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Effective SaaS user management: tips and tricks

Written by
Olha Kurinna
Published on
January 24, 2023

SaaS user management encompasses various responsibilities, including creating and maintaining user accounts, assigning permissions and access levels, and tracking and reporting on user activity. It plays a vital role in SaaS applications by enabling administrators to regulate access and actions taken within the application. By implementing effective user management, businesses can safeguard the security and integrity of their SaaS application and comply with relevant regulations.

Olha Kurinna
Content Specialist
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Software management has become progressively more decentralized over the past few years. This is the fact that almost everyone believes they have the authority to acquire cloud-based software solutions to perform various operations.

In addition, it is highly improbable that various user spreadsheets and app spreadsheets are evaluated and regularly updated consistently at most firms. This is precisely why every company must include user management for their SaaS platform.

Undoubtedly, SaaS user management provides various features, such as it helps companies to permit only authorized users to access the service, or avoiding unnecessary costs for unnecessary access.

And SaaS companies can avail user support that assists them quickly and easily resetting their passwords or recovering lost account information, reducing the need for costly user support.

Further, by providing different access levels and permissions to users based on their role or subscription level, organizations can ensure that different types of users have the level of access they need to do their job effectively.

This article walks you through user management in SaaS applications, why it is essential, best practices and tips for SaaS user management, associated challenges, and more.

What is SaaS user management?

Software as a Service user management refers to managing a user's access to a SaaS application. This includes creating and maintaining user accounts, assigning and revoking permissions, managing subscription status, and more.

Indeed, SaaS user management assists in verifying a user's identity, granting access to the SaaS application, and determining which features and functions a user can access based on their role or permission level.

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SaaS user account management creates and sets up new user accounts, including assigning roles and permissions. Also, it assists in removing or disabling user accounts, typically when an employee leaves the company or a subscription is terminated.

It can also perform billing and subscription management, especially if the SaaS application uses a subscription-based pricing model. In addition, it can generate reports on user activity and audit user access to ensure compliance with policies and regulations. Overall, SaaS user management allows organizations to control their users' access and permissions and track and audit their users' activity.

How does SaaS user management work?

SaaS user management typically involves using a centralized platform, often provided by the SaaS vendor, to manage and organize the user accounts for a specific SaaS application. This platform allows administrators to create, modify, and delete user accounts, set permissions and access levels for each user, and view usage and activity reports.

Users typically access the SaaS application through a web browser and authenticate their identity using login credentials such as a username and password.

Some SaaS applications also support single sign-on (SSO) via an identity provider (IdP), which allows users to log in with their existing credentials from another system, such as a corporate Active Directory.

SaaS user management also often includes features for managing user access to specific features or data within the application. For example, an administrator can restrict access to specific data sets based on a user's role or department.

Additionally, some SaaS vendors provide additional security measures like multi-factor authentication, encryption, and secure data storage to keep user data safe and fully compliant with security regulations.

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Importance of SaaS user management

SaaS user management is vital for several reasons; by managing user access and permissions, organizations can ensure that sensitive information is only available to authorized users and that access is appropriately restricted. It can help organizations comply with various regulatory requirements by providing auditing and reporting capabilities.

By managing user access, organizations can ensure that users can only access the resources and functions they need to perform their job, which can help increase productivity.

SaaS user management gives organizations the ability to control the access and permissions of their users and to track and audit their activity. Indeed, by implementing an efficient and automated user management process, organizations can easily handle a large number of users and can scale with their business growth.

Overall, SaaS user management is essential for ensuring the security, compliance, and productivity of an organization's use of SaaS applications and for controlling the access and costs associated with the help of the application.

User management challenges in SaaS applications

Many issues arise when companies need to arrange their SaaS user management. As a result, each member of your staff directory must be updated. Further, there are several possibilities for failures, which can occasionally result in high costs to the company.

For example, ex-employees can gain unauthorized access to important company information if there are holes in your current SaaS user control. Any time an employee retains access to a file without being properly logged out, the organization runs the risk of compliance and data breach.

Systems must be updated whenever a new user is added to the team. They should have easy access to whatever they need to carry out their duties. Customers may wait days or weeks to access the software without precise SaaS user data management.

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SaaS user management best practices and tips

Some best practices for User Management SaaS (Software as a Service):

  • Role-based access control: assign users different roles and permissions based on their job function and level of access needed.
  • Strong password policies: require users to create strong, unique passwords and regularly update them.
  • Multi-factor authentication: implement an additional layer of security, such as SMS or email verification and DMARC setup, to ensure that only authorized employees can access the system.
  • Regularly review and update user permissions: ensure that users have the appropriate level of access and remove it for terminated employees.
  • Use automated tools: use tools that can automate user provisioning and de-provisioning, reducing the risk of errors and increasing efficiency.
  • Regularly monitor user activity: use logs and analytics to monitor user activity and identify any unusual or suspicious behavior. Additionally, utilize robust user activity monitoring tools to track and analyze user behavior, identifying any anomalies or suspicious activity.
  • Plan for disaster recovery: implement a disaster recovery plan to ensure that you can quickly restore access to users in the event of a disruption.
  • Provide training and support: provide training and support to help users understand the system and best practices for using it securely.
  • Have a clear data retention policy: understand and document how long you keep data and when you will delete it.
  • Create a process for handling user termination: create a process for employees leaving the company, ensuring that their access is revoked and their data is deleted.
  • Implement a well-defined security policy: clearly document and communicate your organization's security policy to all employees, including best practices for user management.
  • Educate your team on security best practices: regularly educate them on identifying and avoiding security threats and what to do if they encounter one.
  • Have an incident response plan: having a plan in place will help to make sure that the right actions are taken if any form of security breach occurs.
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Best practices for user handling on a multi-tenant application

When building a multi-tenant SaaS application, it's essential to consider the specific requirements of user management in a multi-tenant environment. Here are some best practices for handling users in a multi-tenant application:

Isolate tenant data

Each tenant's data should be isolated from the data of other tenants to ensure security and privacy. This can be achieved through the use of unique schemas or separate databases for each tenant.

Use a central authentication and authorization system

A central system for authentication and authorization can ensure that users can only access the resources and functions they are authorized to access. This central system can also be used for auditing and reporting across all tenants.

Use role-based access control

Assign different roles and permissions to other users based on their job function or level of access needed. This will help ensure that users can only access the necessary resources and functions.

Securely store sensitive information

Ensure that sensitive information such as passwords and other personal information is securely stored and transmitted in compliance with regulatory requirements.

Monitor user activity

Do it to detect and prevent unauthorized access or suspicious activity.

Provide clear, detailed user documentation

Users should be provided with clear and detailed documentation to help them understand their roles, permissions, and how to use the application.

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Have clear and detailed policies for usage and enforce them

Having a clear and detailed usage policy can help ensure tenants use the application appropriately and acceptably, and the policies should be enforced.

By following these best practices, you can help ensure that your multi-tenant application is secure, compliant, and able to meet all your tenants' needs.


In short, SaaS user management performs various tasks, such as creating and managing user accounts, setting permissions and access levels, and monitoring and reporting on user activity. It is an essential aspect of SaaS applications, as it lets administrators control who has access to the application and what actions they can perform. Effective user management can help ensure the security and integrity of the SaaS application and support compliance with relevant regulations.

Need help with SaaS user management? Apptension can do this for you! Learn more on our SaaS architecture services page.