How to Improve Monitoring of Enterprise SaaS Applications

18 August 2022 | Posted by Don Kiernan

The enterprise workforce and its methods of working are ever-changing. Concepts like remote and hybrid models are now standards in the workplace, and teams rely on virtual solutions more than ever to stay connected. So, enterprises need an effective method to keep track of enterprise Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.

SaaS applications have formed the foundations of enterprise IT for years. But IT environments continue to grow in complexity, and overall spend per company on SaaS products is up 50% compared to only two years ago. Keeping track of new deployments and ensuring consistency is an ongoing challenge.

What Are Enterprise SaaS Applications?

The most common enterprise SaaS applications include Microsoft Teams, Slack, Dropbox, Zoom, LinkedIn Premium, and GoToMeeting. Employees use them to connect and collaborate, and for many businesses, they’ve become the default method of communication.

While greater flexibility and choice of solutions have a positive impact on productivity, it can create havoc for internal IT departments. They become shadow IT risks, and your teams lose visibility of who's using what and their reasons for using it. It also increases the possibility of employees adopting potentially risky software, which can create greater problems if they work with business-sensitive data.

Most importantly for global, enterprise organizations, SaaS applications can become a significant financial burden. If employees are adopting new technology, paying for subscriptions, and renewing them over time, costs will increase. Luckily, telecom expense management (TEM) services can help. 

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How to Improve Visibility of Your SaaS Applications

To get a complete understanding of your existing SaaS portfolio, you need a centralized platform that lets you view and report on three important factors:

  • Applications
  • Usage
  • Spend

Here's how.

Adopt Always-on Monitoring

With the support of your TEM partner, you can implement always-on monitoring that actively audits your IT environment and tags SaaS application licenses. This gives you a centralized view of every application in your enterprise. 

Implement Reporting

Reporting tools help you understand and track SaaS usage. Methods such as visual reporting drill-down the information related to your licenses, users, and payments. This answers important questions, such as how many users are using a certain application, how often, and where they're based in your organization.

Additionally, reporting identifies trends about SaaS usage you might have overlooked before. For example, is there a popular, well-used SaaS application in your organization that wasn't corporate-issued? Reporting functionality uncovers this key information. 

Optimize SaaS Licenses

Your TEM provider can help you eliminate unnecessary spend by identifying, reassigning, or canceling unused licenses in your organization.

Importantly, when this is achieved using a centralized platform, you can identify optimization opportunities at a glance and order them by priority. With everything in one place, you can make rightsizing, reassignment, or downgrading decisions that are impactful because you have a comprehensive view of everything in your IT estate, not just one part of it.

Continuously Monitor Renewals

Expired contracts or newly expensed solutions must be continuously renewed. Price changes occur frequently, for example: when a user upgrades, a certain amount of time surpasses, or a contract expires. 

Your TEM partner can use industry benchmark data to compare your portfolio against your peers, to ensure you have the right application mix at a fair price. 

And with greater visibility, there's also greater awareness of what SaaS applications are needed, how many, and what isn't needed.

SaaS Doesn't Have to Go Under the Radar

Many enterprises overlook SaaS applications. But with the right solutions in place, you can eliminate shadow IT and get better visibility over what's being used in your organization. 

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