SaaS Operations Management: Definition + Best Software
Sep 14 2020
Starting with the humble spreadsheet decades ago, software has revolutionized the way we do business. It should come as no surprise to you then, that software to aid in SaaS operations management exists. If you've never heard of SaaS operations software, this post will explain what it does and show you the best products on the market.
Every business has routine activities that make up part of managing it. You may have an IT department, a shipping department, and other departments all dedicated to performing these tasks. For companies with large SaaS stacks, things such as managing access for users or teams, overseeing the security of data, ensuring policy adherence, and integrations with other systems require a great deal of attention. SaaS operations software makes it easier to manage your portfolio of SaaS products so your team can focus on work and not on configuring the software needed to do that work.
3 signs your company might need SaaS operations management software
If you're still unsure of exactly how SaaS operations management software can help your business, let's take a look at three of the most common reasons why people choose to adopt the software.
Your team uses tons of SaaS software
As more and more companies switch to the SaaS model, the number of SaaS products in a typical business's stack is growing increasingly large. A massive stack of SaaS products to depend on can quickly create inefficiencies if a concerted effort to optimize workflow is not used.
Your team has accessibility issues with software
Access is vital to the utility of a SaaS product. If a team member who needs access to the product cannot get access, the delay caused in fixing the issue costs you money and productivity. Worse, if a person whose access should have been revoked still has access, they can wreak havoc on your workflow, intentionally or not.
You are concerned about security
Every new SaaS product you add to your stack has access to at least some of your data. Many of them have access to large portions of your data. Managing the security of that data manually is inefficient and opens you up to avoidable security threats.
5 benefits of using SaaS operations management software
Beyond the three major reasons listed above, there are several additional benefits to using SaaS operations management software. We've listed some of the top ways businesses notice improvement in their operations when using the technology below:
With many SaaS products in a stack, knowing exactly what is going on with all of them can be a time-consuming process. SaaS management software puts all of that information in one place, for far greater transparency into all the tools and technologies that make your business run.
Build more efficient workflows
Lots of SaaS products mean lots of different workflows and a whole mess of accessibility issues that need to be resolved. With SaaS operations software, you'll be able to streamline those workflows and optimize access to the tools company-wide. The result is more time working and less time fighting with your tools.
Ensure the right people always have software access
Whether it's onboarding a new employee, promoting an existing one to a new responsibility, or removing one who has left the company, changes in who is allowed to access software are a routine part of business. This can be a hassle when many different SaaS products must all be managed manually and individually. SaaS management software makes managing access a breeze so your data remains secure while ensuring everyone who needs access has it.
Track costs more accurately
The cost of SaaS products can add up quickly. It is easy to lose track of what you are paying for and when. By putting all of that information in one place, SaaS operations management software allows you to more effectively track what you are spending and manage your subscriptions.
Enhance team collaboration
Everything we've mentioned so far combines to create another benefit. Clunky workflows and access issues make it hard for teams to collaborate effectively. Removing those barriers allows for better collaboration and more productivity.
5 best SaaS operations management software products
Now that you've seen the benefits SaaS operations management software can provide, you likely want to see some examples of the software so you can try for yourself. Despite being a relatively new sector in IT technology, there are many products available. We've selected five of our favorites and presented them in no particular order. We invite you to look into all of them and see which one fits your business needs best.
Blissfully identifies which apps you're using, as well as the people using them and the money that is being spent on each. It will then segment that data by team, product, and employee. It will also automatically discover invoices from across your company and present you with key information that it extracts from them. Tools for vendor approval and management make it easy to purchase and approve SaaS vendors regardless of how your business is structured.
After automatically detecting and organizing the SaaS applications in use by your company, Torii will show you relevant insights about your usage and expenses as well as opportunities to optimize your workflows. It can flag unusual finance activity and automate onboarding and offboarding workflows, freeing valuable time for your staff to focus on other areas.
Designed to make cloud computing easier, BetterCloud will allow you to configure the thousands of settings available across your multiple SaaS products easily and effectively. It will automatically update risky settings and alert you to suspicious behavior. Like all SaaS operations management software, it also gives you full capability to manage SaaS subscriptions and user access.
With integrations to all the major SaaS products, Intello will allow you to easily optimize your usage, strengthen your compliance, monitor your spending, and manage user accounts across your SaaS stack. It accomplishes this with a browser plugin to interact with the SaaS services while they are in use and real-time monitoring to keep you in the loop whenever important insights can be made.
This SaaS operations management software prides itself on the tools they've built to support work-from-home employees. These tools make it easy for you to manage your SaaS subscriptions, while also facilitating better collaboration between employees who are working remotely. It uses AI and machine learning to help you further optimize workflows and get the most out of your SaaS subscription.
Adding ProfitWell to your SaaS stack
If you run a subscription-based company, ProfitWell's range of products would make a great addition to the stack of SaaS products being managed by your new SaaS operations management software. ProfitWell Metrics is a free tool that will allow you to collect all the important KPIs needed to successfully grow a subscription-based business. Once you are tracking your churn with Metrics, you can use ProfitWell Retain to improve those numbers using the power of machine learning. You can also put the power of machine learning, along with our years of experience, to work for you to determine the optimum price point for your products with our Price Intelligently solution. Finally, achieve automated revenue recognition with ProfitWell Recognize.
SaaS Operations FAQs
Because we want to make sure that you understand the topic, we've included a recap of frequently asked questions about SaaS operations and management below.
What is SaaS operations?
SaaS operations involves higher level decision-making for SaaS stacks within a company. It is concerned with answering questions such as: Which products are adopted? Which users will be allowed access to these products? What is the budget for their use? How will we handle risk management and compliance?
What is SaaS management?
Just as an IT department ensures that a company's computers are all set up properly and updated with the latest software, the SaaS products in use by that company need to be managed as well. Usage and spending must be tracked, especially for services that charge on a per-usage basis rather than a flat monthly fee. User accounts for the services need to be added or removed as employees come and go. Software changes need integrations with other updated software. Similar to the need for an entire department dedicated to IT, with a large enough stack of SaaS products, their management becomes a time-consuming task in its own right.
What does SaaS operations management software do?
Usually, the tasks we've mentioned must be done separately for each piece of SaaS software used. There isn't a high-level overview of what a complete SaaS software stack looks like for the operations team to base their decision on, nor is there a unified place where the management team can perform their administrative tasks. This is inefficient and slows down workflows. SaaS operations management software is designed to resolve those problems by giving you a singular software tool to manage all of your SaaS products from.
By Patrick Campbell
Founder & CEO of ProfitWell, the software for helping subscription companies with their monetization and retention strategies, as well as providing free turnkey subscription financial metrics for over 20,000 companies. Prior to ProfitWell Patrick led Strategic Initiatives for Boston-based Gemvara and was an Economist at Google and the US Intelligence community.