Companies are increasingly trying to juggle software clashes and complexity as a result of adopting myriad SaaS applications to support hybrid working, according to technology intelligence vendor Snow Software.
Jennifer Kuvlesky, senior product marketing manager at Snow, writing for UKTechNews.co.uk, said that from 2020, at the beginning of pandemic restrictions, many organisations added multiple applications without an appropriate level of vetting.
“In the Snow 2022 IT Priorities Report on the changing role and expectations of IT leaders, 69% stated that in the last 12 months alone, their organisation’s investment in SaaS applications had seen a marked increase,” she confirmed.
SaaS use in particular had got “slightly out of control” through the heights of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, however, organisations could take stock and act to reduce risk, minimise contract complexity and reduce costs from unused or over-licensed applications, she said.
“The first step to get things on the right track is to know how many SaaS applications that you really have, and how many are actually being used,” Kuvlesky said.
“You would think that this is an easy enough question for any organisation’s CIO or IT department but surprisingly, this has always been an issue.”
Forrester Research outlined issues with expanding SaaS use complexity back in 2008.
Additionally, the hybrid working model will operate in most organisations for the foreseeable future, which means that security and risk perspectives should be looked at, especially when it comes to apps or services not acquired via formal procurement procedures or identity and access management.
“When apps don’t go through your single-sign-on (SSO) platform, it can provide a major security weakness with poor quality passwords pretty much giving hackers an open door. And then there’s compliance issues with employees processing and storing company and customer data: fines can be huge,” noted Kuvlesky.
Employees can also be using individual subscriptions when they should be owned by the company as part of a business plan, meaning that the company can be both overpaying and non-compliant at the same time, she added.
“These apps may have become ‘standard’ as far as users are concerned, but the IT department may not even know about them until they there is a problem and the user needs IT to sort it out,” Kuvlesky said.
“Corporate IP can also be at risk with this SaaS app free-for-all.”