While speaking at the Collision Conference in Toronto today, Torii CEO Uri Haramati announced that his software-as-a-service (SaaS) management software company had recently raised a $3.5 million seed round. Palo Alto-based Uncork Capital led the funding round alongside Global Founders Capital and Entrée Capital.
Torii enables organisations to stay on top of their SaaS use by improving visibility and management workflows. The platform automatically discovers and tracks all instances of application access and comprehensively compiles dynamic information regarding all SaaS accounts.
IT managers at these companies can then effectively manage users’ access through automation-enabled product lifecycle management and offboarding features. They can also effectively control spending by receiving information and notifications concerning all active subscriptions.
“In the near future, people will not need to manage software – it will be software that manages software,” said Haramati. “This inevitability is the anchor of our vision for Torii – to create one software that manages all software, seamlessly, automatically and in real-time. And for that, you need a searchable and easily managed system of record, topped by a powerful and versatile engine for automated workflows.”
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Organisations including Typeform, Payoneer, Thrive Global, Pipedrive and Monday.com are already seeing the benefits of Torii’s solution.
Haramati shared his vision of “autonomous IT” from Collision’s stage at the Enercare Centre in Toronto, as part of the Breakout Startups session. Before launching Torii a year ago, Haramati was a co-founder of Life on Air, known for its consumer apps, Meerkat and Houseparty.
Among the additional presenters at the session were Darren Chait, COO of Hugo, a meeting productivity platform; Braden Ream, CEO of Voiceflow, a visual and codeless platform for creating Amazon Alexa skills and Google Assistant apps; and Bob Moore, CEO of Crossbeam, a platform for anonymous data sharing with potential partner organizations.
Torii’s funding will allow the company to move forward with its development roadmap. The idea is for Torii to become an intelligent platform and gain the ability to better automate management tasks through the integration of more sophisticated automation workflow capabilities. In addition, Haramati said that Torii is already in the process of establishing its first on-the-ground presence in the United States, in order to strengthen business development and customer success operations in North America.
SaaS growth breeds new concerns
Businesses are increasingly adopting cloud-based and SaaS solutions, either because they were founded after cloud became the standard or as part of their digital transformation efforts. A single enterprise might now have over a thousand applications running on its network, according to Netskope.
For IT leaders, however, this increased adoption has brought about new challenges that they have to address. SaaS has contributed to the prevalence of “shadow IT” in organisations where individuals and teams are now likely to use digital tools and applications without the knowledge of and permission from IT. The use of these unauthorised tools can potentially lead to security incidences and data loss.
Poorly secured SaaS applications are vulnerable to cyber attacks and data breaches. Company data that are stored and processed in such applications are at risk of being stolen or destroyed.
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Non-compliant applications can also expose companies to data protection regulation violations, which may result in significant fines and legal action. Since individual team members’ access to SaaS subscriptions is also commonly unknown to IT, companies may also face pitfalls should employees fail to properly turn over account ownership when they leave the company.
Shadow IT also contributes to infrastructure bloat. Unchecked, users may end up subscribing to applications with overlapping features, with redundant subscriptions contributing to gratuitous spending. These applications may also cause integration problems, creating unnecessary friction across business units.
Better SaaS management needed
IT leaders and their teams are still adjusting to the new realities of technology use within organisations. These concerns arising from SaaS have prompted some IT leaders to go back to conventional management approaches where they impose restrictive policies and centralise decision-making.
This, however, runs contrary to calls for more collaborative IT decision-making and can deprive organisations of the agility that SaaS provides.
What organisations need are capabilities that allow them to enjoy the benefits of SaaS while mitigating risks. These can be acquired through the use of management platforms like Torii. Through better visibility, organisations can effectively streamline its lineup of tools and solutions. Torii’s plans to provide smarter automation teases a future where software manages software.
“IT teams have to redefine themselves as reactive empowerers of productivity and efficiency, and they can only do that with the right tools themselves – tools that make it easy to discover what’s really going on in the company’s tech stack, who is using what products for what purposes, and what access those products have been granted,” shared Haramati.
SaaS adoption is only expected to increase in the coming years. In a recent projection by Gartner, the global cloud services market is expected to grow 17.5% to $214.3 billion this year, $94.8bn of which will be earmarked for SaaS.
The fresh influx of funds from established venture capitalists underscores the pressing need for companies to maintain control of their infrastructures and that investors are ready to support ventures like Torii that seek to address the issue.
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