Using SSO solutions for SaaS license optimisation


Michael Fornander


September 15, 2023

With an ever growing corporate SaaS stack, a big part of it getting signed up and expensed by individual employees, companies are facing the issue of an almost impossible SaaS discovery and SaaS license optimization process. Thanks to the availability of Single sign-on (SSO) and SaaS management solutions, however, optimizing SaaS costs has become significantly easier.

The  increased adoption of cloud software brings SaaS license optimisation challenges for the IT departments

With a workspace that’s becoming more and more remote, particularly over the past years, and the growing need to increase flexibility, companies are adopting a large number of SaaS tools. Those tools help with remote communication and collaboration, solve business problems and boost productivity in everyday work.

But, a balance needs to be maintained between signing up new SaaS applications and keeping control on security, SaaS spend and utilizations of the SaaS features. How can IT face the challenge of permitting the organization to be flexible and act fast, while ensuring security and compliance with regulations such as the GDPR?

SaaS License Optimisation Automation

Identifying and monitoring the SaaS tools usage and renewals is a key task for the IT departments. But, you cannot manage and control something you are not aware of. It is estimated that IT considers the SaaS stack used within the company to be 3-4 times less than what it actually is!

An approach to solving this issue is by keeping track of all SaaS licenses in a spreadsheet format - using Microsoft Excel or similar. But, the fast-paced acquisition of new licenses and upgrading existing ones, as well as the changing number of employees makes the entire process too difficult to manage in Excel. With employees leaving the organization and others joining it, licenses being transferred between different owners and annual subscriptions offering specific seats and functionalities, figuring out who uses what, and to what extent, becomes difficult to track without a SaaS management automation tool.

How to set up a reliable SaaS license optimisation process

Two types of solutions can work together to help IT face the SaaS license optimisation challenge and successfully handle it: Single Sign-On tools (SSO) like Okta, Lastpass, OneLogin, etc and SaaS management platforms like Viio.

What is a Single Sign-On (SSO) solution

Single Sign-on is an authentication solution allowing users to sign up into multiple applications using a single set of credentials. SSO greatly simplifies the identification processes and allows for a smooth working process when accessing numerous applications, portals, servers, etc. 

SaaS Management platforms

Saas Management and License Optimisation platforms are automatically identifying all SaaS applications used by the organizations. They provide an overview on the users for each cloud software solution, how often they are accessing it and the costs associated with keeping the subscription active, to name just a few of the typical features available.

When working together, SSO and SaaS license optimisation solutions can result in huge benefits for the organization, who can carry out the SaaS stack discovery and review process based on the single sign-ons from its employees. Thus the organization will have full visibility on which users are accessing what SaaS applications, with added benefits like:

  • Identifying anomalies - for example, users signing up for specific applications without using their SSO account
  • Increased security - IT can receive alerts every time a new SaaS tool has been signed up, and verify whether or not it supports the specific standard used by the SSO tool they have selected
  • Saving costs - thanks to the synergy of the two solutions, ITs can see a comprehensive report on the usage of each SaaS solution, for each of the employees, and take the decision to cancel the subscription for an unused tool, or downgrade the seats for a tool used by fewer employees

Thanks to the synergy between SSO and SaaS License Management solutions, organizations using these platforms can boost SaaS applications security and get actionable visibility on their entire SaaS usage and spend. 

How can Viio SaaS license optimisation platform cut down on your SaaS spend and boost security? Find out in a personalized demo.

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Michael Fornander

Chief Executive Officer

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