SaaS management: essential or a data security nightmare?
You may love the handy SaaS applications you use in your organisation, but are they putting you at risk of data breaches? Let’s find out more.
The last decade has seen SaaS become the most popular way to deliver business software into organisations. After all, it’s so simple to purchase (subscription, often with a free trial), get started (over the cloud) and upgrade that it’s hard to believe that companies used to install programs on static machines.
However, the sheer volume of SaaS apps we now have on our machines can lead to serious difficulties, especially if it gets out of control. Data breaches and other security issues can be disastrous for your business, so what can be done?
In this article, we’ll look at the problems that can happen if you don’t have a handle on your SaaS solutions and introduce the concept of SaaS management.
The SaaS age
The rise of SaaS in the world of business software has been meteoric. From a standing start ten years ago, there are now more than 20,000 SaaS companies globally, including 2000 in the UK. The average company uses a staggering 137 SaaS applications as it does business.
SaaS has changed the way companies operate for the better. It makes workers more productive, boosts opportunities for collaboration and improves communication. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all relied on SaaS solutions such as Zoom and Slack to get our work done at home. Also, due to the way SaaS solutions are priced, SaaS is cost-effective and scalable.
The problem is, SaaS is almost too convenient. When a new solution comes to the market, it’s so easy for someone to take it for a spin with a free trial, or make a simple card purchase to buy it in, knowing they can cancel it at any time if they don’t use it. This leads to the decentralisation of IT purchases and the number of SaaS solutions in a company growing out of control. In addition, it can lead to increased costs, duplication of function and a lack of accountability. Worse than those, it can lead to data risks.
Research published from DoControl Inc found that 40% of data accessed by SaaS solutions is unmanaged. This means that the company doesn’t necessarily know who is accessing it or check who is using it.
This problem puts companies at significant risk from data breaches from employees or people outside the company. For example, when an employee shares a link to a solution over email or uses their personal email to share data, it increases this risk. Another problem is when people leave the company, their SaaS accounts are not cancelled, so they can still access the data from their old company.
If you let the number of SaaS apps in your organisation get out of control and don’t place rules around how your employees use them, your data is at risk of exposure, which can be disastrous. Would you like your biggest competitor to have access to your CRM system so they can see who your customers are and how much they spend? It could easily happen if you don’t have a handle on your SaaS solutions.
Introducing SaaS management
SaaS management is the process of streamlining the SaaS applications in your organisation. SaaS management could include:
- Identifying the number of SaaS apps in your company
- Cancelling the ones that you don’t use, don’t provide value or are duplicated elsewhere
- Addressing security risks
- Setting out rules around data sharing
- Centralising contract renewals
Effective SaaS management gives you visibility over what’s going on in your company. It can help you save money rather than pay for apps you don’t use. It also reduces your data exposure risks.
Getting started with SaaS management
Getting to grips with the volume of SaaS apps in your organisation can be daunting, but it’s worth doing. The consequences of leaving things as they are could be severe.
An excellent place to start is to get buy-in from your leadership team. Ensure they understand the data exposure risks you take when you let your SaaS solutions grow out of control. Make sure they will back you if you encounter resistance from people in the company who love their SaaS apps and don’t want to change.
Next, you need to find out which SaaS programs you have in your company, who owns it, who uses it, what they use it for, and how much it costs. This creates accountability, but it also helps you discover cost savings. Ironically, you can use SaaS tools to help you automate your SaaS management! You also need to create a process for individual teams to follow if they want to try or buy new SaaS apps, to avoid it all getting out of hand again.
Set out rules around SaaS app usage to manage data risks. For example, make sure your users change passwords regularly. Have a process for when people leave the company, so they don’t maintain access to your data. Set rules around what you can and cannot put in emails.
Finally, keep looking for ways to improve your SaaS management. It’s always an ongoing process.
Find out more from SaaSLeads
At SaaSLeads.io, we recruit, develop and deliver SDRs to your organisation, ready to produce excellent results in your sales team.
Our extensive training programme teaches SDRs to generate excitement around the impact your product brings. First, they learn how to move your prospects through a structured sales process that leads to more won deals. Then, when they get to your company, they’re ready to produce unparalleled results.
To find out more, contact us by filling out the form below.
Ready to talk? Get in touch today