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The 21st century executive

The Complete Guide to SaaSOps: What it is and why you need it

SaaSOps, also known as software-as-a-service operations, is becoming an increasingly critical business function for companies of all sizes embarking on digital transformation journeys. As companies grow, the amount of SaaS products required to keep things running smoothly tends to grow exponentially. This ultimately creates the need for SaaSOps to help manage applications and prevent security breaches. 

In 2020, the forecasted global Enterprise SaaS market was valued at a staggering $94.2 billion, signifying a growing demand for SaaS solutions. However, as more tools enter the market with the promise to optimize workflows, SaaSOps is quickly becoming a priority for organizations both large and small.  

This article will discuss the importance of SaaSOps, its increasing adoption, and how SaaSOps can influence business outcomes. 

What is SaaSOps? 

SaaSOps can be defined as the management of SaaS applications through centralized and automated operations. This can be done in a variety of ways. SaasOps can be configured through SaaSOps software or by IT management personnel. With the help of SaaSOps, organizations and end users experience greater fluidity between applications, enhanced collaboration, and a more enjoyable employee experience. What’s more, it can help prevent security issues that often accompany large amounts of users working across a seamingly endless number of external and internal applications.  

Is SaaSOps on the rise?

SaaSOps covers a broad range of duties, including everything from managing user and team accesses, SaaS purchase decisions, technology business use cases, licensing and spending, data access and security, and more. As a result, SaaSOps is critical to business operations by enabling organizations to transition from manual, labor-intensive processes to more efficient, streamlined work environments.  

Although SaaSOps isn’t a new practice, the demand and complexity of SaaS applications continue to grow. According to Productiv, the average company has over 180 SaaS applications, while large enterprises can have more than 1,000. More software management challenges emerge as companies add more applications, including a lack of communication transparency in balancing business demands and project risk.  

A recent survey found that 62% of IT executives rely on vendor data to understand application usage. In addition, an overwhelming number of survey respondents also indicated that they rely on feedback from conversations and employees as a barometer of application usage. This feedback signifies the general lack of transparency regarding software application usage coming from IT departments. 

That said, IT departments often experience strain managing traditional operations. For this reason, more businesses are investing in SaaSOps-specific software or developing new SaaSOps roles to better support existing IT departments.  Download free eBook: Top KPIs for Optimizing Software Development

What are the benefits of SaaSOps? 

Investing in SaaSOps can improve IT output and operations business-wide. Beyond helping employees work more efficiently and leaders make better software decisions, SaaSOps also offers value by identifying, managing, and securing companies’ digital transformation initiatives. 

  1. Discovery 

    A core component of SaaSOps is SaaS discovery, which enables companies to gain greater transparency inside their IT environment, including cost versus consumption of SaaS applications business-wide. SaaS discovery creates transparency by taking inventory of all applications and software currently used in an organization to determine where redundancies occur in application use cases.

    By initiating SaaS discovery, IT departments can help organizations eliminate ‘shadow IT,’ which is defined as IT devices, software, and services uncontrolled by IT organizations. Eliminating shadow IT can help mitigate data vulnerabilities and protect organizations from fines associated with unlicensed use of software applications. In addition, SaaS discovery helps determine what applications to use, who will use the applications, and how much to invest in SaaS initiatives.    


    As a result of SaaS discovery, businesses can be more strategic regarding their software partners while also developing a precise forecast of future software spending. 

  2. Management

    Compared to SaaS discovery, SaaS management focuses less on new software prospects and more on the use and configuration of current applications. Management duties include: 
    • Renewal planning 
    • Managing software licenses and allocation 
    • Eliminating redundant operations.  

    When operating correctly, SaaS management can benefit businesses by streamlining regular IT tasks, simplifying procurement processes, improving software adoption rates, and optimizing spending by eliminating inefficient or underutilized software applications.

  3. Security

    Perhaps the most important benefit of SaaSOps is that of ensuring greater security surrounding SaaS applications. Although software vendors are typically in control of security on the platform, vendors cannot control who is given access to the platform. SaaS security can help mitigate accidental or malevolent insider threats by regularly monitoring activity to alleviate these worries.

    Such monitoring can include monitoring user permissions and account activations and deactivations.

    As a result of implementing SaaS security procedures, businesses can benefit from an extra line of defense between their data and harmful actors. 

More Efficient Control, Better Operations 

SaaSOps is a crucial component of modern IT responsibilities. By investing in the management and security of SaaS software, businesses can support their digital transformation initiatives. As a result, companies can experience more significant savings on software procurement, eliminate redundant labor practices, and increase productivity and collaboration among employees. 

Internally and externally-focused SaaSOps for business success 

Focusing on improving the operations of both your internally and externally developed SaaS tools are essential for long-term success. There is certainly overlap in the areas that need to be tracked for both types of SaaS products in use. However, the development itself must also be heavily monitored when you’re creating SaaS products in-house.

If you’re looking to improve the management of the software you're developing in-house, you’re going to need to get your software development operations (DevOps) in check. To do so, we recommend utilizing an internal SaaSOps tool (DevOps tools) to monitor development and improve decision-making. Such tools are aimed at analyzing your code and providing information to improve your development efforts. Foreworth offers a unique way of centralizing this information, making it easy to understand and act on by both business leaders and tech stakeholders. With Foreworth, you are given access to standardized, objective code quality and team productivity metrics alongside actionable recommendations aimed at helping businesses maximize the ROI on software development operations. For more information on Foreworth’s software intelligence platform, we encourage you to read more here. 

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About the author
Elena Leralta

Working as Foreworth’s Chief Financial Officer, Elena possesses a wealth of knowledge on business management and finance owing to her over 20 years of experience working in the financial sector.

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