Beamy is a fast-growing scale-up that focuses on pioneering a new approach to SaaS management for large companies. Founded in 2017, it has recently launched in the UK and in April it completed a €8 million Series A funding round.
Beamy recently held a successful Series A funding round to support international expansion and product development. Why is now the time to strike?
“We are convinced that SaaS issues are major issues for large companies, whether French or international. With this fundraising from major investors including Agaé Ventures and ISAI, both of whom are recognised for offering cutting edge expertise in the tech sector, we are setting out to conquer the international market.”
How quickly is SaaS adoption growing in enterprises?
“The adoption of SaaS platforms grew by 125 percent from 2020 to 2021. A reason for the influx of SaaS adoption is that the agile and hybrid nature of SaaS matches the hybrid style of work, which many companies adopted during the pandemic. Beyond the pandemic, the future forecasting of the industry is predicting huge growth, with the market value to reach $168.6 billon in 2024.”
“While digital transformation was accelerated by the pandemic, it has taken on a life of its own. There is now a catalogue of SaaS applications available to employees, with different uses and price points. In companies with more than 1,000 employees, there are on average several hundred different SaaS solutions in use, representing several million dollars in annual costs.”
How is the growth of SaaS shifting workplace technology strategies?
“The explosion of SaaS within companies has introduced a real organisational change: a true decentralisation of technology ownership and empowerment of business units, who choose and implement their solution themselves. This IT decentralisation has become inevitable and is forcing large organisations and CIOs to rethink their model to structure SaaS growth in a secure environment.
“The objective is not to block access to technology, but rather to enable the freedom of technology choice within a framework that offers more transparency and autonomy.”
Have you seen a link between the trends of IT decentralisation and increased hybrid working?
“It is well established that the COVID-19 pandemic forced companies to rethink their workplace operations and accelerate their digital transformation. As a result, the number of tools on the market to serve the world of remote or hybrid working have also increased.”
“Hybrid working gives employees more autonomy, allowing them to choose their preferred SaaS applications for completing tasks. There is clear evidence that today’s workforce is demanding more control over how they accomplish tasks. Having access to a wide range of tools creates a decentralised model for IT systems, in which technology needs are self-defined by employees. The democratisation of this process, while advantageous for team productivity and innovation, can also pose several risks to the infrastructure of businesses.”
“While employees are bound in hybrid work settings, CIOs have little control over how these applications are onboarded and managed. In general, when we meet a CIO of a large company, they estimate that their organisation uses 30 to 40 SaaS tools. However, when we begin working together, our technology detects several hundred active SaaS solutions, often revealing more than 75% of shadow IT.”
Has the Great Resignation increased the risks presented by shadow IT?
“When an employee leaves, if the business does not know where data is being stored then any level of data loss is possible. SaaS applications have become easier to buy online through affordable subscriptions. Whether they know it or not, most companies are being digitalised from the bottom up. But this has also led to an explosion in cyber and compliance risks.”
“A high employee turnover, or using lots of freelance workers, can make the problem worse because each new employee will add in their own favourite apps for work. When an employee leaves, their old logins can be left unprotected and invisible to the IT team. That makes them the ideal target for hackers.”
What can organisations do to minimise these risks?
“Now that almost all jobs are digital, it’s vital that HR and IT work together on the onboarding and offboarding processes, not simply rely on technology. This needs to include close collaboration and a proper framework to check for potential governance or compliance issues. It also means old logins can be deleted, meaning fewer ‘back doors’ for hackers to exploit. This makes it easier to identify what apps have sensitive data in them, that need to be removed. Having a central platform to track the apps being used can help with this, but ultimately it needs to be underpinned by a strong company culture of collaboration and compliance awareness.”
What specific technologies does Beamy use in its platform to tackle these challenges?
“Beamy has developed powerful scoring algorithms capable of detecting all of the SaaS applications actually implemented in the company. Beamy then is able to follow the evolution of each application over time, provide employees with a catalogue of all applications implemented in the company, define an autonomy matrix according to the potential risks of future applications, and navigate an app store of more than 50,000 applications on the market.”
“This enterprise App Center enables business departments to choose their own technology by feeding them the right information for selection, security and implementation over the long term.”
“Beamy thus guarantees a global approach to SaaS governance necessary to support large companies in the long term to structure their IT decentralisation and establish synergy between all stakeholders: CEOs, CIOs, IT leaders, and business teams.”
What is your top piece of advice for CIOs facing shadow IT challenges?
“The top-down vision of IT is over. We are witnessing a true decentralisation of technological ownership and empowerment of business units, which are selecting and implementing their own solution. This is a story of balance – if we put too many constraints on employees’ ability to choose their applications and implement lengthy processes, they will still use the applications but won’t go through the proper channels with IT in the implementation.”
“Without a solid structure of decentralisation, the risks will be considerably increased and the budgets won’t be optimised. In any situation, you have to find the proper balance in terms of autonomy that works for your workforce, but keeping the status quo on this subject is the worst solution.”
Thanks for your time, Andréa.