5 Best SaaS Management Tools to Keep Track of Your Apps in 2022

Here are the best tools to keep track of your software subscriptions in 2022
5 Best SaaS Management Tools to Keep Track of Your Apps in 2022

The way we work with software has changed completely in one short decade.

In the ‘old days’, software was something that was just rolled out to employees by the IT department. Employees just got what they got, and had little choice in the matter. 

The shift in the software market

Fast forward to 2022 and user-friendly SaaS solutions are easy to try and buy and there is no shortage of use-case-specific apps to choose from. Team can now have a say in what software they want to use based on their needs.

With pay-as-you-go models, teams have a low-risk manner to test the waters and see if an application will check all the boxes.. Yes - we’re talking about software as a service (SaaS). In case you’ve been living under a rock the past few years, SaaS enables businesses of all sizes to access and use cloud-based applications over the internet. Instead of developing, installing, and maintaining software on-premise, companies like yours simply pay a subscription for a solution, making it available to their team members instantly.

Using great software that solves a specific need, saving costs, and improving efficiency has made SaaS the de-facto way software is now developed and distributed. It is now a booming industry, with Statista predicting revenue from the cloud market will reach $482 billion by the end of 2022.

While there were only a handful of SaaS companies in the early 2000’s, we now have more than 25,000 companies worldwide, cementing SaaS as the go-to solution for businesses. 

Then the pandemic poured rocket fuel over this trend. This has translated to skyrocketing market value of public cloud companies, (doubling to $2.2T in just a year) which fueled an unexpected tech rally that saw the Nasdaq rise 47% in 2020 and another 26% in 2021. Now, the markets have since cooled but it’s clear that the subscription-based model is here to stay. 

SaaS in the Post-Pandemic world

The dependednce on remote work created an unprecedented need for business software and overnight we became denizens of Zoom and all that other software we use daily, for the long haul. Companies quickly learned how to adapt to a new dependence on software to connect, get the job done, and stay engaged. It’s no surprise then that companies and organizations used 110 SaaS apps on average in 2021.

Managing this number of applications has increasingly become a priority for companies. They know that their productivity and effectiveness starts to take a hit when too much software gets in the way, let alone the wasted money and impact on team motivation.

This is where SaaS management comes in.

In this article, we’ll discuss how companies are taking the bull by the horns with the help of SaaS management tools and we’ll run you through the best ones available, their benefits, and more.

But first of all, what are SaaS management tools?

What are SaaS management tools?

The sheer number of SaaS applications available today is simply overwhelming for the average company to handle. When you have that many apps, it’s almost impossible to answer these basic questions:

  1. How many SaaS applications do we subscribe to today?
  2. How much are we paying for each? 
  3. Do they auto-renew - and when? And for how much?  
  4. Which team members requested and purchased these apps?
  5. What is the ROI on these applications? 
  6. Are we actually using the software we subscribe to? 

Managing subscriptions and getting visibility and control of your SaaS apps is difficult if you don’t have a process to help you understand the above questions. This is important because: 

  • People leave your company, taking their knowledge and preferences with them
  • Employees forget to cancel subscriptions
  • Credit cards get compromised (read: your subscription gets interrupted and a business-critical app stops working)
  • Human error happens all the time…

This is where SaaS management tools step in. These tools enable you to manage all cloud-based software applications your team members use with underlying processes and controls to help you focus on your business. Thanks to SaaS Management, you can:

  • Identify security and compliance issues (e.g., with the ISO 27001 compliance)
  • Determine which apps are not used in your company
  • Manage and streamline contract and subscription renewals
  • Your finance team can have visibility and control of all your software in one place
  • Avoid chasing people for invoices  
  • Reduce manual tasks to allow you to focus on higher-value work

And it’s not just about productivity and the bottom line: A recent survey by Cledara found that 63% of employees think SaaS issues damage their company’s culture.

Company culture takes a hit with poor SaaS management

It may seem like a stretch but when you think of it, we spend most of our time at work using software.

Employees expect better and constantly-improving tools to get their job done. It's no surprise, then, that nearly half of U.S. workers say they are likely to leave their current job if they're unhappy or frustrated with the technology they use at work. And when employees are frustrated and contemplating a job change, culture suffers.

According to a Glassdoor survey, 70% of employees will consider leaving if company culture deteriorates. All of these problems can be resolved if your business leverages SaaS management tools like Cledara.

What is SaaS sprawl?

