In this guest article, Uri Haramati, the co-founder and CEO of Torii, explores the explosion of SaaS/cloud in the last decade and how IT asset managers are using SaaS Management platforms to take back control.
If you want to hear more from Torii, tune into our recent webinar about the challenges of shadow IT, where Chris Shakarian, VP of Marketing at Torii discussed how SaaS Management can reconcile these competing demands.
As the number of cloud apps increases across organizations, IT departments lose visibility and control over this function. As a result, when asked how many apps their company currently has, IT managers tend to dramatically underestimate the figure. Often, a company has at least three times more applications than IT thinks.
While IT professionals might not know about all their apps, they know change is in the air. They sense that Shadow IT runs rampant, and that cloud applications are the key culprit. Many are turning to SaaS Management Platforms (SMPs) for help.
Torii’s recent survey of professionals found that only 16% currently have an SMP in place; however, 64% of people from the same group intend to evaluate or purchase an SMP in the next two years.
But why the sudden surge in interest? SaaS adoption has increased year over year for a decade. What has changed?
Here’s why SaaS Management has exploded:
1. The WFH Movement
Before 2020, only 6% of employees in the United States said they work from home (WFH) full-time. In May of 2020, due to the pandemic, that number shot up to 35%. As employees went remote, our tools and workflows changed.
The familiar and comfortable processes no longer worked. They couldn’t rely on in-person communication or on-premise tools. With the shift to remote, teams needed to find cloud-based alternatives. But many companies added tools in a decentralized, ad hoc method.
Often, it was department heads or individual employees making these application decisions. IT was often left out of the loop on rapid digital transformation. Once the dust settled, IT was left reacting and scrambling to figure out which applications were added to the company amidst the chaos of the shift.
Today, many IT professionals are still grappling with the aftershocks of that seismic activity. They are still discovering apps, encountering surprise contract renewals, and reckoning with the bloated SaaS spending.
When asking IT professionals what challenge stemming from the pandemic had the largest impact on the organization’s operations, 41% said SaaS spend visibility and optimization.
2. The Great Resignation
In the past, the ideal scenario for many workers was a series of promotions within the same company. However, the modern career path is rarely so straightforward.
Today, the median tenure is lower than ever before. For example, within the U.S., that number is only 4.1 years. These shortened tenures have become even more pronounced during the pandemic as a record number of workers changed jobs.
This is relevant to IT because they are often tasked with maintaining their organizations’ cyber security, and offboarding poses a significant security threat. For example, an Intermedia study found that 89% of employees could access sensitive corporate applications well after departure.
These security threats are known to IT as well. For example, when asked, 76% of IT professionals consider offboarding a significant security threat, especially the failure to revoke access privileges.
To help deprovision these former employees, IT teams are turning to SaaS Management. Many SMPs provide the capability to automatically deprovision users when they leave the company.
3. The Transformation of IT
The role of IT is changing. Of course, it is happening at a different pace for different industries, but the change is still felt.
Once upon a time, IT was the gatekeeper for new technologies. IT was “command & control.” However, in today’s decentralized and increasingly SaaS-powered world, apps are frequently purchased by end-users – not IT.
However, these end-users don’t understand how these applications relate to the entire organization. They typically adopt an application for a specific purpose and then move on.
This leaves IT in a unique position of reshaping its role related to SaaS – which essentially means reshaping its overall role in the company.
They can (unsuccessfully) try to squash Shadow IT. They can take a hands-off approach and let departments and teams run rampant. Or, they can provide desperately needed insight, support, and critical data about how specific SaaS tools impact a department, cross-team collaboration, and the company as a whole. They can become orchestrators who help everyone maximize the benefits of cloud applications while enabling the security that organizations urgently need.
Those that shift to SaaS Management Platforms choose the latter. They believe SMPs provide the best way to help, optimize, and empower the rest of the organization without changing how people work.
To learn more about how a new approach to Shadow IT can benefit ITAM, users, and the overall business – check out our recent webinar with Torii here.
SaaS Management is only the beginning
SaaS Management Platforms are the answer to the inevitable skyrocketing adoption of SaaS applications and the decentralization of the workforce. The recent events simply accelerated the need for these solutions, but these motions are now unstoppable.
As the market evolves, so will the use of SMPs. More stakeholders at companies – from IT and security teams, to finance, procurement and lines of business – will use them to not just gather critical data, but also to automate essential workflows, like application discovery, onboarding, offboarding and spend management, and spur the actions needed to accelerate business.
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Want to hear more from Torii? Tune into our recent webinar about the challenges of shadow IT, where Chris Shakarian, VP of Marketing at Torii discussed how SaaS Management can reconcile these competing demands.