Understanding the SaaS Lifecycle | Binadox - SaaS management

Understanding the SaaS Lifecycle

Stanislaw Lee

 

Why the SaaS Lifecycle is Important for Your Company?

Organizations are now, more than ever, are increasingly moving towards cloud.  From Salesforce to Office 365, many vital business applications are now cloud-based. The reason and benefits are obvious: simple upgrades, no maintenance fees, zero footprint, and much more. Therefore, software is being consumed more frequently and more as a service.

Software as a Service (SaaS) applications have morphed companies into more advanced customer-centric and efficiently operating businesses. SaaS boosts productivity since users can instantly access all necessary tools with a single click of a button. However, there is a common misconception that SaaS doesn’t require management.

Companies need to acknowledge that increasing SaaS adoption poses completely different challenges for IT and business leaders. For instance, the aggregate cost of SaaS licenses consumes much more of software expense budget than you expect. Even after you’ve canceled some of subscriptions and removed certain licenses. Another challenge, for example, is tracking SaaS applications and who’s using them. Your company may even receive login data from SaaS vendors and still remain clueless about who is using which SaaS app.

Understanding “SaaS Lifecycle” is important part to start managing your SaaS licenses. Every cloud service that enters your company has its lifecycle. Your employees might stop using a SaaS tool sooner or later. Therefore, if you don’t monitor and manage lifecycle of your cloud services, you can’t control your SaaS environment.

 

What is the SaaS Lifecycle?

The SaaS lifecycle covers every process users go through from learning about and acquiring a SaaS application to the end period of a service. Thus, the SaaS can be divided into the following lifecycle 5 stages:

 

1. Introduction

This stage refers to introduction of SaaS application to your company. When an employee gets a new SaaS license, the IT department should acknowledge about this subscription. Without this introduction or proper application visibility, organizations might pay for and don’t even use an overwhelming amount of SaaS licenses.

 

 2. Reviewing

Today, employees usually deploy a new SaaS application without checking with IT teams. However, to minimize security risks and ensure compliance of each license, your IT team needs to review all cloud services and SaaS vendors. Beyond that, organizations must be aware of app costs, exact usage, why employees are using this app, what are alternatives to this app, and more.

 

 3. Retention

The retention stage refers to supporting applications approved by IT, security, finance, and other departments. Cost estimate should be known and approved. All renewal dates need to be specified on a forecast plan. Companies should also receive notifications of each license renewal. Employees must also know which applications are approved by their organization. At the same time, companies should be aware of shadow IT – SaaS applications that are not approved IT and other teams.

 

 4. Optimization

When your organization succeeds in the retention stage, you can engage in cost and usage optimization. However, before that, it’s necessary to get control over SaaS costs. In addition, companies should discover which employee is using what application.

Without detailed spend reports and insights, your company can quickly lose control over SaaS costs. Besides, you can’t optimize SaaS costs without proper spend visibility of each team and employee.

Some SaaS vendors provide login and single sign-on data of their application. However, employees log into their SaaS applications automatically and might not even use them. Therefore, relying on this data might be dangerously misleading.

For these reasons, company should receive spend and usage information as well as optimization data on one powerful dashboard.

 

 5. Retirement

Retiring a cloud service is the highly crucial stage. Your organization should not ignore or skip this process. Aside from obvious cost perspective, unused and unknown SaaS apps expose your company to significant security risks. Furthermore, today, companies usually have several duplicate licenses of the same app.  Hence, app visibility while retiring a service is increasingly important.

 

The SaaS Lifecycle Management Solution

SaaS adoption is constantly increasing across. Using traditional management methods is highly ineffective and inefficient due to high error rate and time consumption. Luckily, today, companies have another solution to consider.

Organizations can easily manage all applications through the entire SaaS lifecycle by using a comprehensive SaaS management platform like Binadox. This platform provides all necessary tools to discover every SaaS application, get the exact app usage, and receive spend data. Binadox also provides cost optimization information and shows exactly how much you can save by obtaining a different license. Beyond that, Binadox helps organizations to discover underused and unused licenses on a single dashboard. Therefore, companies can easily optimize costs, gain control over SaaS apps and improve security at the same time.

To learn more about how your organization can benefit from managing your SaaS apps, try out Binadox today!