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GigaOm Radar for SaaS Management Platformsv1.0

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
  3. Key Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Vendor Insights
  6. Analyst’s Take

1. 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 as much as 50% of application inventories, and this usage demands an integrated, data-driven operations model to help organizations manage SaaS application spend, vendor sourcing, IT operations, and security compliance.

To be considered a full-featured platform, a SaaS management platform (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 in 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, as shown in Figure 1. The expectation is that vendors that deliver a full-featured platform will see wider adoption, while those that do not will become niche providers.

Full-featured SMP platforms 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, and collaboration analytics.

Figure 1. SMP Feature Specialization and Evolution

SMPs are generally priced per user seat based on the number of users in the company’s identity provider 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 accordingly. 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 GigaOm Radar report highlights key SMP vendors and equips IT decision-makers with the information needed to select the best fit for their business and use case requirements. In the corresponding GigaOm report “Key Criteria for Evaluating SaaS Management Platforms,” we describe in more detail the key features and metrics that are used to evaluate vendors in this market.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.