SaaS Spend Management 101

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What is SaaS Spend Management?

Finance teams have a million things up in the air at all times. They are continually managing and updating a large budget, trying their best to make accurate and prudent predictions, and keeping employees working smoothly all while supporting business growth. So naturally spend management is going to be high on their lists of priorities. 

Spend management as most people know it is simply the act of optimizing your organization’s budget to ensure money is being spent on necessities, and is not falling into the infamous category of maverick spend. Businesses today are opting to modernize their spend management and work to prevent budgets from being wasted or mishandled. When we talk about SaaS spend management in particular, we are applying the practice of spend management as we know it to the SaaS applications we use to keep our businesses and organizations running smoothly. 

Controlling how much your team spends on SaaS, or software as a service applications is an additional layer to the spend management onion. 

Why Your Organization Needs a SaaS Spend Management Tool

SaaS software applications are integrated and used as a huge part of a company’s core operations. Their use has become so normalized, it’s easy to forget that nearly every form of business relies on multiple SaaS applications at any given time. Successful organizations all over the globe use these applications for team working, video creation, social media management, HR, cloud storage, CRM tools;  the list goes on. Using multiple applications like these every day means there are multiple systems in place contributing to your company’s overall business spend. 

Implementing a SaaS spend management tool can help your organization keep track (with real-time visibility) of the monthly spending put towards these applications and operations, as well as provide you with the full picture – so you can make better data driven decisions when it comes to forecasting and budgeting. From staying on top of monthly SaaS subscriptions, to juggling licences, and logging user engagement, the right SaaS management platform can take a lot off of your plate. 

Main Cost Saving Methods to Apply

When considering SaaS management tools, it’s of course important to not only look to both time and cost saving features, but practices you can perform without special tools as well. After all, managing spend is the name of the game, and getting visibility into your SaaS tool spending is the first step in setting yourself up for success, no matter how you get there.

  • Get rid of any unused or unneeded applications
    The first step in managing your SaaS spend is to take inventory and figure out what you really should be spending money on. If you can do without it, let it go. Companies so often collect SaaS apps as they grow without even realizing how many are piling up. No matter how nuanced your needs are, we’re willing to bet that you’re dealing with some duplicates.  
  • Measure user engagement 
    Part of the process of cleaning out applications and tools you don’t need, is understanding how often the apps you keep are actually used. You want to make sure that your employees are getting the most value out of the SaaS apps they interact with, as well as getting the most out of important features you’re paying for.

    If you start to understand that employees are getting hung up on certain applications, spending too much time trying to navigate the UX, or are simply avoiding certain tools because they don’t enjoy using them – take note.  To get the best ROI on these applications – and save money –  it would be wise to eliminate the ones that have poor user engagement.
  • Track licenses and stay on top of renewals
    With so many tools in use at one time it can be hard to keep track of licenses and upcoming renewal dates. There are many SaaS spend management tools that track your licenses for you, alerting you when new licenses are added, and when any are removed. You can also set automated renewal reminders so you don’t miss an important date. 
  • Manage your organization’s shadow IT
    When IT applications or services are deployed by departments other than your central IT team, this creates what’s referred to as shadow IT. This disorganized approach can cause a lot of competitive corporate data, as well as more serious issues with data security. Using a SaaS spend management tool or management software will help manage and sync your IT spending, while eliminating more risky security related behaviors.

Top SaaS Spend Management Integrations

This IT focused tool helps you manage all your SaaS apps in one place with streamlined, organized graphs and collaborative workflows. The visibility this tool provides helps companies track and stay on top of their SaaS spend.

Used for its automated visibility into SaaS usage and utilization, (remember how we talked about engagement?) Torii is a highly rated platform that helps teams keep track of SaaS spending, and identify and eliminate waste. 

Zylo helps large corporations and enterprises track and manage their SaaS spending with unique tools to help you discover all of your cloud-based spend. It also helps users quickly compile the contact information of each SaaS buyer, as well as utilization insights of every app.
While not specifically a SaaS spend management tool, is a frontrunner in procurement management – meaning, if your organization is purchasing SaaS products among conducting other types of spending, can give you the total visibility into your purchasing and financial operations you need to manage your overall spend. 

Getting the visibility you need is the first step in successfully managing your SaaS spend. With the practices and integrations outlined above, your organization will be able to easily understand the state of your current SaaS spending, including which applications are expired, unused, or totally unneeded. Maintaining organization over your SaaS operations across teams and departments, and staying up to date on user engagement will make a huge difference in how you continue to approach, and manage your SaaS spend. 

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