SaaS Management
Erin Geiger, Director of Content at Lumos

What Is a SaaS Management Platform?

Learn about SMPs and why these tools can be so transformational for your SaaS spend management.

What exactly is SaaS management? Why do we need it? What’s the deal with finding the best SaaS management platform and investing in yet another SaaS tool…in order to control your SaaS tools?

Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers to all these pressing questions. Let’s start with the basics: why do we need SaaS management in the first place? It’s simple: because odds are, your tech stack is out of control. According to Gartner Magic Quadrant on SaaS management, companies use over 125 different SaaS applications on average! That means some companies are using MORE than 125 apps. And those subscriptions add up. Gartner reports that SaaS proliferation costs $1,040 per employee per year and  companies are constantly increasing their spend—15-20% more on SaaS every year.

The state of SaaS is dire for most companies, and something must be done. Enter our hero in a shiny super suit and long flowing cape (sorry, Edna): SaaS Management Platforms (SMP). Gartner predicts that by 2027, 40% of companies with multiple SaaS tools will leverage an SMP—an increase from less than 25% in 2022. It’s time to turn on the bat signal and get some much needed help!

Here at Lumos, we’re here to assist. We’ve put together this short guide to help you understand what SaaS management platforms are, how they’ll benefit you, and help you figure out how to choose the right one. Let’s get started!

What Is a SaaS Management Platform?

A SaaS management platform is software designed to discover, manage, optimize, automate, and secure your tech stack. In fact, Gartner’s Market Guide for SaaS Management Platforms 2022 identifies seven core capabilities of SMPs:

  1. Discover authorized and unauthorized SaaS usage and expenses.
  1. Manage tech stack configuration and policies with a single dashboard.
  1. Optimize SaaS licensing by leveraging analytics, insights, alerts, and automation.
  1. Automate SaaS management tasks with technology.
  1. Protect sensitive data within SaaS tools by ensuring compliance with corporate, security, and regulatory standards.
  1. Govern your tech stack through reporting, alerting, and measuring.
  1. Enable employees to request easy SaaS access with an employee-facing app store or catalog.

By bringing all SaaS-related activities under one umbrella, an SMP simplifies administration, enhances visibility, and aids in strategic decision making.

SMP Example: What Is the Spend Management Process?

Imagine a bustling IT department overwhelmed with tracking numerous SaaS subscriptions. Every time you think you’ve squashed an errant SaaS signup, another one pops up! You need help, fast. What’s that you hear? Yes, it’s the theme song for Lumos—your caped companion here with a toolbelt full of SaaS-wrangling supplies.

With our SaaS license management tool, your IT department can quickly centralize license data and uncover shadow IT. You can identify underused subscriptions, automate licensing, and only pay for the apps and licenses that you actually need. Come contract renewal time, you’ll be in charge, armed with data to negotiate the best deal for your company.

Curious what your software spend management could look like? Check out our impact calculator to see the difference Lumos could make for your organization.

What Are the Benefits of SaaS Management Platforms?

SMPs like Lumos offer a multitude of benefits—you’ll gain:

  • A clear overview of SaaS subscriptions, enabling efficient management of costs and usage.
  • Enhanced security with the ability to monitor and control access to cloud applications.
  • Valuable insights into software performance and user engagement, supporting informed decision-making.
  • Automation tools for subscription renewals, compliance checks, access requests, and more to help you save time and reduce the risk of errors.
  • Comprehensive reports to help demonstrate success to your leadership team and assist in making strategic IT decisions.

With Lumos, you’ll have a streamlined, secure, and cost-effective approach to SaaS management.

How Do I Choose a SaaS Management Platform?

Choosing the right SMP for your business should start with a careful consideration of your needs. Questions you could ask to help determine if a platform like Lumos is right for you include:

  • Does this SaaS management platform help you discover both authorized and unauthorized SaaS usage?
  • Will it help you optimize your SaaS costs with automation and insights tools?
  • Can you manage a myriad of SaaS applications within a single platform?
  • How many integrations does the SaaS management solution include? Can you create custom integrations if needed?
  • Does the platform include turnkey automation powered by cutting-edge technology?
  • Can you create an employee-facing application store or catalog to simplify SaaS requests?
  • Will this solution help eliminate IT tickets? Are there tools that your IT team will be excited by?
  • Do you have access to reporting tools that give you analytics and insights across all areas?
  • Are there baked-in compliance and regulation features like break glass access, multi-stage approvals, or time-based access?
  • Are there easy audit tools?
  • Does the SMP offer a user-friendly experience for your IT team and your employees?

There’s a lot of “best SaaS management companies” out there. With this checklist, you can make that determination for yourself.

Effectively Manage Your SaaS Ecosystem with Lumos

Cue the end-of-episode theme song, it’s time to wrap up this escapade! We hope you’ve learned a lot about SMPs and how to select the right solution for your business. Here at Lumos, we’re confident that we can be your superhero sidekick as you fight shadow IT and slash your SaaS spend. But don’t just take our word for it! Check out what our customers are saying or schedule a demo to see our sick moves in action for yourself. We’re excited to show you what we can do together!