SaaS Management: 3 Best Practices that will reduce your SaaS spend

In organizations, SaaS applications' ease of integration and use encourage internal teams to explore and onboard a variety of applications, leading to unprecedented productivity and efficiency. Security and IT teams, on the other hand, struggle more than ever to determine which applications are used, who the users are, how the applications are being accessed, and the risks associated with each.

SaaS spending accounts for the largest portion of Cloud Services (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) costs in organizations. In fact SaaS remains the largest public cloud services market segment, forecasted to reach $176.6 billion at 16% YoY growth in end-user spending in 2022 (Gartner).

In order to understand the overall spending and identify opportunities for optimization and cost reduction, Axonius leverages multiple data sources, correlates and analyzes them to understand the costs from multiple perspectives.

With SaaS management, three routine processes can be performed in order to continuously analyze and optimize your SaaS landscape.

Discovery of redundant applications 

Axonius discovers and segments all SaaS applications across the organization’s app stack into Categories to help identify redundant apps. A common example is the Project Management category, as organizations often discover the use of almost all popular project management tools by distinct teams. So for example, Asana Business plan price is $30/m per user and Monday Pro plan is priced at $48/m for 3 seats, in large organizations that could add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual spend that goes unmanaged.  

Identifying Excessive Users and Licenses

By providing an extensive view into inactive user count per application (e.g., users that did not log in the last 90 days), Axonius SaaS Management provides insight into extraneous spending and the opportunity to drive optimization in existing SaaS licenses. We have seen multiple examples of high percentage user inactivity in applications whose licenses are priced by the number of seats. Reasons for high inactivity rate in apps varies and can be due to offboarding gaps, low satisfaction with the product, irrelevance, etc. 

Expense system transactions- identify hidden, redundant and shadow cost 

Axonius leverages expense systems or report data to discover assets, an approach also recommended by the Cloud Security Alliance. Axonius identifies line items relating to SaaS applications, and the value is twofold- the first being the ability to identify SaaS application usage and the second is the exposure of shadow spending. The data is then correlated with multiple data sources such as the license information which is automatically fetched from the application to refute the possibility of sanctioned spending. 

Furthermore, such an analysis oftentimes reveals additional hidden costs associated with the application. Having this capability to gain a comprehensive view into only SaaS relevant information, visualize it and monitor it on an ongoing basis is the cornerstone of the process required to reign over your organization's SaaS sprawl. 

 

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