In 2011, software luminary Marc Andreesen famously posited that “software is eating the world,” – and looking at the fragmented, chaotic SaaS landscape today, it was a pretty prescient prediction. Maybe he should have used the verb ‘devouring’ instead, though. SaaS applications sprawl is widespread across companies large and small, as companies reach a point where it becomes difficult or impossible to manage and control them effectively.

There are over 8,000 marketing SaaS alone! Zoom out to the entire org, and according to a recent Cledara survey, 59% of finance and IT leaders say their company uses an average of 93 SaaS subscriptions that management isn’t even aware of.

Companies look to SaaS management platforms to track SaaS vendors and tools to address this head-on and avoid the pitfalls that can eat into growth and employee engagement. And when we say companies, we mean two teams in particular that tend to notice the problem and look for solutions. Let’s have a look at the Finance and IT teams and their respective needs. 

The IT department’s pitfalls

Cloud-based services have evolved the role of IT. From the days of deploying and maintaining on-premise software, IT now helps monitor access controls, compliance and security risks, and sometimes overall software adoption and usage.

No matter how prepared, though, IT teams in fast-growing companies frequently find themselves unprepared to deal with the challenges that come with rapid SaaS adoption. They typically lose track pretty quickly of the SaaS apps employees use and the result is what is known as “Shadow IT” - the existence of unknown or unapproved software in a business. With SaaS so easy to try and buy, this problem is real and becoming worse everyday. 

Application sprawl and shadow IT can lead to:

  • Compromised employee and customer data 
  • Wasted budget on unnecessary tools
  • Team frustration and misalignment 
  • Significant security and compliance issues

Finance department’s pitfalls

The proliferation of SaaS apps directly impacts your finance team as well. Spiraling costs, multiple applications with unclear budget owners, opaque ROI of the applications used across teams, and the mess of manual processes when it comes time to locate invoices at month-end. 

Here are some signs that it may be time to address SaaS sprawl and get organized around your SaaS applications:

  • Different teams leverage different tools that have similar features
  • SaaS applications get purchased without a clear process
  • Vendor invoices are constantly chased down
  • Budget owners are not clearly identified across teams
  • A single corporate card is used to purchase most subscriptions
  • SaaS budgets are not set, and costs tend to increase month-over-month 

5 benefits of SaaS management tools

Luckily, Cledara and other SaaS management platforms provide team members with the right level of autonomy to use the software they need to be successful, with lightweight processes to ensure efficiency and compliance.

With that in mind, here are the main benefits of SaaS management software tools:

  1. Reduce costs. According to a recent study, U.S. organizations spend $30 billion on unused software. SaaS can become a compounding issue without proper oversight. A SaaS management platform can address this and help you identify software you don’t need and cut the expense all together.
  2. Improve security and compliance. With companies increasingly adopting SaaS applications, security and compliance have become an increasing concern. Without proper management, employees may start using apps that can compromise an organization. Improving security and compliance isn’t possible if teams don’t know which tools to audit and control. Many SaaS management platforms notify you of all SaaS tools they should track.
  3. Access to reporting. It’s in your best interest to choose a SaaS management software that offers real-time reporting to accelerate your insights. License renewal and usage data help ensure your team has the necessary tools and decide which software is worth the investment.
  4. Rely on cloud-based technology. All SaaS management platforms are cloud-based. It means that your team members can access a SaaS management platform from anywhere. And as the tools are cloud-based, you won’t need to invest precious resources on in-house solutions or customizations. 
  5. Take advantage of regular updates. A modern SaaS management platform like Cledara release updates regularly. It’s vital that you use a tool that continues to innovate and address customer needs with the latest feature enhancement, process improvements and usability. 

Well, it’s time we introduce the five SaaS management platforms we think you should consider.

How did we rank these tools?

Not all rankings are the same. For this Top 5 list, we used the following criteria to narrow a crowded field and help you make an informed decision: 

  • Free trial: Although SaaS management tools are worth the investment, even the best of them should provide a free trial to help you decide if the tool is right for you.
  • Reviews: All five tools mentioned in the article are present on user review websites. You can read comments and see how other users rated them. We examined these sites and of course, we found both pros and cons.
  • User experience (UX): A user-friendly platform is tablestakes. Even the least tech-savvy members of your team should be able to find their way around your SaaS management solution with ease.
  • User interface (UI): Well-designed software facilitates interaction between the user and the app through eye-catching visuals, engaging design, and responsiveness. As your team members are likely to use this tool every day, it should be appealing.
  • Features: All of the solutions on our list help you manage your SaaS apps, but some offer advanced features. Workflow automation, security compliance, and SaaS spend management are just some things that an advanced platform should have.

