Do you know that from 2015 to 2022, companies spent $171.9 billion on SaaS?
That’s, no doubt, a humongous sum and a large SaaS stack for each company to manage.
Let’s bring it a little close to home. Calculate how much YOU have spent on SaaS tools in your business.
Some pretty sum, right?
Now imagine not using these tools to full capacity and not even using some at all.
A huge waste, right?
The good news is – it doesn’t have to be so!
It isn’t enough to keep piling SaaS tools; you must ensure they are used maximally.
Software solutions shouldn’t compound your work processes; they should ease them. This is where logical and well-structured SaaS management comes in.
Find below simple but effective and proven steps you can take to keep your stack of software tools under control.
Are you in a bit of a hurry? Save some time with a glimpse of how to keep your company’s SaaS pile under control.
- Critically assess apps before adopting them
- Have an inventory
- Practice user provisioning
- Consolidate your apps
When you take these four time-tested and effective steps, you will witness a boost in your software management, efficiency, and finances. It doesn’t matter the size or kind of business you run; these strategies will bring you the desired results.
What is a company’s SaaS stack
In this context, a software as a service (SaaS) stack is a collection of software tools you use in your organization. The software is controlled and managed by remote service providers. Your Saas stack is easily accessible, facilitates operational management and is cost-effective as it doesn’t involve hardware and maintenance costs.
How to manage your company’s SaaS stack
Whenever a company invests in ventures like lead generation or tools like SaaS apps, the aim is to get a return on investment. However, you might not get these returns if you don’t use the right strategies or manage the apps well.
So, how do you manage your SaaS applications and get maximum benefits from them? Keep reading!
1. Critically assess apps before adopting them
The journey of SaaS control starts before you even purchase your apps. This step is very important as it will prevent you from buying applications you don’t need or won’t serve your business optimally.
To start with, ensure the software you’re going for aligns with your company’s regulations and policies. In addition, you must take note of the intended usage of the app, costs (both short-term and long-term), security risks, and integration with existing software.
Benefits of critically reviewing apps before adopting them:
- Gives an overview of what you’re getting into
- Helps you choose the right fit
- Lets you buy what you really need
- Allows you to avoid pitfalls ahead
2. Have an inventory
One of the very first steps in managing your software pile is to have an inventory, and the reason is obvious – how do you control what you don’t know?
Create a detailed and updated list of all your SaaS apps to know exactly how many they are. Format this list into categories. Give it headings like users, the purpose of usage, costs, number of subscriptions, tiers, lengths, contracts, compliance, and so on.
This exercise involves tasks like system audits and software surveys, among others, which is often strenuous. A SaaS management app, however, makes this process easier. It automatically does the tasks listed above and frees you time to do other important activities.
Benefits of having an inventory for your software:
- Helps to identify all software
- Allows you to know who uses what
- Lets you know the purpose of the apps
- Helps you know how much they cost
- Allows you to know if they’re well utilized
3. Practice user provisioning
User provisioning is an access management and digital identity act. It is the process of creating, managing, and monitoring users’ access rights.
With it, you can assign or deny permissions, modify accounts or privileges as well as disable and delete accounts. User provisioning helps to manage how users access the company’s software tools.
On the other hand, user de-provisioning is the act of denying someone access to the organization’s software stack. This often occurs when a person leaves the company.
Actions taken in user de-provisioning include the deletion of user accounts on computers and servers or removing the computer entirely.
Why are user provisioning and de-provisioning necessary? Here are reasons to practice them:
- Onboarding: when you hire new staff, you have to set up their user profiles and give them permission to use the necessary apps. Examples of user provisioning tasks in onboarding are creating a user account, creating an official email account, and giving access to apps, memberships, data repositories, and so on.
- Promotion: when a member of staff just gets promoted, they might need access to other or more applications. In this event, you have to make provisions for the employee to access the relevant apps for the new role. This helps them transition into the new role seamlessly. On the flip side, you may also need to remove their access to tools they were using formally but will no longer be using.
- Offboarding: de-provisioning is needed when a staff leaves your organization. You have to remove their access to your apps and devices to avoid exposing your company to security risks.
- One-time login: when an authorized staff member is not available, one-off access can be given to another staff member to perform a task. After the task, the access is removed to avoid undue exposure. Another instance when one-time access is needed is when you have contract staff who need temporary access to relevant apps. Also, when the job is done, you must de-provision them to protect the organization.
Benefits of practicing user provisioning:
- Helps with access management
- Helps to manage digital identity
- Makes onboarding and offboarding easier
- Reduces security risks for the company
- Saves costs
4. Consolidate your apps
Creating an inventory for your applications will open your eyes to redundancies. The excitement of getting software that will make your work processes faster and easier can make you get those you don’t need.
There’s a possibility that several apps perform the same or almost the same functions. That’s why I often recommend all-in-one funnel-building software because it gives you more value for your money.
Also, it happens that you don’t really use some apps, yet you keep renewing their subscriptions, or if they’re free, they’re just occupying space that could be better used. What you must do in these instances is consolidate your apps.
Note the functions your SaaS tools perform and choose the ones that best help you perform them. Ask yourself which of the applications adds the most value to your work.
For example, if you have a SAAS tool that allows you to track sales intent data, make sure you don’t have other apps that do the same thing. Otherwise, you could end up paying money for tools you don’t use!
Observe how each unit in your organization benefits from these apps and sieve them accordingly. Once done, delete the redundant ones and make the best use of those you retain.
Benefits of consolidating your apps:
- Saves costs
- Removes duplication and redundancy
- Optimizes utilization
Optimize your SaaS stack with result-oriented strategies
You’ve spent money on your apps; it’s time to get value for your bucks. To milk maximum performance from your software, you must have hands-on SaaS management. Some of the ways you can manage your SaaS applications effectively are by first thoroughly reviewing the apps before you adopt them, having an inventory of apps, practicing user provisioning, and harmonizing your applications.
When you employ these strategies, you’ll reap benefits like cost management, proper monitoring, optimal performance, easier work processes, redundancy, and duplicity removal, and company protection.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can the risk of SaaS be reduced?
To reduce security risks that occur with using SaaS applications, make use of two-factor authentication, residential proxies and data encryption. These measures will help secure your data.
What are the 6 key security elements of SaaS models?
- Regulatory compliance
- Data storage and retention
- Access management
- Privacy and data breaches
- Disaster recovery
What are the 3 most important aspects of SaaS?
- Data storage: data is systematically and habitually stored in the cloud
- Analytics: access to intelligence tools and data reporting is essential
- Security: security technology and expertise are vital for SaaS service providers
Ashley Davis (or ‘Ash’ for short) is the CEO & Founder of Skyline Social. For over 15 years, he has been helping business owners with lead generation. Ash specializes in helping businesses get high-quality leads, appointments and clients each month in an automated, scalable and profitable way. You can watch his free Masterclass training to learn more.