Using a SaaS optimization platform allows you to discover all of your SaaS and cloud applications, associate spend with each application and assign department, function and sub-function tags to have a single source of truth and easy to use system of record.
Now that you have SaaS application spend information, what do you do with it? You can start with three main areas of focus in their SaaS Optimization Strategy to make an immediate impact:
- Measure the value each application provides to the organization: By analyzing the number of licenses purchased versus provisioned and the number of active licenses in use versus provisioned, it is easy to identify what applications need your attention. Confirming each application is serving the desired purpose when it was purchased and whether or not employees using the application find it useful, adds more information to make the best decisions around your SaaS Application Management strategy.
- Plan for the future with a proactive renewal management calendar: Once an organization knows what SaaS and cloud applications are in use, populating a renewal calendar with contract information is an easy way to create a manageable renewal process for hundreds of SaaS contracts that were previously floating around various shared drives, email inboxes and desktops. Avoiding any auto-renewals or surprise expenses is a huge value and it’s now possible to forecast SaaS application spend over a planning period.
- Optimize your SaaS and cloud applications to account for redundant applications or functionality: Once there is a single view across the enterprise of all SaaS and cloud applications, it is easy to identify what applications are being purchased in more than one area of the business and what applications have overlapping functionality with other applications. Now an enterprise can evaluate all of the applications and help select the best one for the entire organization, negotiate the best contract for the larger group and save administrative, support and training burden by having “preferred applications” for all employees to use. Making an immediate impact by saving money on SaaS applications not in use and increasing employee productivity is success.
SaaS Optimization is about More than Cutting Costs
IT and Procurement have always had a role in identifying areas to cut costs, and SaaS applications can be a quick win there, but they are also in charge of driving value back into the business and being a strategic partner. Implementing a SaaS optimization strategy enables IT and Procurement to do just that, provide value. Creating a strategy for the enterprise around one of the fastest growing spend categories, that ultimately drives employee engagement and employee productivity, while being the conduit for various business units to collaborate, is a massive contribution to the enterprise.
About the Author
Eric Christopher is co-founder and CEO of Zylo, the leading SaaS optimization platform that transforms how companies manage and optimize the vast and accelerating number of cloud-based applications organizations rely on today. Eric launched the company in 2016 with 16 years of sales and management experience in the SaaS space, including his recent position as SVP of Sales at Sprout Social in Chicago.