What a high octane few months it has been on Ivanti Neurons for Spend Intelligence! With our first release in October last year our product teams took their first exciting step into solving the difficulties associated with managing the purchasing and delicate balance of cost optimization by combining visibility with targeted action.

With the 2020.4 release of Ivanti Neurons for Spend Intelligence, we took another step forward, this time into an area of rapidly growing importance and influence over the use of business applications, which is known as Software as a Service (SaaS).

Software as a Service poses a much different challenge to the management of traditional On Premises installed software, while seemingly making life easier by reducing the risk of compliance issues by largely preventing the over-provisioning of software and taking away the need to manage infrastructure. But with this are new pitfalls which need to be monitored.

Let’s have a look at one of them in a little more detail.

In order to track your spend and usage, SaaS vendors will typically provide their customers with an account portal which can be logged into to view this information. Sounds convenient right? Well typically businesses don’t buy applications from one single vendor, so the reality is something like twenty vendors for example. Now you are looking at twenty portals to log into and having to extract that data into a spreadsheet to create a meaningful report!

It gets even better. During our research process, we found that the blue-sky scenario is having a single account portal per vendor and in reality, that just isn’t the case all of the time. We came across a few instances where there were six plus accounts against a single vendor because the individual business units were purchasing their own subscriptions, something that Software as a Service makes seamless and easier.

So, adding that to our twenty vendors, lets imagine worst case scenario, six accounts with each vendor. That’s one hundred and twenty accounts that need to be logged into in order to get a holistic view of SaaS usage and spend. I don’t know about you, but I can feel my typing fingers seizing up thinking about it.

You might be wondering, “What has this release got to do with that?” To answer that simply, quite a lot! This release is taking aim directly at this problem. We have introduced our SaaS Management dashboards to Ivanti Neurons for Spend Intelligence which utilizes a number of the connectors available on the Ivanti Neurons platform to bring you a consolidated view of all of those applications and the various associated accounts while highlighting the things you might need to focus on. Here are a few examples:

  • Applications which are not being used much and need to be reviewed
  • Users which have inactive accounts, but still have paid for access to SaaS applications
  • Users external to your organization which have access to your applications
  • Potential duplicated accounts, which you might be paying twice for

saas management screenshot

In our next release we will be tackling the spending associated with these applications and bringing to the forefront how much they are costing your business to run. When you combine this information with the usage, you can start to understand how to optimize your spending on SaaS applications by getting insight into how much an application costs to run, where savings can be made against applications that are not being used by a number of users, and what plan to go for in your next renewal.

This is going to be an exciting year for our product teams on Ivanti Neurons for Spend Intelligence as we drive towards our goal of helping our customers reduce the complexities of managing software and application spend within the business, giving time back to our customers so they can focus on what matters the most. Much more to come, stay tuned!