As software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps are increasingly being adopted by enterprises, the need for SaaS management platforms is also rising. These days, an enterprise may be paying for hundreds of SaaS licenses with no controls in place. Fortunately, platforms such as Torii and Cleanshelf are stepping up to fill a void that challenges IT, finance and compliance teams to keep track of their SaaS stacks spending and usage.
This article compares two popular SaaS management platforms (SMPs) to help you make the best decision about which platform is a better fit for your organization.
Everything headed to the cloud
IT leaders have been managing on-premises environments for years at the enterprise level. They have been responsible for monitoring who is accessing what resources when and for delegating permissions during the onboarding process.
Although cloud computing has its roots all the way back in the 1960s, Salesforce is credited with pioneering the idea of delivering enterprise applications via the web (i.e., SaaS) in 1999. Amazon Web Services, launched in 2002, is still considered at the pinnacle of providing infrastructure as a service, adding “thousands of new services and features to its cloud services portfolio each year,” according to Computer Weekly.
Cloud computing has shifted the paradigm in recent years and is largely focused on changing the corporate landscape from owning the hardware and software housed on giant servers on-prem to putting it all in the cloud.
But because enterprise SaaS adoption is still relatively young and developers are focused more on functionality, these innovative companies have left room for SMPs to step up and take care of the more day-to-day administration of the SaaS apps, according to a 2018 Gartner report.
According to IDG’s 2018 Cloud Computing Survey:
- Over three-quarters of enterprises have at least one application or a portion of their infrastructure in the cloud.
- Enterprises predict they’ll invest on average $3.5M on cloud solutions this year.
- More technology-dependent industries including manufacturing, high-tech, and telecom are being led by executive management to become 100% cloud.
Torii and Cleanshelf: Each has its strengths
As you can see, enterprises are surging into the cloud, with SaaS leading the way.
In fact, your company is probably running hundreds of SaaS apps at any given time. SaaS management platforms can help you keep track of whether a license is being underutilized and when licenses are up for renewal. In addition, they can automate workflows such as onboarding and offboarding, and churn out reports that account for all the information IT professionals need to know about their tech stacks.
Torii bills itself as an autonomous “all-in-one” SMP. Its key features include:
- Complete SaaS app management tools
- Thorough integration with thousands of apps
- Automated workflow
- Simple cost analysis
- Excellent customer support
- User-friendly, out-of-the-box design
Capterra reviewers love Torii. They rank it a solid 5 out of 5 for functionality, ease of use, and customer service.
Torii platform works in a four-step process:
- Integrate all of your apps in use onto a single platform. Torii comes with thousands of apps already in its database, with the ability to add more manually, if necessary.
- Discover how big your SaaS stack actually is and receive instant alerts when new apps are discovered. You may be surprised.
- Analyze in the graph and tabular form insights from the discovery process regarding usage and expenses, as well as optimization opportunities.
- Oversee sanctioning and other SaaS use life cycle processes from a consolidated dashboard.
- Automate day-to-day tasks to simplify the process.
Cleanshelf is a lesser-known brand that is nevertheless solid in how it helps enterprises cut back on SaaS app expenses. It is called a “spend optimization” SaaS management platform because that is its focus. The platform shows in clear detail exactly how much each SaaS app is costing the company in possible under-utilization.
Although the Cleanshelf platform does not have the automation capacity that Torii does, it still has a significant SaaS app library for integration purposes. Customer support is available online 24/7 and on the phone during business hours.
You can also use it to generate lists of apps segmented by payment method, which is a nice feature for financial planning purposes.
Overall, however, Cleanshelf’s chief strength is in its charts and graphs. The app provides a clear picture of where an enterprise could be less wasteful in its SaaS budget, making it more of a reporting tool than a proactive management tool.
A side-by-side comparison: Torii vs. Cleanshelf
Here’s a handy breakdown of all the strengths and weaknesses of each platform.
|Key Benefits||Autonomous, all-in-one SaaS management platform||Spend optimization/tech stack control SaaS management platform|
|App Management/ Utilization||Provides the user with an uninterrupted view over every single SaaS app adopted by each team; automatically discovers and maps apps||The tool helps businesses cut back on SaaS spending by identifying unused software licenses and subscription plans|
|Integration||Integrates with thousands of leading single sign-on services, web browsers, and payment platforms; can also add them manually||Powered by AI, Cleanshelf integrates with over 2,000 SaaS providers, plus several SSOs, HR systems and ERPs|
|Automated Workflow||Workflows feature lets users create automated emails and onboarding forms that trigger each time Torii discovers a new app, or an app stops being used; one-click offboarding for employees is a major time saver||Cleanshelf doesn’t support automation|
|Cost Analysis||View breakdown by department of SaaS apps investments on Expenses page; Graphs depict the movement of the company’s SaaS budget on a month-by-month basis||Cleanshelf helps by identifying unused subscriptions and wasteful plans; segment spend data by payment method|
|Customer Support||Business hours✰✰✰✰✰ (based on reviews)||Online business hours. No reviews available|
|Audit||Compliance management Consolidated dashboard Exceptions management Issue management Multi-year planning Compliance and cybersecurity risk assessment||Cleanshelf doesn’t support stack audits|
|Ease of Use||✰✰✰✰✰ (based on reviews)||No reviews available|
While SaaS apps gallop into the future, it’s important to have SMPs like Cleanshelf and Torii platforms to rein in expenses and to keep a watchful eye on actual usage. They are also great tools to have when negotiating new contracts with vendors. The sidebar shows how these two platforms match up.
Regardless of which SMP you choose, Torii and Cleanshelf serve an important purpose to the enterprise IT and finance departments. With all that’s at stake, the only bad idea would be not to choose one at all.