SaaS applications, and by proxy shadow IT, are more relevant than ever with businesses using an average of 126 SaaS apps, a 5x increase in just three years and a 10x increase since 2015, according to Gartner’s Market Guide for SaaS Management Platforms (2022). These applications clearly have a positive impact on business. According to Forrester, 75% of business leaders cite improved business agility and 74% cite speed of implementation and deployment as the benefits that factored into their firm’s decision to move to pure SaaS.
At the same time, SaaS applications can present challenges when it comes to security, data risks, inefficiencies, and more. SaaS management technology can provide MSPs with the visibility to manage their clients’ systems for compliance, understand their productivity needs, and potentially reduce spending on licenses.
Ensuring Compliance and Increasing Efficiencies
During the height of pandemic lockdowns, the network moved from the traditional office setting to employees’ homes or favorite coffee shops. As a result, employees began getting scrappy with getting their job done. They turned to SaaS applications and downloaded what they needed to create the most efficient workflow for themselves. But this meant that IT teams and MSPs no longer had visibility into the last mile of the office network, leaving businesses vulnerable when it came to security and compliance.
Here's how SaaS management can help all parties involved.
- A Holistic Approach to IT Management: Too often, companies focus on offerings such as endpoint, security, and network management and forget about SaaS management. With SaaS management, MSPs and IT admins can better serve customers with an all-encompassing approach, leading to improved support ticket response times.
- Increased SaaS Footprint Visibility: Remote work limits employers’ view on which SaaS applications employees are using. For example, if the new marketing intern signs up for an online to-do list application and starts storing vital information in that app, no one would be the wiser without a SaaS management tool. SaaS management provides visibility into what employees are using to better understand how their company is maintaining compliance.
- Expedited Onboarding and Offboarding: For MSPs, SaaS management tools can expedite client onboarding and allow for a complete view of what is being used, security issues, productivity insights, and more. On average, documenting a new client’s application inventory can take about 8 to 10 hours, but SaaS management tools can reduce that time to less than one hour. For their customers, these same tools can create efficiency when it comes to employee onboarding and offboarding. Based on a report from Gartner, total annual employee turnover will likely jump by nearly 20% from the pre-pandemic average, so expediting onboarding and offboarding processes is more important than ever. With SaaS management, employers can know that the previous marketing intern was utilizing a specific SaaS application and can adjust logins or turn off accounts as needed, ensuring critical business data isn’t accessible. When they onboard the new intern, they can easily grant them access as well. Not only does this maintain compliance but it can also help save the company money by freeing up software licenses and managing SaaS contracts.
- Proper Documentation and Maintenance: According to a report from Wakefield Research, 54% percent of U.S. office professionals report wasting time searching for much-needed files in cluttered online filing systems. With SaaS management’s maintenance of documentation and, more importantly, proper documentation, companies can save both time and money, ultimately leading to increased employee efficiency.
- Improved Ticket Resolution Time: MSPs get tickets for everything under the sun, from email troubleshooting to an application failure. When MSPs are tasked with troubleshooting apps, it is crucial that they have the data and insights they need to solve these issues quickly and easily. Without the use of SaaS management, apps can get lost in the shuffle and lead to a slower ticket resolution time.
As we move forward in 2023, the use of SaaS apps will only continue to rise, making SaaS management a crucial component of IT management that can no longer afford to be overlooked.
JOHN HARDEN is senior product marketing manager at Auvik.