See the Zylo and Okta Integration at Work

Eric Christopher

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We launched Zylo to accomplish four goals: Enable businesses to discover all SaaS applications; help enterprises improve their SaaS renewal management; allow them to measure the utilization of their SaaS applications; help businesses secure their SaaS applications.

Since we launched at Oktane16, the challenges of managing SaaS overall have grown more apparent to businesses. The awareness of SaaS management as a business practice continues to grow rapidly as more companies use more cloud-based applications. This doesn’t show any sign of slowing: Gartner projects a 17% increase in spending in 2019.

This year, we heard many more Oktane attendees focused on SaaS challengesas their enterprises invest more in cloud-based applications. For many businesses at Oktane, the primary challenge of SaaS is to secure their environment. Many have turned to the creation of a strong identity management policy to secure the enterprise.

In fact, Okta reports that large companies have secured 68 percent more applications in 2019 than four years ago.

SaaS Discovery and Identity Management

A strong identity management strategy requires visibility into the all SaaS applications, including shadow IT, purchased across the enterprise. Zylo’s discovery feature reveals all SaaS applications – both known and unknown – currently deployed within your organization.

With full visibility, technology managers and security leaders can determine what apps secure through Okta. The Okta and Zylo integration also uncovers the utilization of apps within Okta. With full visibility, including utilization metrics, IT leaders can build a holistic enterprise SaaS governance strategy.

Customers Increase SaaS Security with Okta and Zylo

During our Oktane19 session, Empower Identity Management with SaaS Discovery,Zylo co-founder and VP of Customer Success Cory Wheeler invited three customers to join him on stage: Ryan Johnson, director of IT for Keap, Mousa Hamad, director of IT for Pushpay, and Adrian Dunne, senior director of global IT for AdRoll.

Each IT leader has deployed Zylo and Okta at their organization to create to tackle their SaaS challenges. Here’s a recap of the conversation.

Increasing SaaS Visibility Improves Identity Management

Ryan Johnson first adopted Zylo to understand the full scope of Keap’s software investment needs, solutions, and costs for its more than 700 employees. After first attempting to record and categorize all applications via a manual software audit and spreadsheet record, he turned to Zylo, and quickly found about 100 more shadow IT applications than previously estimated.

“I was doing it manually and missed over a third of our applications,” Johnson said.

Zylo’s SaaS discovery also provided Keap the roadmap to improving its security posture by highlighting new opportunities to integrate existing applications into its identity management strategy.  

“Zylo gave our team a goal sheet on what to put behind Okta,” Johnson said. “We then prioritized these applications and advanced our identity strategy, educating the business along the way.”

Reveal SaaS Cost, Utilization, and ROI

Zylo’s discovery process “follows the money” to unearth SaaS application data. That is, it uses the financial transaction data from AP and expense management systems to reveal the full scope of SaaS deployed within an organization.

Zylo also displays previously inaccessible license utilization data for applications deployed within the Okta group. Using Zylo, IT managers can see which users log into which applications within Okta and how frequently they do so. When IT leaders combine this financial and utilization, it creates a unique insight that allows IT leaders to gain a full understanding of each application’s ROI.

Adrian Dunne chose Zylo as its SaaS management solution at AdRoll as an answer to proliferating SaaS due to rapid growth and lack of documentation for purchases. Through its financial-based discovery, Zylo allowed him and his team to discover software purchases that may have gone otherwise unnoticed. “That’s the beauty of Zylo,” Dunne said. “Scrubbing where the money goes.”

During the session, he noted that with Zylo and Okta, AdRoll has been able to create a simplified workflow for determining ROI. “We analyze our applications in three stages: Discovery, a sweep for utilization [data], and then calculating ROI,” he said.

Pushpay’s Mousa Hamad said that Zylo’s purchase discovery process and Okta-enabled utilization data enable informed SaaS license management.

“With Zylo, we noticed that we were purchasing double than what we needed. Since then, thanks to Zylo and Okta, we’ve been able to tighten down our spend and increase utilization,” he said.

Bolster IT Collaboration through Visibility

Hamad, Dunne, and Johnson all seemed to agree: The topline goal of optimizing SaaS management empowers IT to lead collaborative, purposeful conversations and actions throughout the business. And these conversations and actions lead to positive change.

Johnson noted that this process is an example of IT’s changing role in many tech-forward organizations. “IT used to be the ‘nerd’ in the back of the room telling people what they should do,” he said. “Now, we are much more responsible for educating for the business and enabling them to make better business decisions.”

And that education and more informed decision-making is made possible by the holistic, company-wide view that Zylo provides. “When you can show the business the tools they have in their inventory, how much they cost, and how they get used – it gives you credibility, and helps them get their job done,” Hamad said.

The Power of Zylo + Okta

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About the Author

Eric Christopher

Eric Christopher is CEO and Co-Founder of Zylo, the leading SaaS management platform. After 14 years of buying and selling software, Eric knew there had to be a better way to manage cloud applications within a company. Eric started his career in sales at ExactTarget from 2002 to 2010. He spent the next six years in Chicago leading sales teams at Shoutlet and Sprout Social Inc., and founded Zylo in 2016.