According to Okta’s Business at Work study on how people worked in 2021, companies use an average of 89 different apps each year. And, get this, large companies with 2,000 or more employees use an average of 187 apps every year. Yikes.
These numbers are wild, and they continue to grow each year. Since 2016, the average number of apps used by a company in a single year has grown by 26%. Why are these numbers growing so rapidly? SaaS apps are just so easy to adopt! Employees on any team in your company can discover an app they would like to use, enter basic user and payment info, and dive right in.
Many SaaS apps don’t even require implementation services or a tedious onboarding process. On top of this, SaaS subscriptions are most often put onto company credit cards, eliminating the need for employees to request special cost approvals in order to try a new app or create a new account.
Perhaps you’re feeling a little worried that that many SaaS products could lead to a few problems for your company. Trying to track and manage user identities, security risks, and compliance requirements is a time-taking, money-draining, and fun-sucking nightmare.
Within your SaaS management tool you should be able to easily see a list of every SaaS tool used by your company, eliminating the tech stack black hole and allowing you to delete that Excel document you’ve been using to manually track these apps.
With a SaaS management tool in place, your company can take advantage of the competitive edge the SaaS apps in your tech stack are meant to give you without potential negative side effects. This is because you are no longer at risk of committing hard-to-track compliance violations, falling prey to dangerous security risks, or wasting money on expensive subscriptions that eat away at your bottom line.
Still not convinced it might be time for your company and IT team to start using a SaaS management tool? Here are five signs that it’s time to invest in one of these time-saving, risk-reducing tools.
1. Every team in your company uses a different set of apps and tracking them is getting a little out of hand
Your sales team uses Salesforce, your HR team uses Workday, your customer service team uses Zendesk, and we haven’t even mentioned your engineering team, your marketing team, or, your personal favorite, your IT team. If it sounds like I might be describing your company, it’s probably time to invest in a SaaS subscription management tool.
The world is full of amazing apps that are created to give your company a competitive edge by helping your employees do their jobs better and faster. That being said, too many un-managed apps and SaaS products can have the exact opposite effect on your IT team’s productivity, your annual budget, and your company’s digital security.
Ironically, by adding just one more SaaS product to your team’s tech stack, a SaaS management tool, you can easily keep an eye on all of the different apps being used in your company. Within your SaaS management tool you should be able to easily see a list of every SaaS tool used by your company, eliminating the tech stack black hole and allowing you to delete that Excel document you’ve been using to manually track these apps.
2. Identity management is becoming a full-time job for your IT team members… even though they each already have a full time job
Forget about the actual tech assistance tickets they are receiving every day, because your IT team is now spending the majority of their time manually managing your company’s new SaaS implementation processes and existing accounts. This includes a variety of tasks such as:
• Tracking and managing the unique apps that are being used by every team
• Tracking and managing the unique accounts made within each of these apps
• Identifying and eliminating shadow IT
• Confirming and removing unused subscriptions
If these tasks aren’t being done, your company is likely at risk for major security breaches and paying for accounts that are not being used. But, even though they are essential to business success, these tasks also take up a ton of time and energy.
On the other hand, even if you somehow have a fully-staffed IT team with employees who somehow have the time to manually manage your company’s SaaS apps, doing so opens the door to human error and other limitations and challenges within SaaS identity management.
3. The company credit card needs a little break from your SaaS happy teammates
As previously mentioned, signing up for a new SaaS app is super easy these days. Because of this, there’s a good chance that a majority of your company’s SaaS app lifecycles look a little something like this:
Step 1: An employee hears about this cool new app on TechCrunch or through a targeted marketing email and decides they want to try it out.
Step 2: The employee puts their fuzzy slippers up on their living room coffee table and pulls their company credit card out of their back pocket.
Step 3: The employee visits the SaaS company’s website, enters their payment info, and, BAM, they’re in.
Step 4: The employee uses the app for a few days, or, heck, even a few months, before deciding it’s not for them and just going back to the apps they were using before (or buys a new one!).
Step 5: The new account and subscription lives, untouched, in cyberspace, ripe for security breaches and unnecessary credit card renewals for months or years to come.
A SaaS compliance management tool can help you stay in compliance year-round by automatically reviewing and reporting on who has access to what information and how your sensitive data is being managed.
Using a SaaS systems management tool gives your company credit card a break. It does this by managing your employees’ requests for new subscriptions and new accounts and by catching unused accounts and subscriptions before unnecessary risks and credit card charges arise.
4. The thought of preparing for the security part of your SOC 2 compliance audit is making you sweat right now
Soc 2 compliance. How do these words make you feel? Stressed? Anxious? Full of dread? We get it! If we had to manually track least privilege, user access, and outside vendors we would feel the same way. If you are doing all of this manually, preparing for your Soc 2 compliance audit is a huge task. Manually tracking down 89 SaaS apps that each have multiple users with multiple levels of access is nearly impossible without a management tool.
Not only is it hard to track this information when it’s time to prepare for your audit, but what about the rest of the year? A SaaS compliance management tool can help you stay in compliance year-round by automatically reviewing and reporting on who has access to what information and how your sensitive data is being managed.
So, save that sweating for the gym, because your next Soc 2 report could be as easy as a click of a button with a Saas management tool.
5. You want to take over the world (or at least the world of your company’s SaaS apps)
The final sign that your company is ready to invest in a Saas management platform is that you’re itching to take the reins on your company’s SaaS usage and kick productivity into gear. As an IT leader who is always looking to improve your team’s productivity and processes, you are likely already implementing ITIL best practices within your company. An ITIL SaaS service management approach allows you to improve productivity, minimize risk, reduce spending, and continually improve on your processes.
Constantly playing catchup at work is no fun, and manually managing your company’s SaaS apps is a never ending job.
Your company’s identities and needs are constantly changing thanks to:
• New employees being hired needing new accounts
• Current employees being promoted and needing increased levels of access
• Previous employees moving on to new opportunities and leaving accounts unused
• Vendors coming and going need access (and revoked access) to secure information
• New apps being created to solve problems your company is facing or give you a more competitive edge
Updating your SaaS management techniques to meet this growing demand is a great way to get ahead of the financial and security-related problems that might arise with an ever-changing tech stack and user base. If you’re ready to take on the world of SaaS apps and SaaS user management to save your company time, money, and security risks without actually manually doing the work, a SaaS management tool is for you.
If you’re sick of manually pulling compliance reports, worrying about security risks and shadow IT, and spending time manually managing your company’s SaaS apps and permissions, let a SaaS management tool take the weight off of your shoulders. With a SaaS management tool, your IT team will be able to get back to doing what they do best.