Why Automation is Critical to SaaS Management
What separates a valuable SaaS Management Tool from the rest?
In this post, you'll learn about:
- The Three Pillars of Good SaaS Management
- The Emergence of Automated SaaS Management
- Four Tasks You Should Automate
- Onboarding New Hires - Application Provisioning
- Offboarding Employees - Application Deprovisioning
- Finding New Applications
- Deprovisioning Unused Licenses
- Conclusion: Why You Can’t Wait
The SaaS Explosion changed (and is changing) everything about how we interact with software. We adopted more cloud software, and our reliance on it increased. Cloud apps have become central and essential to our daily work with time.
To maintain speed and agility, we adopted decentralized decision-making where Line of Business (LOB) leaders bought some of the tools for their team instead of leaving it to IT. This decentralization increased productivity and speed (👍) and increased costs and risk exposure (👎).
To combat these negative impacts, there emerged a new category of tools. SaaS Management Solutions. With SaaS Management, IT and LOB leaders gained visibility into employees' applications (including the unsanctioned apps). Through this new tool, companies finally began to manage their SaaS Stack.
Note💡 Want to learn a little more about the SaaS Explosion and the rise of SaaS Management? Check out this article 👉 What is SaaS Management?
Then, while we were still learning about the existence of SaaS Management, the pandemic struck. The prior trends or decentralization and speed only increased. But, so did the security risks, the SaaS sprawl, the cost bloat, and so on.
Suddenly, SaaS Management in its basic form wasn't enough.
Today, leaders need discovery and management, but they also need to automate these functions. They need a way to automate de-risking and optimization.
They need to let software manage software.
So then the question becomes: What separates a good SaaS Management Solution from the rest?
The Three Pillars of Good SaaS Management
There are three critical components to effective SaaS Management:
Discovery is the act of uncovering what happens in your organization. Good discovery is difficult because we don't know what we don't know. A sound SaaS Management system tells you what you should know. It does this by finding which applications use your employee's email addresses. It's that simple, no questionnaires, no spreadsheets, no follow-ups. Good discovery cuts through the shadows and gives you a clear picture of your SaaS portfolio.
Discovery is fantastic, but you must then take action based on that knowledge. A good SaaS Management solution centralizes your actions. For example, if you want to deprovision duplicate licenses, you shouldn't have to go to the admin panel for each application. Good SaaS Management is your HQ, your fortress.
Automation is critical for a few reasons. It reduces risk, saves time, gives professionals more control over where to invest their time, and more. Unfortunately, automation is also where most SaaS Management tools fall short. For that reason, we see a distinct category emerge: Automated SaaS Management.
The Emergence of Automated SaaS Management
There are so many opportunities for automation. But with regards to SaaS Management, automation is vital for two things - optimization and de-risking.
Automation for Optimization
When something is optimized, you almost forget about it because it just works. The same is true when SaaS Management optimizes your SaaS application workflows. Rather than spending too much time tinkering, worrying, and tweaking - automation handles many of the time-intensive tasks and allows you to focus on the big projects that bring value to your organization.
For example, the process of onboarding a new employee can take a lot of time, effort, and a few too many emails back and forth retrieving login information. With Automated SaaS Management, those low-skill, high-headache tasks largely disappear.
That is how optimization via SaaS Management should feel. You don’t fret, tinker, or worry because it just works.
Automation for De-risking
Can automated SaaS Management help you sleep better at night? Maybe! If one of the things keeping you up is fear of an impending security breach. The reality is that the SaaS Explosion didn’t just open the door to new opportunities; it also extended to new ways bad actors and innocent mistakes can expose your data.
Often this is due to the proliferation of Shadow IT. Employee’s ability to download and install any application with ease. While that sounds great (and it often is!), it also means that the possible places for a data breach are simply too numerous for IT to handle.
Many take a defensive stance, enacting tools like CASB and Firewall, but these tools can only do so much. IT needs a tool that automatically identifies Shadow IT applications and makes deprovisioning easy.
Fortunately, this is precisely what Automated SaaS Management does. It gives the entire company insight into which tools the employees are using.
Accessible and Powerful
Automation is not magic. It's not artificial intelligence. And it doesn't simply work by itself. It is a capability enabled by technology. But, for it to be effective, automation must be both accessible and powerful. The user must be able to use the tool and get the desired outcome.
That’s where Torii focuses. It provides automation that takes advantage of the insight and lets the IT team design simple workflows that just work. Very few tools can deliver on the process of automation that is powerful and usable.
