SAAS application sprawl … it’s time to get it under control


When you think of SAAS sprawl, it probably doesn't seem significant in the context of your IT priorities. But the truth is many businesses have a much larger blind spot than they realize when it comes to SAAS apps.

For example, growing SAAS portfolios can lead to a rise in Shadow IT, unregulated SaaS budgets, communication breakdowns, an increased cost of ownership, and a greater security risk surface.

So how much time does your IT team spend on managing your SaaS applications? Chances are this task leaves them with little to no time to focus on more strategic initiatives. The rise in hybrid and remote work has made matters worse for many.

Statistics tell a challenging story

With help from Productiv, we highlighted five SAAS statistics that sum up the challenges that IT leaders face today. The high cost of doing nothing for organizations is bigger than you think.

Companies have hundreds of SaaS apps

Let’s start with volume. The average application portfolio consists of 254 apps. The more applications you have, the greater the management overhang.

Think licenses, spend, compliance risks, and user requests. Did additional resources come with this expansion? It’s highly unlikely if your experience is like most IT organizations.

Less than half of all SaaS licenses are used regularly

Low usage isn’t a new problem, the costs have grown as the number of SAAS apps has increased. Many companies face issues that have to do with license forecasting or applications adoption.

Without sufficient management, IT teams must rely on instinct or gut feeling to help improve app adoption.

More than half of enterprise apps aren’t managed by IT

Teams are increasingly problem-solving app needs on their own by directly purchasing or signing up for tools. As a result, no one is paying close attention to renewal dates, licenses, usage, security, and compliance. Organizational security and compliance become larger threats. So does budget risk.

Available apps is making work more complex for employees

71% of workers say the number of apps is making work more complex. Large application portfolios often include duplicate and unmanaged apps. While the right tool for the job matters, SAAS sprawl can end up obstructing productivity and create a negative digital experience for employees.

Insufficient visibility into SaaS apps

97% of decision makers don’t know exactly what SaaS apps their employees use, how much those SaaS apps are costing the company, if those apps are compliant, or a host of other facts. Love it or hate it, the phrase often attributed to Peter Drucker can’t be ignored: “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.”

New pain points for IT

How does SAAS application sprawl impact IT? Daily operations feel it the most. While employees are reaping the benefits of SAAS solutions being more affordable and easier to adopt, IT teams are on the hook to manage hundreds of apps in their day-to-day work.

Take control using outside help and support

Chances are you may not have the resource, technical skills, or expertise internally to build a plan for taking control of your SAAS portfolio.

Perhaps a manual management method has been tried before. But this approach is time-consuming and error-ridden. For example, a spreadsheet won’t automatically update when you add a new SaaS license, and there are too many moving parts to track within a spreadsheet.

Vendors like us with project management expertise can help – whether it’s as simple as one dedicated resource driving this initiative on your behalf for a period of time, or something more substantial depending on your requirements.

Either way, our consultants will help you assess, rationalize and manage your SAAS application portfolio so that it’s working for you, not the other way around.

Benefits you’ve always wanted

With the right help and resources, you can realize three major advantages:

  • A simplified processes
  • Increased visibility into SaaS applications
  • More time to spend on strategic IT initiatives

Learn more

The challenge of SAAS application sprawl is real – and getting bigger. Gartner forecasts that annual SaaS spend will grow by 19%.

While often it’s line-of-business managers making buy decisions, the growth is putting more strain on limited IT resources – and IT is responsible for governing and securing all of these apps, including those not managed by IT.

Learn how we can support your SAAS application management initiative by starting a conversion now.

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