Maybe you’re assigned to inventory SaaS after an acquisition. Or, you’re the person that will designate someone to do so.
Integration after an acquisition requires intense time commitments and attention to detail, and SaaS inventories are no different. Many companies inventory their SaaS less than they think they do. Or, some staff members may believe they have a thorough inventory without tools to extensively audit those findings.
Research from reputable organizations like Gartner and Cisco repeatedly show that more cloud software exists than anyone believed, by orders of magnitude.
Why Is Inventorying SaaS Important?
Assets and liabilities hide in SaaS. Cost-cutting and license optimization lurk in cloud software. Acquisitions magnify these opportunities and risks.
People leave, accounts are forgotten, and other people may have diminishing interest in attempting to recall all the cloud software they use.
And a delay in integration can extend feelings of chaos. Reconciling SaaS may help with that.
What Priorities Should I Have When I Inventory SaaS?
We have worked with other organizations in this kind of situation. Here’s what you should focus on based on our experience:
1. Find the SaaS
Start with discovery. You need solid data to take action.
There are many ways to discover cloud apps. Currently, Alpin offers over a dozen methods to quickly find and categorize SaaS.
Some companies conduct manual surveys, though this approach assumes a generous and not-believable level of accuracy from your workforce. Combing through firewall logs or expense histories could also help. We have an spreadsheet template for manually cataloging SaaS, if you’d like to try it.
2. Cut Licenses or Users
We have found many companies had crazy scenarios going on in their cloud software without their knowledge. These are tech-forward, organized, and otherwise successful companies.
We have seen many companies paying for licenses of long-gone users — in one case, 3 years gone. These cases are harder to find without a tool like Alpin.
Opportunities will also likely surface to cut redundant licenses or licenses for highly infrequent users.
3. Consolidate Software And Accounts
Generally, people will be using the same kinds of software — sometimes even the same software but different accounts. Slack is notorious for this, and it’s common with SaaS.
Determining what to consolidate and how fast (often based on spend), will likely be a worthwhile use of your time.
What Else Could I Do?
Check out our series on SaaS management use cases, which highlights the many things you can do with a platform like Alpin. Based on that, here are a few quick tips from us:
• Reporting: Organize cloud software with tags so you can easily report on which departments or divisions use what software.
• Security: Investigate the security scores or compliance certificates for vendors you use, which you can find in Alpin.
• Compliance: Determine what software contains sensitive information, and tag it appropriately for reporting. Also, consider sending security assessments through Alpin’s platform, where we can calculate responses automatically for you.
Want to get a taste for the leading SaaS management platform? Look no further than Alpin. We have over a dozen ways to discover SaaS apps, along with financial, compliance, and security tools; contact us for a 10-minute demo. You’ll see how Alpin can work for you. Get started by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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