SaaS Management Requires Complex Solutions

Ekaterina Mizrobova

SaaS proliferation rates speedup in the recent years draw SAM companies’ attention to the SaaS management and optimization issues and focused them on helping businesses avoid SaaS-related exposures, including extra SaaS spending.

There appeared different approaches towards SaaS application management, but most companies focused on reducing spend on SaaS. This approach is sometimes called “follow-the-money” approach.

The companies leveraging the “follow-the-money” approach track transactions, i.e. application purchases. Based on the transaction data (received via accounts payable or employee expense data) they identify what apps were purchased. For that purpose “follow-the-money” tools keep an application database to be able to match a transaction to an application. The main objective of such tools is SaaS spend optimization.

Binadox suggests a more universal approach: it tracks all SaaS subscriptions and usages, as well as web-visits. That is Binadox is a more future proof solution. It monitors and registers all SaaS applications, and not only those that were paid for via company’s AP and Expense systems. Binadox focuses on real usage as it’s the only measurement that can show whether your SaaS investments are effective and what cost optimization opportunities are available. SaaS apps can be purchased and even somehow used, but you’ll never know whether employees use all the purchased entitlements unless you measure active usage. Follow-the-money tools measure application usage through the corresponding APIs. That means that a SaaS management tool can track what particular application features have been used only if the corresponding app permits it, otherwise the tool will only be able to register logins and logouts. Binadox, on the contrary, doesn’t need such permits to track whether the application is used by employees at the full scope. Another issue is shadow IT. Even if shadow IT is not blowing company’s IT budget, it’s still a matter for concern, as such apps not only expose businesses to extra costs but also to security risks and can affect employee productivity.

SaaS management, due to its peculiarities, first and foremost requires cost optimization, but to succeed in this optimization it’s important not only to track transactions related to SaaS app purchases, real usage metrics are not less important.

How to save IT budget on SaaS subscriptions and software compliance