Key Points: 

  • SaaS ownership is distributed throughout the organization resulting in poor visibility for IT.
  • IT can cut through the fog by centralizing app data through Torii’s SaaS Management Platform and empowering application owners to view critical app data and take targeted action within Torii.
  • The result—IT gains visibility while scaling its SaaS Management efforts via individual application owners.
  • Through integrations, custom workflows, and automated ticketing, IT can experience a nearly zero-touch, continuous execution of cost savings, license reclamation, provisioning, deprovisioning, and more by empowering app owners to manage their apps.

The lines of technology are blurring. As modern workers lean on the cloud for personal and work life, they become more empowered to onboard and integrate apps without consulting IT. Instead of top-down procurement, many tools are adopted end-user-first, leaving IT in the dark.

IT managers often have a mixed reaction to distributed adoption. Some stress about the proliferation of shadow IT, while others are more comfortable with the shift. All IT pros know that some oversight is still needed. One strategy for increasing visibility is Distributed SaaS Management—a framework designed for the scattered adoption of apps. 

Distributed SaaS Management is a set of practices focused on orchestrating app visibility and operations within the organization. It doesn’t try to reverse the clock and seal Pandora’s box of SaaS, but it does provide that critical oversight that IT needs. 

In the article, we’ll discuss a cornerstone of Distributed SaaS Management; Application Owners.

What is an Application Owner? 

The application owner is the person who manages vital aspects of an application. Often, this is a power user, but it might also be the individual that first introduced an application to the company. These app owners keep their finger on the pulse of the tool and how it best serves the company. 

Sometimes the application owner is a formal role; sometimes, it’s an unspoken assumption. Sometimes it’s part of the job description; sometimes, it is thrust upon a user. There’s no single path. 

What Does the Application Owner Do? 

The application owner is responsible for keeping track of quantitative data such as: 

  • Functionalities available
  • Expenses
  • Usage trends
  • Users
  • Contract terms

However, an app owner should monitor other qualitative aspects of the product, such as the overall sentiment of the tool—do users like using this tool? If not, are there competing shadow IT tools being procured? Are users leveraging a tool in the best way? Does this tool provide redundant capabilities as with other tools? 

Unfortunately, while Application Owners might monitor these questions and metrics, they often operate in silos. As a result, IT cannot truly scale their SaaS Management Operations and App owners work without clear direction. 

This is where Torii helps, providing a seamless yet structured environment for app owners and IT to work together. 

How Torii Lets IT Empower Application Owners 

Torii breaks down the silos of individual app admin views and unifies SaaS administration all in one place. So whether your app owner manages one app or ten apps, they can do it all within Torii’s sleek, intuitive UI, so every administrative action is visible to IT. 

App view

Torii’s Distributed SaaS Management Platform provides IT with a central SaaS System of Record for Shadow IT Discovery, SaaS Spend and Contract Renewals Management, and a fully integrated no-code workflow builder. These capabilities supercharge IT’s vision and ability to deal with the SaaS explosion. Still, we’ve added a designated role for Application owners so they can see insights—limited to their application—and take specific action. 

What Can Application Owners See in Torii?

The Application Owner role lets each app owner see the following information about their application: 

  • Users – Application owners can see a complete list of every user assigned a seat within that application
  • Usage – Owners can see usage rates both on an individual level and on aggregate
  • License Utilization – Looking to save budget? App owners can view license utilization rates for the application and which seats are going unused, unclaimed, or are still assigned to former employees
    • Bonus: These users can also view license tiers for different apps. i.e., a user with a costly Zoom pro license may never hold 60-minute meetings, not utilizing the full capabilities of their premium plan, and therefore can be downgraded to a free Zoom basic license 
  • Expenses – Owners can see all expenses in one place, contracts, license costs, and other add-ons
    spend view
  • Contracts – Application owners can view existing contract agreements or upload new contracts directly to Torii. With that visibility, application owners can better communicate the organization’s obligations to the software vendors, like duration and costs, and add these obligations to the organization’s total SaaS commitments.

    Contract view
  • Contacts – Point of contacts for renewal management both within their own company and the vendor’s 

What Actions Can App Owners Take in Torii?

With all those valuable insights, application owners can immediately increase productivity and decrease costs. 

User review
  • Onboarding – Depending on the application, Torii can either automatically onboard a new user based on whether they meet specific criteria in another app (i.e., someone is hired or shifts roles, and that change shows in a core app like Google Workspace, Okta, BambooHR, etc.) or it will trigger a workflow to automatically create a ticket assignment for an application owner to provide a license for the individual. 
  • Offboarding – In the same way, IT can decide the best action when someone is offboarded depending on the importance of the app and its contained IP. They can automatically reclaim the license, automatically suspend the license and allow the app owner to manually reclaim the license, or simply create the assignment for the application owner to reclaim the license. 
  • Reclaim Unused Licenses – Torii will automatically show application owners how many licenses are utilized, how many are idle, and how many are still assigned to past users. App owners can then take action to reclaim unused licenses and deprovision previous users. 
  • Downgrade Underutilized Licenses – For core and costly apps, downgrading multiple licenses can add to tremendous savings. For these apps, Torii will indicate which users are not using the tool to its expensive potential and let the app owner downgrade those users or send the users communication about downgrading their license. 
  • Upload, Edit, and Archive Vendor Contracts – To help Procurement, application owners can view, edit, upload, and archive contracts within Torii. 

App Owners Scale Distributed SaaS Management

Most IT professionals prefer to maintain a somewhat centralized IT department. But, this doesn’t inherently scale with the growth of an organization or its applications. With empowered application owners, the IT department can have its cake and eat it too.

These owners become the front line of defense against security threats and the best way to find cost savings. All with minimal added burden on the IT department. 

For IT leaders, empowering and working with app owners becomes a strategic focal point to distribute the responsibility of SaaS Management without sacrificing oversight or visibility. 

It allows IT to close the loop and administer apps without taking ownership from the users.

If you’d like to learn more about Torii’s exciting vision of Distributed SaaS Management, you can download the Distributed SaaS Management Playbook or request a demo and see firsthand how Torii helps you help your organization thrive.