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As SaaS app usage soars, consolidation and security concerns drive change

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Cloud service management company BetterCloud Inc. has found that organizations are using more software-as-a-service apps than ever, but there are changes afoot in the industry amid consolidation and concerns with app security.

The findings were one of several in BetterCloud’s 10th annual State of SaaSOps report based on a survey of 742 IT and security professionals. The survey and report, released today to SiliconANGLE, explored how quickly SaaS is growing, the most urgent challenges facing information technology operations today and why SaaS security keeps IT staff up at night.

Of those surveyed, 43% said that they had added a new SaaS app that stores sensitive data in the last 12 months and 81% say they’re responsible for protecting this sensitive data. The addition of new SaaS apps was somewhat balanced by those being canceled, with 40% saying that retired duplicate and overlapping applications in the last year. The net growth of SaaS apps came in at 18% year-over-year, with organizations now using 130 apps on average.

Some 59% of those surveyed said SaaS sprawl is creating management headaches and that SaaS proliferation is hard to manage. One of the key issues is “shadow” SaaS apps, with 65% saying these unsanctioned apps are a problem. However, 57% said their teams had increased support for the number of SaaS apps they manage and support over the last year.

Employee experience was highlighted as a driving force behind SaaS adoption and changes by 80% of respondents. Those surveyed also said employee experience was a key driver of initiatives to automate workflows.

A full 86% of respondents said that they see automation as critical to overcoming today’s SaaSOps challenges. Some 71% have already automated at least one help desk process, such as onboarding or password resets, and 43% already have a dedicated SaaSOps automation role or team, with an additional 23% planning to.

The report found that issues with visibility and insight into the SaaS application stack persist. Automation is hindered, with 46% of IT professionals citing a lack of current information and visibility.

Finally, most respondents said that they believe that zero-touch automation — the process of orchestrating automated workflows in order to replace all manual IT touchpoints — is the future.

“This is our 1oth year surveying IT about the SaaS-powered workplace and one thing remains true: SaaS is critical to doing business and to providing a better employee experience,” David Politis, chief executive officer of BetterCloud, said in a statement. “Yet, in the last few years, the rush to adopt SaaS has outpaced IT’s ability to keep up with management and security challenges.”

Image: BetterCloud

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