What is a SaaS Management Platform (SMP)?
A SaaS management platform (SMP) provides a clear view of your software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications by providing a singular view of your day-to-day operations. For instance, there are five crucial areas that SMPs assist with:
- Spend Optimization
- Application Discovery, and
- Automated Provisioning and Deprovisioning (via workflow)
The SaaS Management Problem
The issue with software is that even the easiest applications to use can be a beast to manage. For instance, while the cloud relieves a lot of the on-premises IT burden, SaaS adds new things IT departments must worry about.
Moreover, the core issue that nearly all SaaS solutions experience is the management of these systems are a second thought. For example, Gartner explained “while SaaS applications have their own native management consoles, the depth of their capabilities often doesn’t completely meet enterprise requirements. SaaS Management Platforms provide additional capabilities to fill these gaps.”
In summary, Gartner has reduced the pain points to three main areas:
- Security & Compliance
- Manual IT Work
- User Adoption
How Enterprise Organizations can benefit from an SMP
To combat these pain points, SMPs provide a real dollars and cents rationale. According to Gartner, by 2021 (this year!), 75 percent of organizations that do not proactively manage their SaaS environments will spend 30 percent more on their deployments than their counterparts sticking with on-premises solutions.
Here are a few more reasons why enterprise organizations should deploy a SaaS Management Platform:
Firstly, IT departments have a lot on their plates today – especially in security and compliance. For example, they need to make sure their internal controls on file sharing, passwords, and emails are in line with GDPR, PCI, and HIPAA. In addition, they have challenges within data storage, remediation, and reporting. For instance, in an audit, they may need to access emails from months ago and produce a customized report in a short period of time.
Furthermore, in today’s escalating threat environment, IT departments need situational awareness. For example, if an employee has clicked on a phishing email, they need to be alerted to the situation as soon as possible. That way they can respond swiftly and notify the right people.
An SMP can:
- Monitor suspicious activities like unauthorized or atypical sign-ins
- Provide greater control and visibility over privileged credentials
- Automate tasks such as continuous assessments for finding and correcting vulnerabilities and detecting incidents
- Provide robust analytics and reporting for timely, compliant forensic investigations
Manual IT Work
Secondly, with an SMP, IT administrators can streamline, centralize and automate time-consuming responsibilities. In particular, workflows can be used to – assign RBAC for new employees, run reports and provision/deprovision resources.
SaaS Management Platforms offer IT admins:
- Faster execution of day-to-day IT administration
- Less chance of human error
- More time to spend on core business functions and innovation
Lastly, can you accurately confirm your users are masters of their SaaS applications? Even within an essential program like Outlook, employees may use a fraction of the features that can make their lives easier and themselves more productive. As a result, organizations only get a fraction of the productivity gains they’re paying for with an Office 365 investment.
With an SMP organizations can:
- Accurately track actual usage of SaaS applications and features
- Efficiently and cost-effectively administer user adoption campaigns
- Monitor campaign effectiveness
- Analyze metrics and run reports
In conclusion, what should your organization do next to leverage this powerful platform? Evaluate vendors and let administrative roles and responsibilities drive your SaaS and SMP implementations — not the other way around.
Check out this Buyer’s Guide to SaaS Management Platforms.
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