How to pick the right SaaS management tool

SaaS Tools

Vendr | Collaborative vendor management
Written by
Vendr Team
Published on
January 21, 2021
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Looking to get the most out of your SaaS apps? A SaaS management tool is the tech-savvy way to create a reliable ecosystem.

SaaS management tools allow you to optimize your SaaS spend, improve your IT efficiency, and get the most out of every SaaS application.

We’re taking a deep-dive on the most need-to-know information about SaaS management tools, including:

  • The importance of SaaS management
  • How to pick the right SaaS management tool
  • How to get started with SaaS management

The importance of SaaS management

Over the past several years, SaaS has been on the rise. In 2020, SaaS is expected to generate over $105 billion in the US alone.

Companies worldwide are increasingly dependent on SaaS tools to manage their day-to-day work.

In fact, we found that the average enterprise company is subscribed to over 288 tools. And this number is growing steadily.

This, in turn, leads to a problem:

The rise of shadow IT

Shadow IT is what happens when employees buy SaaS tools and other IT-managed products without running the decision directly through the IT department.

Without IT supervision, employees tend to buy tools that are:

  • Not secure.
  • Not compliant with important regulations.
  • Too similar to SaaS tools already purchased.

And the more shadow IT you have, the more inefficient your SaaS spending becomes. According to our research, the average company wasted over $135,000 on unnecessary SaaS tools.

However, using a SaaS management platform helps eliminate all this waste and optimizes IT costs.

Here’s how SaaS management tools can achieve this:

  • Eliminate duplicate apps. Sometimes, two departments buy two applications with the same exact use-case. SaaS management tools can discover these apps and eliminate redundancies.
  • Detect unused SaaS tools. Failing to get buy-in on a specific app is pretty common. Sometimes, you’ll discover that an app isn’t particularly useful for your employees. In cases like this, you’ll still end up paying for the app, even though your employees use it infrequently. SaaS management tools help uncover unutilized applications.
  • Recycle SaaS licenses. When an employee quits, sometimes their supervisor forgets to cancel their SaaS licenses. SaaS management tools help you uncover unused licenses, so you can give them to your new employees (or just cancel them).

But there are several SaaS management tools in the market, so how do you pick the right one for your specific business?

How to pick the right SaaS management tool

Look for a SaaS management tool with the following features:

1. Automated SaaS discovery

The best SaaS management tools come with an automated discovery feature.

The moment you register, the software should automatically search for all the SaaS apps in your inventory and extract the relevant data. This data is then placed into a dashboard.

Blissfully Dashboard

From then on, whenever you purchase a new app, it’s automatically added to your SaaS management platform.

2. Top-down SaaS view

The SaaS management tool should provide you with a well-designed top-down view of all your SaaS apps.

This gives you access to a wealth of critical information, allowing you to answer questions like:

  • How often is any given app used?
  • Who’s the app owner for any specific SaaS tool?
  • How much do you spend on the app per month?
  • When’s the upcoming app renewal date?
  • Are you paying for any unused apps?
Top-Down SaaS Management Tool View

3. Vendor management workflows

If your company doesn’t have a clear vendor management system, it’s likely that many a employees across departments and functionalities have the ability to purchase SaaS licenses.

This can easily lead to employees buying redundant or duplicate apps (apps that have the same functionality as apps already owned by your organization).

Your SaaS management tool should allow for vendor approval & management workflow. This way, you’ll be on top of all SaaS purchases and optimize your costs.

Vendor Management Workflows

4. Onboarding and offboarding workflows

When onboarding employees, it’s important to give them access to relevant software tools as soon as possible.

On the other hand, when employees quit, you want to make sure that you offboard them properly and cancel any of their SaaS subscriptions (or transfer them to other employees).

Using a SaaS management tool that allows for onboarding and offboarding workflows can streamline your processes.

For example, you’ll avoid cases like overpaying for an employee’s license after they quit.

Onboarding and Offboarding Workflows - SaaS Management Tool

5. Compliance information

For larger organizations, staying compliant with specific regulations is very important. Think, SOC2, HIPAA, GDPR, etc.

The right SaaS management tool provides a top-down view of SaaS app compliance.

Compliance Information

Check out Vendr: The leading SaaS management platform

Vendr comes with all the aforementioned must-have features, and more.

You can:

  • Easily uncover and eliminate SaaS waste.
  • Manage vendor approvals and renewals via a single dashboard.
  • Run employee onboarding and offboarding workflows.

And manage all your technology assets and workflows in one comprehensive IT platform.

SaaS Management FAQ

1. I’m using Excel to track my SaaS apps. Why do I need a SaaS management tool?

Excel is a time-intensive, error-prone tool for SaaS management because:

  • Constantly communicating with internal SaaS app owners to ensure you’ve correctly captured all new SaaS purchases takes a lot of time and must be repeated on a regular basis.
  • There’s a high margin for error. If someone forgets to document a SaaS purchase, you’d never know about it.
  • You won’t know which SaaS tools are actually being used with automated usage rates.

So, using Excel is a good start to tracking SaaS tools, but it’s not sustainable or scaleable.

By using a SaaS management tool, most of these manual processes are automated. All apps are automatically discovered, leaving minimal room for error. Approvals happen through the same platform, so you won’t need to go back and forth with SaaS app owners.

And finally, you can track your used and unused tools.

2. How can I more effectively manage my SaaS subscriptions?

Trying out a SaaS management tool. The software can automatically uncover all the SaaS tools you’re subscribed to and then add them to your dashboard.

Whenever an employee purchases a new SaaS license, it’s automatically added to your inventory.

From that point forward, you can:

  1. Get all employees and decision-makers onboard the platform.
  2. Set up vendor approval and renewal workflows, making sure that all decision-makers are aware of SaaS purchases.
  3. Set up employee onboarding and offboarding workflows. This ensures all new employees get the right SaaS access. At the same time, it also ensures that all former employees lose access to their SaaS tools.
  4. Continuously keep track of your SaaS spend. Ensure you’re not paying for unused apps or apps with duplicate use-cases.

Just by following these four simple steps, you’ll significantly improve your IT efficiency and optimize spend.

Vendr Team
Vendr's team of SaaS and negotiation experts provide their curated insights into the latest trends in software, tool capabilities, and modern procurement strategies.

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