SaaS Management: The APPocalypse is Upon Us

Get the Insider’s Guide on How SaaS Management is Changing

With an average of over 100 SaaS apps in use by employees, IT teams can be completely overwhelmed. Given that the majority of apps are not even managed by IT, it’s no wonder companies are 490% more likely to experience a security breach by the end of 2021. Download “The End of SaaS Management As You Know IT” to learn about critical changes in the industry and what you can do to better protect your IT team and company.

Introducing Lumos

IT teams spend way too much time tracking help desk tickets for routine access requests. And employees spend way too much time waiting to get access to the apps they need to do their jobs.

Lumos Is on a Mission To Change That

Lumos takes access management and the ITIL experience to the next level by combining the workflow automation power of an identity governance and administration tool with the visibility and cost management controls of a SaaS management solution.

The result: a single solution that helps IT teams achieve compliance, drive productivity, and manage costs with workflow automation that handles employee access requests, access reviews, and SaaS app license removals.

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Onboarding + Off-Boarding Automation

Streamline onboarding and rely on one-click off-boarding to manage app access and permissions.

Employee Self-Service Access Requests

Employees can see and request access to the apps they need to do their jobs.

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The Basics of SaaS Management

This article will help you understand what better managing SaaS applications looks like for your IT team. You'll find out about risks related to application security, the effect SaaS management has on user onboarding, and important benefits like better spend management. You'll also learn about the components of SaaS management tools and the management workflows they contain that make your business unit shine.

What is SaaS Management?

First off, it's important to understand that SaaS management is not password management. It goes far beyond security policies. Nor is it something wholly managed by finance teams. In can and does encompass a lot more. IT teams have a critical role in both understanding the elements of SaaS management, and having a strategy for dealing with each of them. Those elements, at a minimum, include having visibility to the apps your company is using and why, the level of use and access granted for individual employees and vendors, and the cost associated with each. Once you have a grasp on these core elements, you can implement policies, processes and even software to help you better address software asset management.

Why is SaaS Management Important?

Effective SaaS management touches many parts of your organization. The most obvious is in addressing security concerns and security issues associated with application sprawl. The average company only has 25% of apps managed directly by IT, and could be dealing with hundreds of apps depending on organization size. This puts and incredible strain on individual teams. Nowhere is that felt more than in an IT team, particularly one tasked with managing compliance concerns and sensitive info like credit card and other data that is housed in various SaaS applications.

Individual teams may also have significant waste when it comes to unused software licenses. These technology costs can be significant. If not recognized prior to contract renewals, these can significantly affect the bottom line of a company.

From an HR perspective, SaaS management plays an important role in the employee onboarding process and offboarding, when that time comes. Being able to efficiently address user provisioning as a company grows fundamentally changes the employee experience and helps make employees productive faster.

Ultimately, good SaaS management improves the collaboration between teams. That collaboration can lead to reduced security risk, more productive employees and better stewardship of resources that influences profitability.

SaaS Management Challenges

The challenges of managing application usage continue to increase in an era where any employee with a credit card can sign up for and use a SaaS application. A lack of visibility into what apps are being used by employees is often called Shadow SaaS or Shadow IT. It may feel like there is no such thing as "complete visibility" these days when it comes to app use.

What does that produce? Beyond a lack of visibility, it means ever increasing security risks. When sensitive company data can be spread across hundreds of apps, it can become overwhelming and unmanageable, even if you've set up the best laid processes for role-based access control to mitigate security risks. Without a clear discovery process for app use, a company can become exposed very quickly to security time bombs that cost the company money.

There is also the common situation of tool overlap or even redundant applications. The time spent on vendor management alone can be hugely inefficient. And in larger organizations, duplicate subscriptions and licenses for an unneeded level of access often create oppressive SaaS license management overhead. It makes for vastly more complicated renewal management.

What’s Possible With SaaS Management

Given all the challenges, what can you expect if you put the right processes and technology in place to better manage your SaaS apps? Simply put: The upside is enormous and it scales with the size of your organization when you have complete visibility. In terms of software tools, renewal discussions and renewal negotiation, you can go from blindly adding licenses to scaling back what you don't need. For many organizations, the renewal decisions become much easier. Subscription costs can often be reduced by tens of thousands of dollars in medium to large companies. As you work on attaining real-time visibility to app use, this effect can be compounded.

Compliance and risk reduction is also an area you can turn from a headache to an area where you become the hero. Security policies are often static. Many teams don't think of software license provisioning in the context of user lifecycle management. Yes, good SaaS management plays an important role in employee onboarding and the initial employee experience of joining your company. But also consider those same people needing to be offboarded at some point or their role changing. Better app management here can help you avoid security threats associated with over provisioning or privileged access that extends beyond the time the user is at your company. If you have the right systems and processes in place, you can make informed decisions about access that puts your company in a good position from both a compliance and risk standpoint. These are benefits seen across an organization.

How Can a SaaS Management Platform Help?

It's true, there are management solutions for just about everything under the sun. But a data-driven SaaS management platform can fundamentally improve the management process you put in place for SaaS apps. Very few solutions can say they improve employee productivity, save your company a significant amount of money, and help you avoid future risks to success. The core features of SaaS management software do just that. From employee onboarding to making smart decisions via access reviews, it creates a central location to better manage functions central to IT and security.