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How to optimize your SaaS operations management process

SaaS Stack Management

SaaS operations management is a business ops process that saves your company money by organizing and analyzing your software stack.

Written by
Ariel Diaz
Published on
December 9, 2022
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How to optimize your SaaS operations management process

Your company is experiencing SaaS sprawl. On average, teams are using between 40 and 60 apps, but likely, only 45 percent of those licenses are even active. Your team may be using Slack, Zoom, and G Suite daily, but your tech stack may have become a significant operational inefficiency if you’re not tracking the entire suite of SaaS usage.

SaaS use becomes inefficient without a SOM solution, leading to a rise in SaaS sprawl and waste.

To save money on software and keep your business efficient, keep track of your SaaS inventory and optimize it on an ongoing basis.

And that’s where SaaS operations management, sometimes referred to as SaaSOps management, comes in.

What is SaaS operations management?

SaaS operations management is an IT system that sorts, manages, and secures a company’s SaaS applications. The goal of SaaS management is to minimize spending on unused software and maximize the use of all your SaaS tools.

Usually, when people refer to SOM, they’re talking about SOM software, a centralized system that keeps track of your SaaS usage, spending, and all the other essential information. In addition, the centralized system streamlines all associated SaaS operations.

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Why is SaaS operations management critical?

Your workload is growing whether you’re managing IT at a large enterprise or a SaaS startup. Unfortunately, when this work bubbles over, software oversight becomes too broad. As a result, IT managers cannot notice every detail when managing the digital workplace.

SaaSOps can be administered by your IT team, dedicated SaaSOps engineers, or an outsourced partner.

This workload sprawl results in ‘shadow IT,’ or employees using rogue SaaS applications without company approval. These rogue apps add cost to your bottom line and expose your company to security risks.

SaaSOps aims to create a secure employee experience. Your team gets a handle on rogue apps and shadow IT by installing a system that gives you visibility into your SaaS tools and operations. With SOM, you control access, costs, and security.

Four SaaS operations management use cases

If you’re an organization that uses many SaaS tools, it’s essential to use SOM software to ensure you’re getting the best out of them. Software operations management software can help you with the following use cases:

1. SaaS operations management

SaaS ops management software helps companies manage, control, and track SaaS tools in one place.

With a SOM solution, you:

  • See who’s using what software
  • Give or revoke SaaS application access
  • Ensure that your software doesn’t become shadow IT
  • Manage your SaaS vendors

A good SaaS management tool is a complete record of all your SaaS apps. It organizes your licenses, vendors, users, and compliance data.

A SOM solution should include workflows and automation to ensure clarity, productivity, and compliance.

2. SaaS spending optimization

SOM software tools enable you to track and analyze your spending. For instance, spend management capability clearly shows your company’s expenses and helps users understand whether you’re getting the best out of your SaaS tools.

You can use SOM spend analysis to find rogue and duplicate spending. Then, you can optimize your SaaS expenditure by cutting out all apps you don’t need.

3. Onboarding and offboarding employees

SaaS operations management software automates employee onboarding and offboarding for a better employee experience. SOM solutions help SaaSOps professionals organize the on- and off-boarding process for new and departing employees.

When you add an employee to the SaaS management platform, assign them to a department. The software creates a SaaS onboarding workflow just for them. The employee has to follow the instructions for the onboarding, and they’ll have access to all the SaaS apps they need across HR, finance, customer support and more.

It’s also vital to offboard all former employees and revoke access to all the apps they’re using. Otherwise, you open yourself up to the risks of cyber attacks, data leakage, and other potential liabilities.

4. Security and compliance

Using a SOM system can simplify regulatory compliance. It unites your IT team and business through IT collaboration. This system of record acts as a single source of truth for everything and everyone, leading to reduced security threats.

For example, let’s say you’re conducting a SOC 2 audit. First, you must ensure that all SaaS apps you use are SOC 2 compliant. Without a SOM system, this would be a manual operational process without a centralized information repository.

Instead, a SOM system automatically collects your security license agreements and organizes your compliance process.

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Five standard SaaS operations management software features

The most common and vital SaaSOps management software features include:

1. SaaS administration

Use a SaaS management tool to administer your SaaS tools. With this feature, you can:

  • Run workflows for vendor approval, renewal, or termination.
  • See a complete view of all the tools you’re using and how much you’re spending—a SaaS environment assessment, in other words.
  • Find duplicate or unused apps (through monitoring user interactions)
  • Onboard and offboard employees from SaaS tools

2. Role-based access control

SOM tools make employee onboarding or offboarding significantly easier.

Define an employee’s role and department, and the software will automatically create a workflow for giving or revoking the relevant access. Use role-based access control (RBAC) to permit or withdraw access to other areas of your business, such as human resources and finance.

3. Automatic SaaS discovery

The best SOM software should be able to automatically uncover all the SaaS tools you’re using without you having to add them manually.

SOM automatically pulls the pricing and licensing data from the SaaS tools for easy access. This automation makes SaaS management as a practice significantly easier and cuts down on time spent trying to manage all of it together.

4. Policy management

The policy management feature of SOM software includes creating software use policies within the company and their smooth integration into your operations.

Such guidelines help your employees properly use and maintain the SaaS tools in their day-to-day work activities.

5. Reporting

Reporting features help you track everything happening within the SOM platform. SOM reporting gives you a centralized database of information about your software tools, their activity, SaaS adoption and usage, and user changes throughout their lifecycle.

With SaaS reporting, you and your stakeholders can gain an accurate and more precise insight into how your business uses different tools. Then, you can optimize to make this usage more efficient.

Vendr saves you money by managing your SaaS stack

Your team is stretched thin. Help your entire IT department do more by replacing your legacy SaaS ops processes with an automated SaaS operations management system.

Vendr helps IT managers enable

  • Deal compliance: visibility into the end-to-end SaaS purchasing lifecycle in one platform, knowing that tools are being bought and maintained compliantly.
  • The right processes: an efficient procurement process that gives stakeholders a white-glove SaaS buying experience.
  • SaaS operations expertise: leverage $1B worth of SaaS transactions data and bring more confidence than ever to software negotiations and decisions.

As the SaaS stack promises to be ever-growing, businesses must future-proof their organizations to ensure compliance, scalability, and cost savings.

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