3 Problems with SaaS Licenses
June 14, 2018 |
Enterprises have been adopting SaaS applications at a rapid pace and this is expected to keep increasing. Gartner predicts that 45% of all application software spend will be on cloud applications by 2021.
At first glance, moving to SaaS applications brings several advantages – lower costs of ownership, easier collaboration with partners and customers, better employee productivity and not having to deal with on-premise infrastructure.
Many companies believe that moving to cloud applications will magically take away ALL of their app management problems. While it does move a lot of the heavy lifting to the app vendors, there is still a need for enterprises to simplify and centralize administration across their apps, secure their data from exposure, stay in compliance of regulations and manage their SaaS usage and costs.
There is still a need for Cloud Applications Management as the number of cloud applications grows.
One of the areas of Cloud Applications Management that is rapidly becoming very complex is SaaS license management.There are three major concerns to be addressed in this area:
Costs – While the on-demand/ subscription nature of cloud applications is a major draw, it can quickly get expensive. As more users are added, more SaaS applications are brought into the company and over several years, costs for SaaS applications can surpass on-premise costs and get quite expensive over time. These costs need to be better managed.
Visibility – After admins provision SaaS license to users, they don’t actively track usage – visibility into who is actively using their license, who has not logged in for a while, expired licenses, licenses assigned to users who are no longer with the company and so on. There may be opportunities to save costs that IT admins currently don’t have visibility into.
Renewal Cycles – Although SaaS subscription licenses are normally sold on a per-user / per-month basis, companies purchase longer term contracts – typically 1 yr / 3 yr contracts. Add in users constantly joining and leaving the company, there is regular need to true-up. Keeping track of all of this is especially complicated for mid- to small- companies.
Today, most companies track their SaaS subscriptions in one of the following ways:
On a spreadsheet: Ah the power of MS Excel! While this brings some structure to the process, it is only as good as the data entered into it. Many of our clients have reported that over time, this just falls through the cracks and does not really provide any benefit long term.
Going to each application and looking up your subscription details: This can be a cumbersome task across all your applications especially since even small companies have in excess of 16 applications. It is also quite difficult to get an accurate reading of your licensing costs and usage across all your SaaS applications.
Just subscribe and let it be: Some companies try to predict the number of licenses they will need over a period of time, buy these in bulk and then let it manage itself. However pricing models and usage patterns can change. Growth and capacity demands are not easy to predict and companies need a better system to optimize their licensing purchases.
All of the above are band-aids and cannot comprehensively manage the complex SaaS licensing environment that most organizations have to deal with today. Today’s cloud centric enterprises need a better tool for managing licenses across all their applications. This tool can show admins licensing data across all their SaaS applications on one console, better predict usage patterns and optimize purchases, eliminate redundancies and make your SaaS environment more efficient, thus saving IT costs. Adya is that tool.