Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is being embraced by organisations at fast pace, with 75% currently running SaaS. As SaaS is looking to exceed traditional on–premise software, organisations need to ensure they have the correct tools and polices in place to manage the unique compliance challenges that they bring.
IT managers need to monitor the use of software to ensure it remains within the agreed terms of service. Some services will manage this for you, only enabling a user to download as many copies of software as the licence permits. But this is not always the case, so specific services need auditing using an admin portal. Also, when employees leave an organisation, the associated services they’ve used will not only need to be removed from their devices, but their accounts removed from the service itself.
Data related with these services needs to be transferred, stored and used in accordance with regulations. Storage of data is not just dependent on your own infrastructure, as many services by default will store data on their own cloud. The security around this storage and its geographical location needs to be in accordance with any sovereign regulatory requirements before onboarding takes place.
With on–premise software, licencing is counted via actual, concurrent users or the quantity of copies installed on machines. The management of these can be assisted with Software Access Management (SAM) software, giving you a clearer picture of what software and associated licencing you hold on your infrastructure. There is not a wholesale support availability on SAM, but SAM is starting to catch up with SaaS and is slowly starting to build support for Software as a Service.
Another concern for managing SaaS is Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Here, the user may have their own software installed and wish to use it also at work, however the licencing should be checked as it may be for personal use only and not for business use.
There is no single answer as to how to best manage SaaS within your organisation and the issues are multiplied the more services from different providers an organisation uses. However, having defined procedures for new starters, leavers and new service roll outs that embrace the service model including regular auditing, will allow you to overcome these obstacles and potentially reap cost savings, assure greater speed and flexibility that SaaS can provide.