From individual users using Netflix and Zoom to companies using the software as a service via subscription, the SaaS market is huge and caters to every kind of user. Whether it’s a tech start-up or a big company, maybe even a FOrtune 500 firm, they all use cloud-based SaaS to work in a more efficient, collaborative and smart manner. End-user spending in this area might exceed 480 billion USD in 2022. SaaS adoption over the past decade has grown steadily, courtesy trends like product-led growth and end-user acquisition. Anyone with a credit card and email address can procure a SaaS licence in minutes. Covid ensured the further growth of SaaS as companies resorted to cloud-based tools as more and more employees worked remotely.
Using tools and software for day-to-day enterprise work is one thing. However, if your SaaS spending becomes unmanageable, issues tend to crop up.
Why is a SaaS Spend Management Strategy Required?
In the absence of a SaaS spend management strategy, you won’t be able to keep a tab on your software and technology spending. According to these statistics, on average, 1 in 5 employees will buy a SaaS application by way of credit card or expense reimbursement. The average firm spends around 5800 USD per employee per year on SaaS software. Despite this, around 40% of all SaaS licences remain unused within a 30 day period.
Here are some other reasons why excessive spending occurs
Duplicate Apps – This is when different departments rely on different tools to solve the same issue. They abandon the prescribed IT tool, preferring to sign up for a host of other tools with the same function.
Forgotten Cancellations – A lot of employees might use applications without IT”s knowledge. This is because they have intentionally or unintentionally forgotten to inform the IT department. Such behaviour leads to paying more for unused apps.
Unrevoked Licences – Once an employee leaves the firm, IT must revoke his/her licences. However, IT in reality does not know if this person had subscribed to shadow apps, with the payments constantly being billed to the company’s credit card.
Unoptimized Licences and Off The Shelf Pricing – There are some applications that provide the leverage of pricing for firms that need more figures. For instance, if the number of licences per user is 10 USD, for an organisation with 100+ employees, the application might be offered at 5 USD per licence. When employees procure licences on their own they spend more than required.
To prevent wastage from happening and to optimise and make most of their investment, companies depend on SaaS spend management techniques.
3 Steps To Creating A SaaS Spend Management Strategy
The most important aspect when it comes to establishing a good SaaS spend management strategy is a good understanding of your company’s total SaaS inventory. Data-driven decisions are important for removing underused licences, forecasting future spending and consolidating software that has the same function. The below steps can help you establish a SaaS spend management strategy –
To manage something, you need to know what it is. Proper SaaS management entails carrying out a pan-organisation check for software and tools, not leaving out a single business unit, team or department. Large companies employ more than 500 SaaS applications, most of which the IT team have no idea about, which is why carrying out this search is vital. There are many options for discovering and cataloguing SaaS. You can use single sign-on tools, browser plugins, cloud access security bunkers and manual spreadsheets. Beware however as tools often impede full discovery – employees can simply circumvent them using a personal device. Self-reporting isn’t that accurate and depends on constant management so inventories are up to date. A complete analysis of all financial transactions is required, especially for spend management software or intuitive SaaS management platforms.
After taking inventory of all the SaaS applications company-wide, you have to find ways to curb your SaaS spending and increase your efficiency. There are 3 ways of doing that.
First, reduce the underused licences. Approximately 40% of all SaaS licences lie unused over a month-long period. You will find many chances to omit unused or underused tools. See if you could downgrade some premium licences to free licences if possible.
Secondly, cut overlapping functionality. When individual employees buy software, companies often end up shelling out money for redundant applications. Some of the most widespread SaaS applications are training software, digital asset management, team collaboration platforms and video conferencing tools.
Finally, consolidate extra subscriptions – When many teams or employees purchase separate subscriptions for the same software, it boosts the per-user price for each licence. This lowers your purchasing power.
If you constantly update your SaaS systems and records, you will always have a holistic view of your software inventory, so you can rely on data for predicting future SaaS spending. Try using a SaaS management platform so your discovery process is automated and your forecasts are more accurate. These tools constantly analyse user data and trends.
Using Technology to Support Your Efforts
If you have a robust SaaS spend management platform, you can omit clunky spreadsheets, and instead concentrate on making real-time data-driven decisions so you can lower spending, getting the most out of your software investments. However, beware as not all platforms will offer the same functionality.
What Should You Look For When Considering Saas Spend Management Software?
Look for a SaaS management platform that has the ability to uncover and tag the numerous SaaS purchases of your organisation. True SaaS management requires round the year vigilance, so look for a powerful discovery engine or a platform that can automate these processes behind the scenes.
Always ensure you can uncover core usage insights, right down to individual user licences. A 1000 person company on average wastes around 2.32 million USD on unused SaaS licences annually. Pay only for the apps you need, and the functionality that your team uses.
FInd SaaS management platforms that analyse user data, deliver actionable insights, automate workflows to rightsize licences, manage renewals, consolidate duplicative subscriptions, and optimise SaaS spend management.
If you aim to switch to another software if you think it is a better option, be careful of vendors that increase switching costs.
Here Are Some SaaS Spending Management Tools
Blissfully – WIth this, you get amazing visibility over your SaaS applications, keeping them organised in one place. Blissfully allows companies to track and manage SaaS spends, thanks to its spend optimisation feature that tracks your software spending and usage data so your ROI is maximised. It also has a system of record that gathers organisation-wide data, working with your email, finance systems and HRIS, as well as other software tools and your spend data, compliance data and vendor.
Intello – This is one of the best SaaS management and SaaS spend optimization providers because it integrates with your existing cloud software, leveraging a proprietary browser extension so companies can see their SaaS data in real-time.
Productiv – This SaaS management platform allows application engagement analytics and insights so you can understand how users engage with software to work together and complete tasks. Productiv depends on login data, assessing what happens after user login. It performs real-time smart decisions through timely renewal alerts as well as smart licence allocations and can be great for organisations to increase their SaaS value.
Now that you know how and what is required to create an awesome SaaS Spend strategy, get to make one right away!