SaaS Sprawl: What It Means and How It Impacts Business

What is SaaS sprawl and how does it impact your business? Read on and explore this blog to get all your answers in a line.

Simran Mohanty
Sep 29, 2021

SaaS Sprawl - What It Means and How It Impacts Business

SaaS Sprawl -  What It Means and How It Impacts Business

The manner in which we use software today has taken a drastic change from the previous times. That is mainly due to the evolution of SaaS (software as a service) and how that has become a standard application delivery. While it is a given that the SaaS applications have gifted us with many advantages over disadvantages, such as quicker time to value, minimized vendor management and enhanced accessibility, relationships and scalability as well. To manage it all, companies today are taking to SaaS sprawl and letting it address each of these challenges. On that note, today, we will walk you through SaaS sprawl, its meaning and how it impacts business. Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

  • What is SaaS Sprawl?
  • How SaaS Sprawl Impacts Businesses?
    1. Security and Threats
    2. Costs and Finance
    3. Compliance Causes
    4. Data Distribution and Management
    5. Operational Errors

What is SaaS Sprawl?

When an organization tends to have numerous SaaS applications within their stack, it sometimes become too unmanageable to look into the solutions one at a time and respond effectively. To curb this issue, SaaS sprawls help in mitigating this challenge and managing this troubleshooting ailment in the easiest manner possible. We all know that the trust of a customer is all that matters to us in the end of the day. Are we making sure that it stays address and not hampered? Are we abiding by their satisfaction and ensuring that they stay happy and satisfied and most importantly, their data is safe with us? Now, that we have covered the basic ground on SaaS sprawl, it is now time to know how it truly impacts businesses and more. Let us get to it.

How SaaS Sprawl Impacts Businesses?

Security and Threats

According to a recent survey, 75% of the respondents claim to say that about a whopping 75% of the IT leaders say that the biggest concern with SaaS sprawl is the security aspect. It is a given that the SaaS applications tend to store in a ton of confidential data, customer’s financial information, records and more. It is more than necessary to protect these files from getting corrupted or getting stolen from other hidden sources. Therefore, make sure that you take all preventive causes to safeguard your data before it is too late.

Costs and Finance

Sometimes, employees start procuring SaaS applications even before checking out the existing SaaS stack of the company. This leads to two major implications here: one, is the rise in the number of SaaS applications in the given company and the other is the overall increase in the SaaS spend for the company. It creates difficulties in budget forecasting and cost estimation for the finance department. Therefore, sometimes it becomes difficult to manage SaaS spend, and companies often realize they are spending extravagant amounts on SaaS applications until someone finds this trend of overspending.

Compliance Causes

It is more than necessary for a company to stay compliant with the governing regulations to steer clear of any legal troubles. This can include GDPR, SOC 2 or FISMA, according to the type of service that it offers to safeguard the sensitive and private information of a customer. As mentioned, when a company does not fulfill any of these requirements, it falls prey to severe business reputation tarnish, lawsuits and more. When companies lose control of their SaaS stacks, it can lead to data expose and various other issues if not monitored properly. Therefore, be careful with the information that is shared and trusted with you by your customers.

Data distribution and Management

SaaS sprawl pulls out data sprawl due to the decentralized distribution of the information in different applications. When that happens, it becomes cumbersome for IT to find where all data resides, who all has access to it, and how exposed it is.  Let us assume that you as a consumer find Dropbox more convenient for sharing and storing files even when your company uses Google Drive. Now, even if you have full access to Google Drive, you will store and share data using Dropbox, which is beyond the purview of the IT department. Therefore, even when you choose to leave the company, the data may remain in it forever with no chance of recovery. Even though it might seem like a small, trivial issue, it does have major implications if not measured and corrected at the right time.

Operational Errors

While it is a given that the presence and usage of more applications creates confusion among employees and IT, it also causes delay, inefficiency and affects the overall experience of the employees in negative way. And you already know, when the employees suffer, so does their productivity and collaboration across different departments. Therefore, take regular inventory of all the SaaS applications which are used in your organization across different departments. Take a note of who are the employees using these tools, their time spent and all such necessary details as well.

Parting Thoughts

It becomes quite easy for a company to experience SaaS sprawl especially when you have a ton of applications being used and accessed by each of your employees. Therefore, it becomes more than necessary to eliminate the growing pains that come with a growing business. Know what you need to have and take all preventive measures to check the data leak or data theft. We hope that with this information provided to you, you will be able to use help from it.

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Originally Published September 29th, 2021, Updated September 29th, 2021

Simran Mohanty

Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her 'gift of the gab' to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens.

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