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GigaOm Radar for SaaS Management Platforms (SMPs)v3.0

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
  3. Decision Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Solution Insights
  6. Analyst’s Outlook
  7. About Matt Jallo

1. Executive Summary

Companies are adopting software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications at an ever-increasing rate to achieve their digital transformation goals. SaaS applications currently represent half or more of application inventories, and this demands an integrated, data-driven operations model to help organizations manage SaaS application spend, vendor sourcing, IT operations, and security compliance. A SaaS management platform (SMP) can help.

To be considered full-featured, an SMP should enable SaaS financial operations (SaaSFinOps) to handle spend and contract renewal, as well as SaaS operations (SaaSOps) for user lifecycle and sensitive data management. Most SMPs started with a focus on one or the other of these areas and are now evolving to support both. They’re doing so by continuing to mature SMP foundations while investing in intelligence and emerging capabilities. The expectation is that solutions that deliver a full-featured platform will see wider adoption, while those that do not will become niche providers or strategically differentiate into other spaces like identity risk management.

Full-featured SMPs enable a cross-functional, integrated SaaS application operating model that provides several benefits, including:

  • Visibility of SaaS application usage, spend, security risks, and entitlements.
  • Seamless integration for discovering and managing applications.
  • Cost savings from reducing underutilized and redundant applications.
  • Operational efficiencies and governance enabled by automated workflows and low-code development tools.
  • On-time contract renewals with optimized entitlements aligned to application usage.
  • Reduced security risks through discovery and remediation of unauthorized applications and exposed sensitive data.
  • Continuous improvement enabled by insights, recommendations, benchmarks, and machine learning (ML).
  • Increased user engagement, productivity, and satisfaction through use of an application catalog, along with sentiment surveys, intelligent provisioning recommendations, collaboration analytics, and intuitive integration with commonly used collaboration tools.

SMPs are generally priced per user seat based on the number of users in the company’s identity provider (IdP) directory. In many cases, they offer a base tier, then higher tiers or add-ons for premium features. The ability to negotiate depends on the volume of users and the level at which the vendor sets the entry point. It’s important to map the desired features to each vendor’s pricing model and evaluate relative differences in pricing, as well as the floor and ceiling pricing across vendors. This market is still evolving, so pricing when renewing subscriptions is likely to change. Most vendors bundle basic support in the per-seat license costs. Some provide managed services for data curation, integration, and vendor management at additional cost.

This is our third year evaluating the SMP space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the last year.

This GigaOm Radar report examines 10 of the top SMPs and compares offerings against the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and nonfunctional requirements (business criteria) outlined in the companion Key Criteria report. Together, these reports provide an overview of the market, identify leading SaaS management offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and nonfunctional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.