Now, let’s go over our five choices and see why they stand out!

1. Cledara

Pricing: Essential ($125/month), Standard ($250/month) and Pro ($650/ month)

UX: 5/5

UI: 4.9/5

Capterra rating: 4.5/5

Advanced features: Virtual debit cards and credit cards (US Only), SaaS app management, SaaS analytics, SaaS purchasing, finance automation, integrations with Gmail and Xero, built-in compliance

Free trial: Yes, post demo

Pros:

  • Works with 100% of SaaS applications
  • Intuitive dashboard and UI
  • Workflow automation
  • Complete visibility and control of SaaS apps
  • 2% uncapped cash back on all software purchases, 1% on most anything else

Cons:

  • Need to set up payment details with each vendor  

Cledara is a SaaS management and payment platform aimed at both finance and IT departments within fast-growing startups and scaleups. Cledara combines management tools for teams with a payments platform to help companies take control of their software investments by bringing visibility and control to all SaaS apps in the business in one single place.

Cledara works by offering virtual debit and credit cards for each subscription. Teams can set individual budgets for each application, and enjoy one p;ace to discover, purchase and manage their software.  Cledara also helps you see all the software that's actually being used - or not used - across your business. Getting to the bottom of who is using which app and for what can be a time-consuming task. With Cledara you have visibility and control over every single subscription.

Cledara helps you prevent paying for duplicates and spots unused SaaS right away, as well as offers generous cashback (2%) and charges zero FX fees if you happen to buy SaaS in a currency other than your home currency. 

One of the differentiators of Cledara is that it brings all the tools you need to manage your SaaS in one place. It helps with usage and tracking, like the other tools described in this post, but it also incorporates SaaS purchasing, which allows the finance and IT department to have complete control over software spend.

Cledara also helps you manage software renewals by listing all of your subscriptions, their expected renewal dates, along with reminders and alerts to avoid any surprises. 

With Cledara, you can:

  • View all your apps and budget owners in one place
  • Get to the bottom of your ROI thanks to spending analytics and usage breakdowns
  • Flag and avoid duplicate subscriptions
  • Manage and control budgets and spend patterns with lightweight processes and workflowa

Cledara offers all the key features to improve your SaaS management process and ghet started quickly without any integrations or tech implementation required. Best of all, there are some extremely useful features - like one that allows you to cancel any subscription in a click, even for the most painful unsubscribes.

Cledara is the one place to see, buy and manage all your software subscriptions so you can focus on what matters - Sign up today!

2. Zylo

Pricing: A custom pricing for their software available upon request

UX: 4.3/5

UI: 4.5/5

Capterra rating: 4.5/5

Advanced features: Security and compliance app integrations, usage data, always-on monitoring

Free trial: Yes

Pros:

  • Reminder emails for subscription renewals
  • Ability to track important data for each software, including contract terms and number of licenses

Cons:

  • Relies on integrations
  • Only detects SaaS activity ad hoc, doesn’t prevent it
  • Doesn’t integrate SaaS purchasing

Another SaaS management solution on our list is Zylo.

Zylo works to streamline the SaaS management process for all involved. The tool can discover apps across a company. That is helpful for the IT and finance departments that sometimes can’t keep track of all employees' software.

Zylo can also optimize SaaS spend management and discover inefficiencies as a tool. That way, companies know which unused app is draining their budgets.

This SaaS management solution ensures compliance through various governance processes. As security is a growing concern, this is good news for businesses.

Renewal management processes are also streamlined with Zylo. You can manage SaaS renewals and access payment data. The latter might help you score better prices with SaaS apps.

While Zylo makes the process easier, it isn’t without its downsides.

The tool has some integration limitations. For example, their data is dependent on their integration with Okta. If that integration fails or if tools are not accessed through Okta, that information will not be seen by Zylo. In addition, users complain of data require manual scrubbing to ensure accuracy. 

3. BetterCloud

Pricing: One Plan ($3/user/month), Core Plan ($6/user/month), Enterprise Plan ($10/user/month)

UX: 4.2/5

UI: 4/5

Capterra rating: 3.6/5

Advanced features: App discover, automated workflows, security compliance

Free trial: No

Pros:

  • Data loss prevention
  • Streamlines the onboarding and offboarding processes

Cons: 

  • The user interface requires some getting used to
  • Relies on integrations
  • Only detects SaaS activity ad hoc, doesn’t prevent it
  • Doesn’t integrate SaaS purchasing

BetterCloud is a SaaS management platform looking to help companies eliminate SaaS sprawl. It is similar to other SaaS management solutions in that it gives you a centralized view of your SaaS apps.

