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4 Takeaways from SaaSMe, the Industry’s First SaaS Management Event

saasme 2021 takeaways


In October 2021, we hosted SaaSMe, the industry’s first-ever SaaS Management event. CIOs and leaders from software asset management, IT, finance and procurement teams gathered for a day of learning, networking and inspiration from some of the most forward-thinking and innovative SaaS Management leaders. 

SaaSMe drew more than 600 registrants from across the globe who hailed from a range of organizations – from legacy enterprises to companies just getting off the ground. Byron Deeter, known as the father of the Cloud and partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, and our own Eric Christopher shared insights into the massive growth of Cloud and SaaS. Speakers from Adobe, Redis, Talkdesk, Slack, Atlassian, Genesys and AbbVie shared their experiences building SaaS Management programs, established SaaS governance, and the impact managing SaaS has made on their career. Helen Kupp of Slack’s Future Forum shared data on the digitally enabled workplace of the future and a star-studded panel of CIOs from Yext, Yahoo and Zoom added their insights to how that shift is playing out in their organizations. And finally, we wrapped with the inaugural SaaSMes which recognized SaaS Management programs and professionals that are truly driving the industry forward – read more about the winners here

It was a jam-packed day full of great insights, so we wanted to take the opportunity to distill a few key themes that emerged from the event. Read on to discover the key SaaSMe 2021 takeaways and take your SaaS Management career to the next level.

1. The Cloud and SaaS Explosion Continues

Byron Deeter summed it up best when he said: “The reality is that Cloud will become a majority of all software in the next three years. The trend line is clear.” Cloud technologies have shown massive growth over the past decade and that growth only accelerated over the past two years, in the wake of the pandemic. Cloud is the next great pillar of technology and is accelerating the pace of innovation.

And thanks to the rapid growth of the Cloud, SaaS has reached a tipping point as well. The amount of SaaS tools in use at the average organization continues to rise – in fact, we see the average organization having more than 700 SaaS applications in their portfolio and spending nearly $6,000 per employee on SaaS tools. 

To put it simply, Cloud and SaaS are here to stay and present a massive opportunity for organizations looking to drive growth and the professionals who are willing to step up and manage these resources. 

2. The Future of Work is Digital

During our CIO Roundtable, Helen Kupp of the Future Forum shared some very intriguing statistics about the future of work. Specifically, 93% of knowledge workers want a flexible schedule and 76% want flexibility in where they work. And on top of that, fewer than 20% say they see the office as a place for focused, solo work. Bottom line: today’s employees want flexibility in terms of where, when and how they get work done. 

The flexibility that employees are demanding is going to be fueled by a digital workplace. Digital infrastructure is now as – if not more – important than your physical infrastructure. SaaS is the new workplace. Digital channels are where work happens today. And the organizations that make the required investments in new digital infrastructure are reaping the rewards – in terms of employee satisfaction, sense of belonging and the retention of their talent. 

3. The Role of IT is Shifting

In the wake of all these changes, we’re seeing a clear shift in the way IT teams are supporting the business. CIOs and IT teams have long been viewed as the gatekeepers to enterprise technology, with the vast majority of budget and technology decisions flowing directly through them. Now with the rise of SaaS, more budget and purchase authority is being spread throughout the business, requiring IT teams to take on a different role.

Progressive CIOs and IT teams are rising to this new challenge and embracing the call to become organizational enablers and true partners to the business. It’s become less about licensing audits and more about how to get the right tools into the hands of employees, making sure they are being used and ensuring they are making good purchasing decisions and understanding what’s already available within the business. 

4. Now is the Time!

As the amount of SaaS within your organization grows, so does associated spend, risk and other complexities. The ability to manage your SaaS investments – through discovery, optimization and governance – has rapidly become an urgent need and a core pillar of the future of work.

SaaS Management delivers tangible value in the form of optimized spend, reduced risk and improved employee effectiveness and engagement. As we heard from the team at Adobe – software management is a never ending journey, but the benefits from starting that journey are massive. Get started on your SaaS Management journey today.

If you missed SaaSMe 2021 live, take a deeper dive on these key takeaways by watching the sessions on-demand here.