Gartner forecasts end-user spending on public cloud services to reach $396 billion in 2021—and grow 21.7% to reach $482 billion in 2022. 

With SaaS usage on the rise, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise: The average company pays for 20 times more SaaS subscriptions today than they did five years ago, and SaaS applications currently make up 70% of total company software use. 

Accompanied by the rising desire for low-code and no-code software solutions, SaaS apps have also impressively taken root across all functions and departments within a business and are no longer siloed within IT and engineering. 

As companies invest more money into cloud-based SaaS applications, a more intentional cloud infrastructure is becoming table stakes—and spending trends show that organizations are seeking solutions to managing their increasingly unwieldy SaaS stack. According to G2 category traffic data, SaaS management spend has increased by 147% since Q1 2020. The correlation is clear: As SaaS software adoption continues to explode in 2022, the demand for SaaS management tools will continue to grow. 

“The economic, organizational, and societal impact of the pandemic will continue to serve as a catalyst for digital innovation and adoption of cloud services,” said Henrique Cecci, Senior Research Director at Gartner. “This is especially true for use cases such as collaboration, remote work, and new digital services to support a hybrid workforce.”

Although organizations are jumping feet first into the world of cloud-based SaaS apps, Zylo reports that the average organization is only utilizing 60% of their provisioned licenses, leaving 40% wasted, unused, and ripe for optimization. The average organization experiences 234 SaaS renewals a year, which equates to nearly 20 each month—or almost 1 renewal every business day. With siloed app purchasing, constant renewals, and money wasted on unused licenses, are SaaS apps causing more problems than they’re solving?

Enter SaaS management tools. 

SaaS operations management, or SaaSOps, is the process of managing, governing, and securing SaaS products within a business. SaaSOps solutions are designed to provide businesses with greater control and visibility over their SaaS portfolios. 

Some of the basic functions SaaS management tools may include administrative functions; role-based access control; policy management; license management; IT workflow automation; and reporting, according to popular SaaS management tool Blissfully. 

SaaS management platforms help organizations reduce the risks and maximize the benefits of their tech stack. These tools assist in managing the purchasing, licensing, onboarding, and renewal management of cloud-based software. 

So what are some of the best practices around how you and your team should go about choosing which is the right SaaS management tool for your organization?

We asked the Systematic community, an exclusive community of over 5,000 business systems leaders, to weigh in on how they utilize and assess which SaaS management tools perform best.

Shyam Bhojwani, Solutions Engineering Manager at Peloton, recently found his team in need of a SaaS management tool. Some of the things Bhojwani considered when evaluating tools were ease of onboarding; what kind of out-of-the-box integrations were available and if the tool could connect to his existing stack; quality of the support team; an analytics drill down view; and low-code/no-code workflow integrations.  

While Bhojwani’s checklist revolved around needs specific to his company, these are all essential items to consider in the evaluation process.  

According to Jody Shapiro, a CEO of one of the leaders in the SaaS management tool market, clients who deployed a SaaS management tool discovered that 43% of applications were purchased outside of IT. After deploying the tool, users saw 30% savings on application renewals, with IT saving on average 38 hours per week of time previously devoted to application management—what could your team accomplish with an extra 38 hours? 

Prema Nagarajan Sr. Manager of IT at Loom had a very similar experience when she decided to onboard a SaaS management platform. Her team made a decision based on “the simple-to-use interface and robust engagement insights (on top of SAML SSO login),” not to mention the useful contract and spend management features. Nagarajan’s experience has been pretty positive so far: “We’ve found it super useful in identifying engagement and when having renewal conversations/true up conversations,” she said.  

And lastly, Cole Ericson, Head of IT at Clearcover, an up-and-coming insurtech company, noted that after deploying a SaaS management tool, the integrations between his company’s HR systems became seamless—within a series of clicks, his team can provide a new hire with a GSuite account, group memberships, and access to many different applications through Okta. Okta’s webhook feature is also used to send out welcome emails on a schedule to the new users as well. He noticed how “it has taken away a ton of repetitive tasks for our IT department, as well as our HR department.” 

Currently, there are over hundreds of SaaS apps running in a typical enterprise. If you want to better understand usage across your organization, create an integrated app ecosystem, cut costs, and administer access to the applications fueling your business, it might be time to look into a SaaS management tool. 

Want to ask other systems professionals how they’re approaching SaaS management? Request to join Systematic and join the conversation.

Aarushi Lakhotia
About Aarushi Lakhotia

Aarushi is the Content and Community Marketing Specialist for Systematic.