BetterCloud onboards new team members by automating workflows. Automate onboarding actions so that all new employees can access devices, apps, and data they need to perform their tasks better.

Security compliance is also one of the critical features of BetterCloud. The tool gives you control over your apps, users, and data to help you determine whether all regulations are met. If you notice any discrepancies, you can act on them and ensure your company stays compliant.

File security is another benefit of using BetterCloud. Users receive notifications immediately when files get shared with unauthorized people and they can assess the exposure to determine next steps.

Although it made it to our list, BetterCloud has some cons. For instance, the app puts limitations on the information that can be exported from the system. Exploring and finding workflows is not always easy, and users note workflows being slow and time consuming to get to work properly. 

4. Productiv

Pricing: A custom pricing for their software available upon request

UX: 4.1/5

UI: 4.3/5

Capterra rating: N/A

G2 rating: 4.8/5

Advanced features: Proactive governance, app discovery, automated workflows, analytics

Free trial: Yes

Pros:

  • Shadow IT discovery
  • Security and compliance to detect tools that follow various regulations such as GDPR

Cons:

  • Automation requires third-party systems
  • Doesn’t integrate SaaS purchasing

Productiv’s main selling point is that they are a SaaS management platform for the modern CIO. Of course, even if you’re not a CIO, you can still use Productiv to maintain application oversight. With the sheer number of SaaS apps used in a company, having control over them is crucial.

Their SaaS management solution claims it can help improve productivity by equipping you with insights and data. These analytics help you understand how your employees engage with SaaS applications. Usrs enjoy detailed usage metrics for the connected applications and integrations to finance tools such as Netsuite. 

Productiv also boasts automated workflows. It leads to:

  • Faster and more efficient renewal decisions
  • A better understanding of how your employees adopt applications
  • Smarter license allocations

The app is powered by what they call SaaS Intelligence. Its goal is to establish SaaS visibility and governance. As a result, companies will increase operational velocity and create a unique employee experience.

​​Reviews are generally positive although some users report challenges in sharing application portfolio information  company-wide, and inability to see application by team member.

5. Torii

Pricing: A custom pricing for their software available upon request

UX: 4.7/5

UI: 4.8/5

Capterra rating: 5/5

Advanced features: Spend optimization, easier onboarding and offboarding, renewal and vendor management

Free trial: No

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Great automation and workflow functionality

Cons: 

  • Reporting needs improvement
  • Relies on integrations
  • Only detects SaaS activity ad hoc, doesn’t prevent it
  • Doesn’t integrate SaaS purchasing

Torii is cloud software and a SaaS management platform great for those working in the IT department. These team members can view active apps, track usage, monitor spending, and check the available resources. That enables them to find optimization opportunities.

It is an easy-to-use platform that helps you manage software licenses. If you need more control, the app is there to make your dream a reality. You can also control vendors and users across numerous apps.

If you want to lighten the load, you can do that with Torii. The tool allows you to automate recurring tasks, including contact renewal notifications and onboarding workflows. Rather than waste your time on these activities, Torri will do them for you.

Torii will notify you whenever unusual account activities occur, such as those related to finances. Data loss and breaches can be avoided in that way.

One downside of Torii is that it’s hard to cancel or revert changes to workflows. Once submitted, you don’t have the ability to edit your request. Human errors happen and having the option to edit your request is important. We would assume that this functionality may be updated in the future. 

The best SaaS management tool for your business

What is the best SaaS management tool for your business? Well, it depend on your company’s requirements and needs. You should choose your go-to management platform based on the features and capabilities that you have prioritized, as well as thinking through your long term goals. 

As you can see from the above list, choosing the right solution involves thinking through your requirements and vetting vendors based on their capabilities. One thing is certain: The proliferation of SaaS applications demands that your company and teams, especially IT and finance teams, take a hard look at getting the visibility and control you need to keep your software assets organized and delivering ROI. 

We’re confident that our SaaS Management platform has everything you need to track and manage your SaaS apps successfully. We’d love to show you how you can get started easily and start using Cledara today!

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Jenny Liu
Head of Finance @ Marshmallow