A new report from Frost & Sullivan has revealed that businesses are facing up to the continued rise in the use of SaaS (software as a service), with three-fifths of employees taking advantage of apps and platforms which are not officially approved by the organisation.
This presents a challenge for companies which want to make progress and avoid security issues, but also offers an opportunity to those firms which are willing to embrace SaaS use while bringing it under the umbrella of business-wide approval.
Over 600 people participated in the study, with respondents hailing from the UK, Australia, the US and Canada, according to Computing.co.uk.
The use of unsanctioned SaaS apps is even more prevalent among those who are specifically employed within IT departments, where just 17 per cent of those questioned said that they stuck solely to software which had been given the green light according to best practices established by the company.
Average application access
On average a typical firm can expect to see about seven of the SaaS apps in use falling into the unapproved group, out of a possible 20 solutions being harnessed at any one time.
This means that over a third of the cloud-based programs being accessed by employees will not necessarily be regulated by the IT department, nor have undergone the correct analysis prior to their integration with day to day work-based activities.
The authors of the report mentioned that the eagerness of IT workers to use unapproved apps was an indication that they felt themselves unburdened of the usual responsibilities reserved for non-technical staff. Indeed those responsible for digital security may be unaware of the extent of such activities, which can lead to vulnerabilities.
One other issue highlighted in the study is that employees tend to be confused as to what apps can and cannot be used safely, with convoluted policy wording and a lack of training both being mentioned as contributing to this state of affairs.
Dealing with dysfunction
Employees tend to turn to third party cloud software platforms if their needs are not met by the allocation of approved apps available to them. So, rather than stifling uptake, businesses should be looking into why people feel the need to use SaaS solutions which are not already available in-house in a fully sanctioned form.
For example, you can read about CIPHR ‘s Managed HR services here to work out whether adopting this type of SaaS solution will make up for deficits in your current app infrastructure.
You should carry out the same analysis of other departments to find out whether unapproved use of cloud-based software is going on and consider the best plan of action to ameliorate the situation to your advantage.
SaaS is a powerful tool for modern businesses, especially since it means that a third party provider can take responsibility for managing the hardware and administrating the software, while organisations are able to make the most of the benefits as end users of a valuable service.