sensitive information, like customer or employee data, can make your company vulnerable to security problems.

In the past, the IT department vetted all technology being used by organizations. As that responsibility became democratized, tracking vendor security practices has become complex.

Use an app inventory to avoid unnecessary SaaS costs

Companies spend up to 18 percent of their total revenue on IT and software solutions.

The costs of apps can become significant when multiplied across teams.

Many of these apps generate unneeded expenses, or rogue spending. An app inventory can show which free trials have led to paid subscriptions, and which apps aren't being used enough.

Identify SaaS overlap with app stack management

Evaluate how teams use software and what data is stored and analyzed when considering your SaaS stack.

For instance, it’s possible that the sales team could leverage insights from a SaaS app used by the marketing team. Are there areas of overlap that could be leading to missed opportunities for collaboration or knowledge-sharing at your organization?

In addition to missed opportunities, many organizations are using multiple apps that perform similar functions, leading to unneeded spending across departments. Some teams may even be using multiple subscriptions to the same app without even knowing it. There could be opportunities to consolidate or increase seats on a single, existing subscription.

An app inventory can help catch these issues quickly.

Let Vendr manage your app inventory and contain your SaaS sprawl

Without an app inventory, your SaaS applications pave the way for dark purchasing, overspending, and unnecessary compliance risks. Find the list of SaaS apps, evaluate usage, identify redundancies, and remove unnecessary subscriptions to simplify your software stack. Giving outside software access to confidential data, like customer and employee information, can create security risks for your company.

Start with our SaaS stack template to organize your company’s app inventory. Then, let Vendr help manage, negotiate and save money on your SaaS contracts.

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