Experts estimate the global SaaS market to reach $208 billion in 2023 as more companies turn to cloud-based applications over traditional on-site deployments.
This growth has created new challenges:
- Companies now use an average of 110 SaaS applications
- 20% of finance and IT leaders say that all their subscriptions add value
- 40% indicated they had limited visibility over unused applications
This lack of oversight means that few companies make the most of their software. Unused software also increases costs and makes it harder for IT to manage its tech stacks.
So how can IT teams get complete visibility into all software subscriptions? How can they manage SaaS spend and reduce security risks?
This is where a SaaS management platform comes in.
In this article, we’ll explain what a SaaS management platform is and the benefits they offer. We’ll also look at the best SaaS management platforms to help you choose the right one for your company.
What is a SaaS management platform?
A SaaS management platform is software that provides visibility into all cloud-based applications. It allows you to track app usage, track software spend, provide (and revoke access), and more.
What are the benefits of a SaaS management platform?
Today, the average company uses many software subscriptions. But without effective SaaS management, companies end up with duplicate — or worse, unapproved — software that could introduce security risks to their tech stack.
Here’s how a SaaS management platform can help.
It establishes a system of record
A SaaS management platform enables you to establish a system of record — a “single source of truth” for all software information.
View all software subscriptions in one place and see details such as
- Software spend over time
- Software owners and approvers
- App usage by team and individual
- Contract details and renewal dates
A system of record for software eliminates the need for ad-hoc spreadsheets which are often clunky and unreliable.
It uncovers and prevents Shadow IT
Only 25% of companies have a documented policy for SaaS purchases. This can lead to Shadow IT — or informal SaaS, as we call it — when employees install software without knowledge or approval from IT.
Unapproved software not only increases software spend but also leads to inefficiencies across teams and security risks. As unapproved software enters a tech stack, company and customer data can be at risk.
SaaS management platforms can uncover Shadow IT. The best platforms also embed compliance checks to ensure vendors have the proper security measures.
It increases SaaS spend visibility
Companies don’t always know how much they spend on software. Finance and IT leaders estimate their companies spend 11% more on software than they realize.
SaaS management platforms monitor software spend, which helps identify hidden costs and stop SaaS sprawl. If a piece of software barely gets used or has functions that overlap with those of other apps, it doesn’t make sense to keep it.
It improves team collaboration around software
Companies’ software use frustrates an estimated 9 in 10 employees. One of the top complaints (30%) is a lack of collaboration between departments. Different software across teams hampers productivity and makes it harder to collaborate.
SaaS management platforms ease collaboration across teams. They also make it easy to share (and revoke) access to available software.
Bottom line: SaaS management platforms centralize software subscriptions, uncover Shadow IT, increase spend visibility, and enhance collaboration.
8 best SaaS management platforms
There’s no shortage of SaaS management platforms on the market. So how do you know which one to choose?
Not to worry — we’re here to help.
We’ve put together a list of the top SaaS management platforms. We’ll look at the different features that each platform offers so that you can make an informed decision.
Let’s dive in.
Cledara is a top SaaS management platform that gives companies more control and visibility over their software subscriptions.
As companies expand their tech stack, it often falls to IT and Finance to make sense of the growing number of software subscriptions. Here’s how Cledara helps both these teams improve data security and manage software spend.
Full software visibility: Cledara provides complete visibility on all approved and unapproved software. This enables IT teams to spot duplicate or unused software. IT teams can monitor software usage by teams and individuals and uncover Shadow IT at the click of a button.
Compliance checks: Cledara has SaaS compliance built into its platform. It embeds the steps required by ISO27001 and SOC2 into processes to reduce compliance risks. Plus, it checks that software vendors have the right security measures to keep company and customer data secure.
Virtual cards: Cledara offers virtual debit cards that Finance can use to set individual budgets for each subscription. Once generated, these cards are ready for immediate use.
Renewal reminders: Many apps automatically renew on a monthly or annual basis. Cledara lets you set automated reminders to assess a piece of software and not get stuck in another billing cycle.
Invoice reconciliation: Finance wastes time when they have to chase invoices to reconcile software spend. Cledara automatically captures software invoices. It offers native integrations to accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks for easy reconciliation.
Besides, Cledara also offers a generous 2% cashback rewards program on all software purchases.
If you’d like a SaaS management platform to centralize software subscriptions, track app usage, and identify unapproved software, we recommend Cledara.
Zylo offers a data-driven platform that enables enterprises to manage their software from a centralized dashboard.
With Zylo, companies can manage their software subscriptions, monitor their app usage, and track their spend. They can also view their software spend against benchmarks to make informed decisions about their SaaS strategy and renewals.
One major downside we found is that Zylo doesn’t appear to have clear data security policies. In a data breach, Zylo may not notify its users.
- Manage and automate software renewal dates
- Track utilization and rightsize SaaS licenses
- Uncover instances of Shadow IT
- Ensure compliance with purchasing policies
- Create a catalog of approved software for employees
Zylo offers tailored pricing plans. Reach out to their sales team to request a quote.
BetterCloud is a SaaS management platform that helps IT teams manage software subscriptions and create more secure environments.
BetterCloud provides a single view of all software subscriptions for a company. It helps companies identify approved and unapproved apps through discovery methods like OAuth and SSO. IT leaders can use these automation tools to create workflows that onboard new users, assign permissions, update profiles, and more.
