Productiv is proud to be recognized as a leading SaaS Management Platform (SMP) in Gartner’s latest report: The Market Guide for SaaS Management Platforms. We’re honored to be named as one of nine vendors in Gartner’s research, and one of only six platforms designed for comprehensive application support.
Importantly, the report underscores both the proliferation of SaaS applications and the growing need for better app management across the enterprise.
Gartner’s report reinforces our belief that SaaS Management Platforms like Productiv allow organizations to effectively track and scale their SaaS usage, automate SaaS management, improve security, and maximize the value of every SaaS application.
Let’s dive into what Gartner’s report means for the SaaS management space and how our own data reinforces Gartner’s findings.
Gartner’s Perspective of SMPs
According to Gartner, a SaaS Management Platform (SMP) is a “stand-alone tool that can discover, manage, and secure multiple SaaS applications from a central admin dashboard, delivered as a turnkey service.”
Let’s briefly look at how Gartner frames each of these three functions in the context of SMPs:
- Discover: Aggregated information from multiple tools and infrastructures such as SSO provides rich insights into a business’s SaaS application portfolio.
- Manage: Features and controls allow for the automation of critical SaaS management workflows like license provisioning and deprovisioning, renewal management, and data aggregation.
- Secure: Centralized app management ensures businesses can establish consistent security protocols across their entire SaaS portfolio.
With these functions SMPs can provide a powerful, unified solution for IT teams to identify, manage, secure, and measure the many applications within a company’s expanding SaaS portfolio.
Gartner also distinguishes that SMPs aren’t a replacement for SSO and CASB platforms, but instead can add to the capabilities of each. In conjunction with SSO and CASB tools, SMPs play a critical role in ingesting information and building a richer picture of app usage, scope, access, and security.
Gartner’s focus on Discover, Manage, and Secure echoes what we at Productiv have believed since our inception: SMP tools provide visibility and context into data for better app decision-making, empower IT teams to automate complex SaaS workflows, and help businesses establish a consistent security policy across the SaaS portfolio.
Value-Driven Outcomes from SMP Adoption
Remote and hybrid work environments are shifting the SMP market toward tools like Productiv that manage multiple SaaS applications. Streamlining management of SaaS applications creates value in several distinct areas, including:
Visibility and Cost Control
Our research shows that more than half of IT leaders still manually track and manage SaaS applications. And considering manual tracking is prone to human error, such a method is far from foolproof.
Improving visibility into SaaS applications creates a clearer, more complete picture of the SaaS app mix, including potential redundancies or overlaps. Productiv’s dynamic real-time data enables organizations to optimize their SaaS investments based on current consumption. For example, instead of buying more licenses for a certain app, Productiv can identify licenses not currently in use and redistribute access to users in the moment.
We’ve also found that 43% of apps in an organization are discovered and are likely the byproduct of Shadow IT. SMPs like Productiv uncover hidden apps so they can be pulled under the IT management umbrella for security, cost control, and opportunity creation.
Management and Automation
Repetitive processes like onboarding new employees, provisioning and deprovisioning licenses, and offboarding can be automated with workflows, saving valuable time and reducing the capacity for error.
Productiv makes it easy to create workflows that can automatically pull data from expense reports, deprovision users based on app usage, track upcoming renewals, and trigger alerts for discovered apps and app updates. With better management, IT teams can gain better visibility into usage patterns and understand how apps impact the employee experience.
Security and Access
Getting the complete picture of app usage across the enterprise is key in maintaining security for users and the company at large. SMPs integrate with data governance, identify access management (IAM) tools, endpoint security and management, and other processes to complete the app usage picture.
Productiv uncovers apps from network traffic, expense reports, and other data sources, giving IT a glimpse into potential tools an employee or team might need. With this data, IT can decide how to provision app access and whether to pull it behind SSO. In turn, having more apps behind SSO creates a more secure environment. Productiv also offers visibility into whether apps are meeting compliance requirements and whether they present risks to the organization.
The Future of SMPs
We believe the demand for cost visibility, workflow automation, and security across the SaaS portfolio will rise drastically. These requirements will skyrocket in priority as businesses adopt hybrid work schedules and lean more heavily on SaaS tools to keep their remote workforce connected.
Our research is already showing the impact of SaaS app proliferation on businesses: only 3% of IT managers have complete and real-time visibility into SaaS tools. That means an overwhelming majority of IT managers have no clue what their app portfolio is costing the company, how it’s being used, and whether those apps are secure.
In addition, our team feels strongly that the employee experience is also an important component of SMPs. As SaaS adoption continues to grow, it will become increasingly valuable to give employees visibility into which tools they need to perform their jobs effectively and collaborate with others. Stay tuned for some exciting news from Productiv on that front soon.
At Productiv, we remained committed to growing SMP’s role in IT by providing value throughout your app portfolio. Get Productiv. See Usage. Manage Costs. Increase Productivity.