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Considering growing specific SaaS challenges in managing disparate admin controls and reducing risk from unmanaged tools or technologies, many organizations are adopting SaaS management platforms to automate their tasks as well as to establish a consistent security posture across their portfolio.

As per Gartner’s prediction for 2021, “75% of organizations that do not proactively manage their SaaS environments will spend 30% more on their deployments than their counterparts sticking with on-premises solutions”.

As the pioneer of the SMP classification, we at Pyramid Consulting follow the guidelines of Gartner's SaaS management platform. Let’s delve into a deeper understanding of the SaaS Management Platforms (SMPs).

Manage IT – With Granular Privileges for Each User

It has now become easier for IT administrators to manage routine tasks by automating with SMP. This helps them take charge of assigning role-based access controls (RBAC), track reports for provisioning, revoke access credentials, etc. Organizations that automate workflows can reap the benefits of workflow automation.

Gartner’s 2020 I&O Leaders Survey report shows that “70% of organizations are currently investing in SaaS and public cloud offerings and are continuing to do so. This will direct to over-provision of administrative tasks, further burdening and wasting valuable time on non-core activities, which do not add value to the business.”

Having an SMPs allows you to overcome the limitations of native SaaS application administrator consoles and get the most out of its robust capabilities such as role-based access controls, workflow-based orchestration, reporting, anomaly detection, and remediation, etc. You can even implement necessary data governance, and migration with artificial intelligence (AI)-/machine learning (ML)-based automation.

Automate IT – With Cross-SaaS Workflows

You perhaps already have a SaaS solution such as Microsoft/Office 365 in place but manually administer the services in a traditional SaaS approach. An SMP with workflow automation capabilities enables administration efficiency by connecting all the popular actions in a pre-set process that automatically runs from the workflow engine.

This allows you to do more in less time every day by automating the routine mundane task workflows such as employee onboarding, license assignment, and license revocation, and offboarding.  It frees up much of your day so that you can focus on bigger, more important tasks that require thought and creativity. Additionally, with less data input, there are fewer chances for errors which ensures greater accuracy.

This sophisticated workflow automation software connects with different applications and helps you automate your routine tasks and processes thereby improving your IT efficiency with cross SaaS workflows.

Action-Enabled Reporting

Wouldn't it be extraordinary to have reports that show all Microsoft/Office 365 activities and changes to setting configuration? Consider the possibility that you could spot and tackle issues or see something you need to change – and do it directly from the report you are gazing at.

IT Security

SaaS Security is another spot of pain point to the IT environment. While an SMP is designed to harmonize data protection regulatory, entitlements, and access controls for multiple SaaS applications. Gartner clarifies that “The integrated tools of SMPs are widely controlled based on the categorization of read-only relationships or bidirectional integration with SaaS tools. For example, Tools that are “read-only” will not actively remediate issues, while bidirectional “read/write” can be reviewed and act immediately.

With SaaS platform’s full bi-directional capabilities, you can mitigate SaaS risk by identifying and correcting security and compliance risks with unparalleled visibility and automation.

SMPs and Microsoft 365

Gartner recommends that enterprises should focus on using SMP to implement the necessary governance and administration to enable end-user adoption of SaaS functionality. They also conclude that SMPs are focused on managing the SaaS component of a user's digital workplace while improving security.

Microsoft 365 has gained much more popularity in recent times especially among small to midsize businesses. Many organizations have started realizing the benefits of this SaaS model and are realizing that cloud-based applications are the path to cost-effective and business-aligned systems. So, it now becomes imperative for organizations adopting the Microsoft 365 model seriously to make their business secure. Most of the operations for managing hardware, operating systems, and applications hosted by administrators are automated so that human intervention is reduced to a minimum, reducing the risk of malicious activity.

Maximize SaaS ROI

A good SMP in place will help you measure the performance. It helps companies drive continuous improvements by monitoring and optimizing SaaS license entitlements based on consumption. With visibility into usage and patterns, you can identify any application or license redundancies in real-time. This helps better manage expectations from management and customers and improve overall business productivity and reduce costs.

Track everything, boost adoption, and optimize licenses!

Pyramid Consulting Partnership with CoreView

As a growing business, our objective always has been to help enterprises serve them with new ways to optimize the way they work with Microsoft 365 and other SaaS platforms and make them happy. Our partnership with CoreView has helped us manage the entire Office 365 tenant, acting as the administrator. Our solution helps IT leaders struggling with this transition and looking for an all-in-one solution to manage SaaS platforms, improve IT efficiency, maximize SaaS ROI, and mitigate risk. Contact us today!

Mark Wuerslin

About the author

Mark Wuerslin

Practice Director, Microsoft 365

Mark is responsible for connecting with sales and marketing partners to ensure client success with Microsoft’s productivity suite. A new member to the Pyramid Consulting family, Mark has worked as a Microsoft consultant for over a decade. He gets up early every morning for grueling boot-camp workouts and double-shot espressos so that he can bring his best self to the office, as well as to his family and community. Oh, did we mention he climbed the Matterhorn with his father at the ripe age of 18.

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