More organizations are adopting SaaS applications, and at first glance it seems Software Asset Management should be greatly simplified with SaaS. After all, many SaaS application agreements have some element of seat-based per-user pricing, which means it should be easy to identify users and easy to prevent subscription cost over runs.
But our customers are saying something quite different. SaaS continues to present some unique challenges for Software Asset Management, and these challenges point to four “must do’s” for cost containment and risk reduction.
- “Shadow IT” SaaS usage is epidemic. According to research by Stratecast, more than 80 percent of survey respondents have used non-approved SaaS applications at work, and 35 percent of all SaaS applications in use are purchased and used out-of-policy. If IT has no visibility into a LOB (or even IT’s) usage of certain SaaS applications it becomes impossible to help reduce potential waste and risks to the organization.
SaaS application silos are proliferating. Without a thorough view into all instances of SaaS application use across the organization, it’s easy for departments or even teams to use the same SaaS application in similar ways and not know about others’ use. These uncoordinated SaaS silos represent potential waste due to sub-optimized pricing as well as over subscribing. Under a coordinated program IT might have access to the highest level of “enterprise wide use” pricing when contracting, as well as reducing the risks from non-compliance with proper vendor agreements.
- Must Do: Deploy automated, non-intrusive discovery tools to gain visibility into SaaS applications across the organization.
- Must Do: Deploy automated discovery tools that can provide the forensic discovery capabilities necessary to discover and report on multi-level user interaction.
You can learn more about SaaS software asset cost containment in our white paper, Why Tracking Adoption of SaaS Applications is a Business Critical Discipline.
Look for the remaining “Must-Do’s” in an upcoming post, but in the meantime please share your challenges and insight on how you are handling SaaS is your organization.