With Torii, automation doesn’t require a lot of automation-specific knowledge. The user really just needs to have a clear picture of what they want to accomplish. The no-code workflow builder lets any user become a creator and build something unique to their needs.
And that’s not an exaggeration; we’ve often seen Torii users build an automated process that we had never seen before! This kind of automation is accessible and powerful. Users can create workflows that are either super custom to their needs or very standard and out-of-the-box. It’s up to you.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that Torii’s Automated SaaS Management System delivers.
Four Tasks You Should Automate
Onboarding New Hires - Application Provisioning
People switch jobs a lot. In recent years, that rate of change has increased, and IT teams are paying the hidden price. The time and effort required to onboard an employee are significant and essential. A good onboarding experience contributes to higher retention and better overall productivity.
However, onboarding can mean copying and pasting multiple license and login information between spreadsheets and emails for the IT team. Not a great use of time!
Torii and automation can help.
With Torii, you can create a simple onboarding workflow that automatically initiates based on a trigger (like someone receiving a Single Sign-On account). This then triggers an entire workflow of automatically provisioning applications and corresponding login details based on the employee's role.
This workflow saves time for IT, reduces emails and miscommunications, and drastically improves the onboarding experience for the new hire.
But what about when that employee eventually leaves?
Offboarding Employees - Application Deprovisioning
Better onboarding leads to higher retention rates and productivity. However, offboarding often gets overlooked.
Proper offboarding saves companies money on unused licenses and removes the outstanding threat of unrevoked access privileges. No wonder 76% of IT pros consider offboarding a significant security risk.
Unfortunately, the offboarding process is time-consuming, and often it simply isn’t finished. This is where automation becomes the perfect solution.
Torii makes it easy to create a workflow for deprovisioning employees' applications. It also includes a dashboard from which you can see the entire process as well as determine things like:
- How to access to each application (or group of applications) should be revoked
- Who is responsible for revoking access
- What the follow-up process will be
- What the confirmation process should look like
Once you’ve created the workflows and defined the above considerations, your offboarding becomes a one-click process (Yes, really, learn more here).
There’s a lot more to offboarding than deprovisioning applications. If you want to make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row, we created a free and comprehensive Offboarding Checklist. 🎉
Ok, onboarding and offboarding are done! But, how do you know you identified all the applications that the user accessed?
Finding New Applications
Shadow IT is an unavoidable reality of our cloud-based businesses. Some reports indicate that the ratio of sanctioned to unsanctioned applications can be as high as 10 to 1 😬. 1
And often, that’s not a big problem. If someone uses Google Docs instead of Microsoft Word, you’re ok. However, often these applications are less known. Worse yet, they can require integrations with essential applications. Suddenly, the barriers between sanctioned and unsanctioned applications become a little blurry.
Some companies try to lock down all unsanctioned applications to varying success.
With Torri, instead of going on lockdown, you gain visibility. Torii automatically tracks anytime an employee uses their company email for a new application. If the application is sanctioned, all good! However, if the application is unsanctioned, it requests that the employee provide some information about the application, and IT is immediately made aware of the application’s presence in the organization. This way, IT doesn’t have to lock down applications, and they don’t need to live in ignorance of the SaaS Sprawl.
When employees find a new application, often it’s because an existing tool is not working. So how can IT monitor both the unsanctioned application adopted and the sanctioned apps abandoned?
Deprovisioning Unused Licenses
How many expensive licenses go utterly unused in your organization?
The answer is usually somewhere between “Too many” and “I have no idea.”
It’s tricky. When employees stop using an application, it’s not a single moment of resolution. No one wakes up on January first and makes a resolution to stop using enterprise software. Instead, the abandonment is usually more gradual.
But IT has no way of monitoring this short of digging into every application’s administrative dashboard and combing through the data (a noble pastime).
With Torii, you can create an automated workflow that deprovisions software after an employee fails to log in for a certain period. The period might be 30 days, 60 days, or more. This simple automation keeps your application catalog clean and focused.
Conclusion: Why You Can't-Wait
Automated SaaS Management solves many of the frustrations that IT teams face today. Too many tiny tasks, not enough time in the day. With Torii, IT becomes the architect of a new and exciting technology strategy rather than feeling drained by a series of dull steps.
With this new Automated SaaS Management, the organization is optimized and de-risked, ready for the future.
But you might be wondering, “Why the urgency? Our organization could make many improvements; why would SaaS Management deserve greater attention right now?”
Well, as it turns out - almost 75% of IT professionals without a SaaS Management solution said they wanted to adopt one soon - check out this article the learn about the three reasons why that is!