Voted Best Answer
Oct 12, 2016 - 10:03 AM
The business critical subscriptions, the really expensive subscriptions and the subscriptions with large number of users are the ones you need to focus on.
Again, you need to read each contract carefully and make sure you understand the risks associated with it... these will differ for each product eg if it's business critical, what are the things that might make the vendor switch off access? If you decide to migrate away from the vendor, how much time do you have to get the data out? On the other hand, if the subscription is really expensive and / or you have a large number of users, you will need to manage access carefully and ensure your joiners movers leavers process is integrated tightly with the product to ensure you don't waste money on unused subscriptions.
Once you've done the risk analysis and understood WHAT you need to manage, then, and only then, might you think about putting some sort of SaaS management tool in place.
And that's JUST SaaS!!! Where you have IaaS or PaaS, you will find configuration management suddenly becomes hugely important in ensuring these are managed properly. I've used System Centre in Azure, but it's not enough on its own - the beaty of cloud is that you can switch VMs off over night to save loads of money, for instance, but you need configuration management to tell you which ones are OK to switch off!
Cloud just makes things a load more complicated, and personally the key to managing it is probably not tools but your relationship with your service management colleagues and your application business owners. The tools to manage subscriptions and switch off machines overnight are mostly built into the products, and so a good process will make management possible. However the really important bit is making the right decisions about who should use the products, how and when, and you can only do that when you work closely with ITSM and the application users.
It's a brave new world for us all!