4. Lock down primary productivity apps
Another way to stop users from connecting to unsanctioned SaaS apps on the fly is to lock down productivity platforms like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. Usually, you would advise clients to take this step as a security measure to prevent users from downloading malicious apps that trick users into granting them access to company data. But it also can have the effect of stopping the addition and proliferation of redundant applications.
Managing user consent to add apps within these platforms usually can be done quickly within the settings menu. Once implemented, users will encounter a “dead end” when attempting to add apps to the productivity suite. Ideally, they then will consult your clients’ IT teams about the issue or gap they’ve encountered.
5. Promote the benefits of single sign-on
You can help your clients to get user buy-in on “IT-sanctioned” SaaS apps by advocating the benefits of single sign-on (SSO). The pitch is that multiple logins are a productivity killer. Further, you can stress that SSO boosts security by enabling users to access multiple related applications or systems using just one set of credentials. Educating users on the time savings and security benefits of SSO can help ensure their compliance and minimize SaaS sprawl.
6. Automate app provisioning
Another way to curb SaaS sprawl is to control onboarding and offboarding through automation. By automating provisioning, employees get the apps and associated privileges they need to do their jobs as soon as they join the company, making it less likely they’ll hunt for other solutions.
Similarly, you can automate deactivating users from all cloud apps when they leave the company, so you don’t have license seats that are assigned but unused. The benefits are manifold since automated offboarding eliminates unnecessary licensing fees and improves security by disabling user credentials.
Left alone, SaaS sprawl will only spread. Instead of ignoring the problem, consider it an opportunity to provide solutions that your clients will not only appreciate, but for which they’ll happily pay. After all, effective SaaS management will tighten inventory control, lower licensing costs, improve employee productivity, and strengthen IT security. What’s not to like about that?
BEN SPECTOR is a former MSP owner turned product manager for Zomentum, creator of the first revenue platform for technology partners. He leverages his previous experience running an MSP for nine years, which he grew to support more than 100 clients. At Zomentum, Spector advocates for the MSP community in perfecting a platform to solve sales problems for technology partners.