BetterCloud is one of the top SaaS management platforms, but it has drawbacks. For instance, users note that basic features like grouping aren’t available with workflows.
- Automatically remove unapproved third-party apps
- Set user permissions to the resources they need
- Rightsize software licenses
- Integrate workflows with over 60 SaaS apps
- Create reports to understand app usage
BetterCloud doesn’t publish its pricing information. Reach out to their sales team to request a quote.
Productiv is an enterprise SaaS management platform that enables IT, finance, and procurement teams to bring their software data into one place.
Productiv uses ‘SaaS Intelligence’, a machine learning feature that combines data from app usage with vendor contracts. Its primary function is to help IT teams find ways to increase their operational efficiency and reduce costs. Productiv also offers automation tools that IT can use to approve new users and assign licenses.
While the app generally has positive reviews, some users note that Productiv doesn’t integrate with some external tools. However, it’s possible to use Zapier as a workaround.
- Validate software costs against pricing benchmarks
- Receive alerts for future software renewals
- Detect unapproved software and reduce security risks
- Gain insights into software spend across your portfolio
- Receive recommendations to optimize SaaS spend
Productiv offers two plans: Essentials and Enterprise. However, the company doesn’t publish pricing information. Reach out to their team for more information.
Torii is a SaaS management solution to manage software, uncover Shadow IT, and optimize software spend from one location.
Torii offers a platform that gives a bird’s-eye view of all software subscriptions. It provides insights into ways to optimize SaaS spend and identifies unapproved apps. Workflows to onboard and offboard reduce the time spent on repetitive tasks typically associated with these processes.
One downside with Torii is the inability to cancel or revert changes to workflows. If you need to change a workflow, you’ll have to create another one.
- Identify risky apps based on their ability to modify user data
- Create compliance-ready audit trails when you offboard users
- Measure app ROI based on user adoption data
- Automatically recover wasted licenses
- Receive alerts for future renewals
Torii offers custom prices. Contact the vendor directly to request a quote.
Zluri offers a software management platform that helps companies find duplicate apps, manage app renewals, optimize software spend, and more.
Zluri targets an enterprise audience. However, small to midsize companies can still benefit from this platform. With the app store and approval workflows, employees can request and access the software they need from their dashboard. Zluri also offers a vendor management system to manage contracts and optimize software spend.
One downside with Zluri is that some users have noted difficulties getting the integration set up and working. Others have also noted a slow interface.
- Uncover unauthorized apps
- Use a smart calendar to manage software renewals
- Inform your SaaS strategy with in-depth analytics
- Create reports based on application usage and spend
- Automate processes to onboard and offboard
Zluri offers three plans: Growth, Scale, and Enterprise. Pricing information isn’t available. Contact their sales team to request a quote.
Vendr is a SaaS buying platform that helps finance and IT teams build a software procurement process, manage their software spend, and maintain compliance.
View software subscriptions, analyze app usage, and optimize costs from the dashboard. Vendr also offers data-backed recommendations to find the right software. Companies can even gain access to Vendr’s in-house procurement team to build their software procurement process.
While Vendr can negotiate on your behalf to buy software, some users have expressed frustration with this feature. One example includes a complicated contract process due to back-and-forth phone calls between customers and software vendors.
- Identify tools with functions that overlap
- Benchmark software spend against market prices
- Create an evaluation and approval process
- Integrate with enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms like NetSuite and Sage
- Ensure compliance with every tool
Vendr offers three plans: Starter, Growth, and Enterprise. This company is on the more expensive side of SaaS management software; the lowest tier costs $36,000 annually. However, the company offers a money-back guarantee.
Sastrify offers a SaaS platform that helps companies centralize their apps and get a clear view of their software costs.
Sastrify’s platform optimizes software spend. It has a pricing benchmark database built on over $100 million in SaaS spend that shows opportunities to save more. Sastrify also includes access to its in-house procurement team to assist with renewal negotiations.
Reviews are generally positive for Sastrify, but there are a few downsides. Some users cite the lack of integrations with ERP platforms as a major drawback. Others have had trouble getting their data into the tool.
- Centralize your tech stack
- Set up automated workflows
- Get recommendations on ways to save
- Upload documents for individual subscriptions
- Set up automated renewal alerts
Sastrify offers three plans: Starter, Advanced, and Professional. It offers only annual plans, but each comes with a savings guarantee.
Which SaaS management platform is right for you?
The answer depends on your business requirements. We suggest that you create a list of must-have features and compare a vendor’s capabilities against your list to help with the selection process.
We recommend a platform with the following key features:
- Full software visibility
- Invoice automation
- Payments platform
- Renewal reminders
- Compliance management
- Information security
- Analytics and reporting
- Finance Integrations
Cledara offers everything that finance and IT teams need to make informed decisions. Features like spend analysis and invoice collection help Finance measure ROI and reconcile invoices. Software visibility and embedded compliance checks help IT uncover unapproved apps and minimize security risks.
Cledara is also the only vendor to offer a payment platform that provides unique virtual cards for each software subscription. This helps you track spend and set individual budgets in a compliant way.
Book a demo today to see how Cledara brings more clarity into your tech stack.