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, a management strategy for spend management is going to be high on their list of priorities.
What is SaaS Spend Management?
Spend management is simply the act of optimizing your organization’s budget to ensure money is being spent on necessities and does not fall into the 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 mention 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, Software-as-a-Service applications, with automated management processes for control, is an additional layer to the organization’s SaaS spend management onion.
Top SaaS Spend Management Integrations
The following SaaS spend management software integrations help your business control total business spend, SaaS contracts, and SaaS purchases, renewals, and cancellations for its SaaS stack.
While not specifically a SaaS spend management tool, Tipalti Procurement is a frontrunner in procurement process management with automation– meaning, if your organization is purchasing SaaS products and conducting other types of spending with suppliers, Tipalti Procurement can give you total visibility into your purchasing and financial operations, you need to manage your overall spend. Tipalti Procure provides document and contract management and helps you create and approve purchase requisitions and purchase orders and onboard business suppliers.
Tipalti’s founders and employees have built a successful SaaS business and expanded it through the acquisition of other top SaaS software. Besides Tipalti Procurement automation software, Tipalti provides a unified financial automation platform integrating with your ERP, including AP automation that enhances business spend data management, mass payments, employee expense management and reimbursement, and advanced FX solutions for improving global payments, streamlines business processes, and adds functionality for automated financial controls and compliance.
Tipalti software uses AI to give you real-time actionable insights and provides metrics for spend analysis.
Vendr acquired Blissfully in 2022 and now offers a combined management solution for controlling SaaS subscriptions and SaaS expenses. This IT-focused tool, Vendr, 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 license spend and centralized SaaS purchases and renewals. Vndr also offers a Vendor Intelligence Platform (VIP) for procurement of SaaS purchases. With Vndr, you can handle onboarding and offboarding of SaaS vendors.
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 during each contract lifecycle, categorized by SaaS vendor, and identify and eliminate waste. As part of this process, Torii can help your business discover its shadow IT for subscriptions bought by different departments, underutilized SaaS subscriptions, and unused licenses that could be downgraded or canceled to save money. Torii also automates IT department tasks.
Zylo is a SaaS spend management platform that helps large corporations and enterprises track and manage their SaaS budget and spending. Zylo provides unique AI tools and SaaS procurement to help you discover all of your company’s cloud-based spend and manage SaaS renewals with the best pricing using benchmarks. It also helps users quickly compile the contact information of each SaaS buyer and gives them utilization insights for every app. Zylo helps your company eliminate duplicate and redundant applications to help your business save money by eliminating overspending for these redundancies in SaaS software subscriptions and costs.
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 in its SaaS ecosystem at any given time. Successful organizations all over the globe use these SaaS applications for team working, video creation, social media management, HR, cloud storage, AP automation, procurement automation, accounting automation, CRM tools; the list goes on. Using multiple applications like these every day means there are unified 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 for software costs 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. Your business will have better vendor management.
Using a SaaS management platform lets you eliminate time-consuming, error-prone Microsoft Excel or Google spreadsheets for subscription management. From staying on top of monthly monthly subscriptions and SaaS costs to juggling licenses, and logging user engagement, the right SaaS management platform can take a lot off of your plate and help your business attain software spend optimization.
Optimize your SaaS spend management with procurement automation.
Main Cost Saving Methods to Apply
When considering effective SaaS spend management tools, it’s important to look not only at both time and cost-saving features but also at practices you can perform without special tools. After all, managing spend is the name of the game, and getting visibility into your SaaS tool spending is the first step of cost management 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 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.
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.
To automate and improve your SaaS AP and procurement processes for viewing and controlling all business spend, watch our webinar on technology-empowered procurement best practices.