Hundreds of articles describe “top” CIO priorities. I’ve now read many of them, and I’ll describe how SaaS management brings a lot of those priorities together.
Generally, CIOs prioritize:
- IT’s organizational influence, viewing thought leadership, innovation, and new technology as ways to maintain or grow that influence.
- Cybersecurity improvements.
- Budgets and reducing spend whether short term through automation and consolidation or longer-term through investments such as AI.
If you’re a CIO, hopefully none of this surprises you.
One thing that may surprise you is that CIOs can use SaaS management to bolster those priorities by:
- Driving innovation and influence by guiding user decisions.
- Creating visibility to identify and close security loopholes in the cloud.
- Re-capturing up to 30% of cloud software spend.
Driving innovation and influence by guiding user decisions
SaaS management can increase IT’s profile and help leadership guide software trends early.
Your users and the rapidly-growing enterprise SaaS market are a source of innovation — if you know what SaaS choices they’re making.
Why? Because They’re already purchasing & using innovative SaaS apps without your knowledge. So wouldn’t they be better off if you were there to support them?
Alpin tracks over 40,000 SaaS applications. SaaS will reach $100B in annual enterprise spending this year. These purchasing trends largely start with lower-level users.
An enterprising CIO who knows what apps employees are adopting can get ahead of the curve to proactively identify new apps that need support. What if a CIO had seen the Slack wave coming and shepherded its adoption, instead of finding they had no choice but to react to its spread internally?
The next big, innovative, and expensive application may already be spreading. Given that a huge percentage of SaaS is not known by IT, you should expect to find new, surprising data using a SaaS management platform like Alpin.
The deeper you dive into your SaaS landscape, more information will present itself as opportunities to drive influence, such as:
- Per-employee SaaS spend which can highlight IT’s ongoing need to oversee all software that exceeds spending targets.
- Insight into zombie users – see how many unused or inactive licenses are still being paid for, and use this information to show how IT should handle onboarding / offboarding.
- Drive efficiency by automating onboarding and offboarding through Alpin.
Creating visibility to identify and close security loopholes in the cloud
Shadow SaaS makes policy enforcement difficult. BYOD, remote employees, and other factors may further complicate your efforts.
Read about some of our “favorite” shadow SaaS horror stories here.
SaaS, by its nature, has led to end-users singing with little oversight. End users can have “shiny object syndrome” where they decide to try out the newest, flashy tool…for a while before forgetting they have an account.
These tools are given permissions to access data (permissions that users themselves barely glance at), and those permissions can remain active for months or years before someone realizes this application has the keys to the kingdom.
Alpin allows you to take many actions to close these cloud loopholes, such as:
- Identify risky permissions granted to third party apps that allow access to more sensitive material than anyone realizes.
- Blacklist known problem apps (or even full domains).
- Locate which apps can access corporate information and identify which of those vendors hold compliance certifications.
Re-capturing up to 30% of cloud software budget
Want a no-brainer decision? SaaS management pays for itself. Leveraging those cost savings could be how you fund the next security initiative or… something more worthwhile than paying for 3-years-gone employee software licenses!
Besides license cleanup, SaaS management presents several other ways to achieve cost savings, such as:
- Finding and eliminating redundant products, combining spend into one enterprise agreement.
- Preventing license auditing fees by reporting on freemium products discovered.
- Leveraging real-time user data in vendor negotiations, bringing license and activity data to bear on contracted rates.
If you’re looking to get more serious about SaaS management to lead your IT department into its next stage, we have even more features to show you. Contact us for a demo or start a 14-day trial. You’ll see how Alpin can work for you. Get started by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.