Think about all the new streaming services out there: Netflix, Hulu, and now Disney+. They’re easy to set up, pay for, and ultimately each delivers niche content to individual users. The explosion of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps is the same phenomenon at a wider scale: because these services don’t cost much to start using, and each fills a niche requirement, organizations use SaaS applications more than ever — just like consumer usage of video streaming services.
Why Is SaaS App Usage Exploding?
SaaS applications mark a fundamental shift in the way that applications are delivered to users. Here are five key benefits that demonstrate why organizations are using them more than ever.
No Large Upfront Costs
Organizations aren’t forced to pay large sums of money to start using the applications they need. Programs that used to cost significant amounts to purchase are now accessible with a small recurring fee. And because they’re delivered from the cloud, IT admins no longer need to engage in lengthy implementation processes or set up on-prem servers to support the software.
Ease of Implementation
To install applications, IT admins used to have to fiddle with CDs, input activation codes, and make sure that all hardware drivers were up to date. If an IT admin misplaced a disc or activation code then a user may not have access to a critical application. But that’s just installing the program. For many applications, IT admins must first set up on-prem servers to get these programs to work in the first place. SaaS apps are much easier to begin using right away. Just pay for the user and give them access.
With SaaS-based applications running in a browser, administrators worry less about whether a particular program is compatible with the systems their users want to use. Now, macOS® and Linux® systems have the ability to run the same programs as Windows® systems.
They’re Automatically Up-to-Date
Admins don’t need to worry about the security vulnerabilities inherent in unpatched applications on their users’ systems. SaaS applications get updated regularly to protect against security risks. Plus, developers bake new functionality into applications much better/faster than in the past. SaaS applications and services often get better with time, and you aren’t forced to update them to reap the rewards of that newfound functionality — it’s just there.
Adding more seats to a particular application is as easy as provisioning a new user. As users come and go, admins know they’re only paying for the capabilities they need. Each of these factors helped to drive SaaS application usage to new heights. But, despite these benefits, there are drawbacks too. IT organizations must find a way to manage them all.
Wrangle Those SaaS Apps
In the mass SaaS adoption, organizations had too many different applications to administer. Each one had its own siloed management, and users had to remember a (hopefully) different password for each one. Think about it like this: Every streaming service has its own set of credentials, and so do SaaS applications. So, users have to remember a multitude of different passwords for each one, which reduces productivity, leads to help desk tickets, and frustrates everyone involved.
Luckily, SSO gives IT admins a single location to manage users while providing users a single identity to access all of their web applications. New provisioning protocols like Just-In-Time (JIT) and SCIM make SSO more powerful than ever before.
If you’ve got too many applications floating around your environment with no way to manage all of them, consider the next evolution of SSO — True Single Sign-On™. True SSO provides a single location to manage virtually all your IT resources including systems (Windows®, macOS®, and Linux®), applications (SAML and LDAP), networks (RADIUS), and files — not just SaaS apps.