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Enterprise SaaS Management: An Imperative for the Modern CIO

There’s a SaaS solution for every business need.

Today, there’s an enterprise SaaS management solution for virtually every business need: CRM, collaboration, design, file sharing, video conferencing, contract and document management and more. This is true across all industries: tech, healthcare, food and agriculture, transportation—you name it.

  • An average of 129 applications are in use for every company, and that only takes into account apps that use Okta’s single sign-on.
  • Netskope reports the actual number to be 1,071 cloud services per company.

Overall, the growth of SaaS is a good thing for businesses. Employees have more options than ever for getting work done productively no matter where they are. The ever-growing trend shows us that the forward-thinking, modern CIOs who enable SaaS-forward environments want different business units to be agile, and we all know agility is a key component of today’s digital-forward company. SaaS makes work better and easier because it streamlines routine business processes and gives employees more tools for getting their work done.

Widespread SaaS deployments and nonstop growth can make life a drag for IT departments 

At the same time, the dependency on SaaS across industries makes life hard for IT departments. The amount of SaaS applications per company is tipping into the hundreds or even thousands, and in IT it’s not easy to gain any real insight into which apps are being used and how much. This problem makes it particularly challenging to rationalize application portfolio decisions or even explain the value of business apps to leadership in the first place 

What makes SaaS growth so difficult?

IT teams have no way to see all apps in one place or gauge their usefulness across departments. As lines of business and employees contribute to the ongoing SaaS explosion, IT can’t see which apps employees are using regularly. Apps that IT does manage don’t provide the data they need for gathering adoption and engagement insights. In fact, only 45% of IT executives are confident they know how many SaaS applications are in use at their companies (Pulse Q&A).

In addition, the constant barrage of renewals plus the lack of info to manage them effectively is frustrating. The organic, sprawling nature of SaaS purchasing means that renewals are happening all the time. To make matters worse, IT lacks information on application effectiveness, which makes it hard to prepare to talk about renewals.

Then there’s application redundancy, which is a problem because costs get out of control, plus people can’t collaborate easily between teams. Because SaaS applications tend to multiply without proper oversight from IT, redundancy is pretty high. It’s costly and employees can’t easily collaborate because they’re all using different tools. Meanwhile, IT doesn’t have the data to make informed decisions on which apps should be standardized. Also, most companies don’t know the size and contents of their SaaS deployment footprint. Basically, IT can’t justify application portfolios or easily manage costs. Yet, 97% of IT leaders see managing the cost and usage of SaaS applications as a top business priority (Pulse Q&A).

Administrative overhead gets to be too much, too. There are a handful of enterprise SaaS management solutions on the market now, but most don’t have the right feature set required for collecting true application engagement analytics. Businesses have to supplement this data with quite a bit of manual effort—56% of IT executives still rely on internal tools and manual spreadsheets to discover and manage SaaS applications (Pulse Q&A). Plus, management processes are handled on an app-by-app basis, which isn’t scalable.

Businesses need a better way to help IT manage SaaS portfolios. What IT departments really need is SaaS management powered by application engagement analytics.

How to standardize SaaS apps across your company, make sure people actually use them and cut costs at the same time:

The modern CIO wants to empower employees to work flexibly and dynamically. At the same time, they also want to make it easy to standardize SaaS applications across the company, make sure employees actually use those apps and get rid of anything unnecessary. Although enterprise SaaS management can be a headache, fortunately the CIO community is rising to the challenge and taking ownership of managing the SaaS portfolio.

CIOs at leading companies like Uber, Equinix, Fox and HashiCorp are accomplishing this goal using Productiv, SaaS management powered by application engagement analytics:

Let’s walk through the capabilities enterprise SaaS management powered by application engagement analytics can bring to your IT team:

  • Easily identify and manage your SaaS apps while keeping track of engagement data 

Gain visibility into all SaaS apps in one console and track renewal dates, adoption milestones and spend. Evaluate redundancy by looking at engagement instead of login data alone.

  • Determine whether your company is getting value from apps

Once you know the apps your company is using and can control licenses and spend, it’s way easier to get to the real value. Be the expert who helps your company capture the true value of your applications 

  •   Make real changes in your business by allowing IT to focus on innovating and strategic work.

 Your IT team can bring together the right mix of apps for your business while controlling licensing and costs at the same time. Find out where app redundancy exists across teams and figure out the best app combos for every department based on usage

Quick recap on why enterprise SaaS management powered by application engagement analytics is a need-to-have

To sum it up, SaaS apps are growing fast and so are business app portfolios. This means that IT leaders have to figure out a way to manage applications successfully. The key: SaaS management powered by application engagement analytics.

Looking for a better way to make SaaS apps work for you the way they should? Schedule a demo with Productiv and learn how to visualize, rationalize and maximize the value of your SaaS apps

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Get real-time engagement insights for your organization and maximize application value. Schedule a demo today.

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