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Lessons from the Gartner® Market Guide for SaaS Management Platforms

When the pandemic shifted businesses to hybrid and remote work models, it kicked IT spending, SaaS adoption, and overall digital transformation into overdrive. As a leader in the SaaS management space, we at Torii have seen the writing on the wall for years—modern IT requires innovative solutions built for the decentralized reality of the cloud-powered business world. Gartner reinforced our vision in the 2021 Market Guide for SaaS Management Platforms (SMPs), asserting that, “Managing SaaS applications with disparate admin controls decreases IT’s ability to track usage, automate management tasks and establish consistent security posture across the portfolio. Scalable SaaS portfolio management requires infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders to adopt SMP tools.”

Intrigued to learn how an SMP could work for your business? Keep reading for more key takeaways, market recommendations, and outcomes from SMP adoption.

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Gartner insight on the SMP market

According to Gartner, “As organizations’ SaaS portfolios grow, so does the need for a single orchestration point for visibility and control.” This is what SMPs enable.

Gartner defines SMPs as, “stand-alone tools that can discover, manage and secure multiple

SaaS applications from a central admin dashboard, delivered as a turnkey service.” The report notes that over the last several years, “the market for SMPs has matured with core capabilities to discover SaaS applications, manage their use, automate workflows, and establish consistent identity, access and data governance controls across SaaS applications.” In other words, SMPs have the capabilities needed to help IT departments solve their most pressing SaaS challenges.

Gartner anticipates, “by 2026, 50% of organizations using multiple SaaS applications will centralize management and usage metrics of these apps using an SMP tool, an increase from less than 20% in 2021.”

But as SaaS stacks grow, organizations would be wise to take advantage of SMP solutions ASAP.

How SMPs solve major IT challenges

SaaS applications are often adopted to solve operational inefficiencies, but without centralized visibility into those apps and their users, and the ability to easily take action on those apps, SaaS can actually create more inefficiencies and complexity.

It’s time for IT leaders to use tech to manage tech investments. Let’s break down how SMPs do just that.

Discovery and action

Advanced discovery is a critical component of any SMP worth its salt. Per the Gartner report, “SMPs integrate with various infrastructure components to ingest information on SaaS application use.” With this information, IT can build a centralized inventory of their SaaS apps, including those tools adopted outside of IT’s purview, i.e., Shadow IT. Gartner found that, “Organizations using SMPs regularly report finding a significant delta between SaaS apps identified during discovery and their official list of ‘approved’ applications.”  

Gartner asserts, “Achieve the greatest efficiency benefits for IT by choosing the SMP that can support the majority of SaaS apps in use and that offers the greatest number of integration points in the functional pillars of greatest importance.”

Discovery and visibility into data around app usage, owners, users, costs, licenses, and more set a strong, must-have foundation for SaaS management. But it is just the baseline. Even the best data has little worth if you're not easily able to take action on it, without burdening IT. Bi-directional integrations, automation, and the ability to manage third-party tools directly in your SMP are key to this.

Automation and centralized controls

Gartner points out that, “As SaaS usage grows, so does the number of disparate SaaS administrative consoles and associated open browser tabs that IT administrators must traverse to remain abreast of the settings, status and usage of each SaaS app.” Imagine you have 20 new employees all starting the same day and several employees offboarding at the same time. Bouncing from app-to-app to give those new employees access, revoke permissions from those leaving the organization, and complete other repetitive administrative tasks leaves a ton of room for errors.

Outdated, manual processes aren’t just an operational risk; they’re a deterrent to the employee experience. Your IT team is bound to burn out if they aren’t empowered with a tool that makes their jobs easier and them more successful. Implementing an SMP that automates workflows and administrative processes can lift the burden on IT teams and free them up to work on tasks that add greater business value.  

Spend optimization and cost control

Organizations with a diverse SaaS portfolio often lack centralized ownership of their applications. Procurement decisions are increasingly made not only by IT, but also by department leaders and even individual employees. While there are benefits to this decentralized model, such as accelerated innovation, the realities of siloed app ownership and management often insulate these organizations from feeling inefficiencies and recognizing opportunities for spend optimization.

The results? Wasted licenses, app redundancies, surprise contract renewals, and other factors undermining ROI.

SMPs ingest and create a central repository of real-time data on all SaaS apps, providing the complete visibility and enhanced control that IT, Finance and Procurement leaders need to optimize their investments and SaaS vendor relationships.


Security and data governance

Adopting SaaS applications adds security and compliance risks, which are top of mind for IT executives these days. Gartner says, “The broad reach of SMPs positions them as ideal choices for broad, operational support of SaaS application portfolio management, including some security functionality.”

For instance, the report notes that SMPs can help by enabling organizations to “Manage, automate and enforce configuration policies consistently across the SaaS application portfolio.” They also support governance policies and automate workflows that control access by offboarding unauthorized users.  

It’s important to keep in mind that, as Gartner says, “The role of an SMP can look similar to that of a SaaS security posture management (SSPM) tool or a cloud security posture management (CSPM) tool, but SMPs offer capabilities that expand to functions and capabilities that go beyond assessing and improving the security of SaaS apps or cloud infrastructure alone.”

The SMP solution: Let software manage software

As Gartner suggests, “It is critical for buyers to understand the breadth and depth offered by an SMP, in terms of app support and feature depth across functional areas and apps, chosen for evaluation.” While legacy solutions play catch up, SMPs like Torii were built for the decentralized new normal and support digital workplace infrastructures that I&O leaders have been strategically building.

The Torii platform uniquely enables IT and other key stakeholders to discover and act on every SaaS application in your portfolio. With over 100 direct integrations—significantly more than other SMPs—and more than 10,000 secondary integrations, Torii enables businesses to gather rich, trustworthy data on everything they need to control spend, optimize ROI, and de-risk SaaS applications.

Our customers’ results speak for themselves. For instance, since adopting Torii, Gorillas, a fast-growing, on-demand delivery company, has:

  • Reduced license costs by hundreds of thousands of euros
  • Saved 1000+ hours in onboarding and offboarding
  • Eliminated 200+ hours on license management and delegation

With Torii, Hired, an AI-driven hiring marketplace, successfully:

  • Reduced onboarding time by 85%
  • Eliminated surprise renewals
  • Saved $1.7 million in SaaS applications

Envious of those results? Explore Torii’s platform and join us in the SaaS management revolution.

Want to take a deeper dive into the Gartner analysis? Access a complimentary copy of the Market Guide for SaaS Management Platforms.

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