Most organizations today rely on SaaS, if not exclusively, to run their businesses and achieve success. In 2022 — and for the first time ever — businesses bought more SaaS than on-premise software.
With SaaS impacting all teams and employees, organizations need to rethink how they approach SaaS Management and invest in the right tools to discover, track, and optimize their software investments. Just make sure to do your due diligence while vetting potential solutions. SaaS Management is a team sport, and you should consider multiple opinions to ensure you select the right tool for your organization.
Rather than limiting your buying committee to a single team or employee, put together a committee of key stakeholders including IT, Finance, Procurement, SAM/ITAM, and Security, so all parties can participate in the buying process. Executive sponsorship will help to drive initiative from the top down, so make sure to involve your CFO and CTO.
Now, let’s take a look at each of these stakeholders’ challenges and goals of SaaS Management, so you can feel confident when it comes time to select the right platform for your organization.
Finance and CFOs
These financial leaders want to gain full visibility and control over SaaS spend, while allowing the organization to promote a decentralized purchasing environment. Put simply, SaaS Management proves critical for Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) to maximize their SaaS investments.
Yet, without a SaaS Management program and platform, finance teams face the following challenges:
- Decentralized SaaS purchasing across all lines of business
- Difficulty forecasting and budgeting SaaS spend
- Inability to manage policy conformance
- Inaccurate data due to manual SaaS Management processes
Taking charge of SaaS spend is one of the quickest and most effective ways to reduce costs (without reducing headcount). With many organizations currently facing budgets cuts or spending freezes, gaining the upper hand on SaaS offers tangible financial returns.
“Go look at the bills, go look at the money, go follow the money. One action item that I give every CFO right now, ‘If you want to start getting a handle on your SaaS spend, go deep dive into your accounts payable,’” said Chris Ortega, Fractional CFO and CEO at Fresh FP&A on SaaSMe Unfiltered.
After reviewing accounts payable, take a look at your expense spending — because that’s where the shadow IT lurks.
IT and CIOs
CIOs also want complete visibility into the organization’s SaaS, but for different reasons than the finance team. For instance, IT leaders typically want to decrease the risk of unvetted SaaS, optimize licenses to their full potential, automate renewals, and transform the employee experience.
IT teams face the following challenges from a lack of SaaS Management:
- Application proliferation and redundancy, as well as minimal visibility into SaaS inventory, utilization, and adoption
- Limited resources due to time spent on manual processes
- Difficulty staying ahead of SaaS costs as purchasing becomes more decentralized
- Increased security risks from a lack of IT oversight
“In my opinion, being the CIO is the hardest job at a company because you have to understand in depth everything across the business in order to support the business properly, and I don’t know of any other organization that supports the business as deeply as an IT organization does,” said Gordon Atkin, VP of Technology and Business Platform at Salsify, on an episode of Zylo’s SaaSMe Unfiltered series.
For more, check out how Zylo helps CIOs and IT professionals.
Not every organization has a procurement team, but if you do, make sure to include them on your buying committee. As the folks tasked with managing new purchases and renewals, procurement needs to know what’s going on with your second largest operating expense — software.
Procurement teams benefit from SaaS Management by driving savings and value, increasing visibility of SaaS entering and exiting the organization, optimizing software licenses, and eliminating compliance risks.
Yet, without a dedicated SaaS Management Platform and strategy, procurement teams face several challenges, such as:
- Unplanned renewals and a lack of oversight on contract management
- SaaS decentralization
- Disparate systems
- Resistance to change management
- Under and unutilized licenses
“[Procurement is] really the glue in the company that brings all the other departments together. And making sure that there’s some clarity from the overall company strategy across these departments and getting those involved that need to be involved,” said Karen Hodson, Chief Procurement & Real Estate Officer at Marigold (formerly CM Group), on SaaSMe Unfiltered.
Dive deeper: See how Zylo helps procurement teams with SaaS Management.
SAM and ITAM
Similar to procurement, not every organization has Software Asset Management (SAM) or dedicated IT Asset Management (ITAM) teams. If you do, make sure they have a seat at the table. We typically see these teams at larger organizations with a mix of legacy on-premise software and SaaS.
ITAM and SAM teams are primarily interested in gaining complete SaaS visibility to control costs, eliminate compliance risks (audit defense), and optimize licenses.
In the absence of SaaS Management, ITAM and SAM face:
- Unmanaged licenses and spend
- Increased security risks
- No tools to take the same approach to SaaS
- Lack of visibility into SaaS
“I think if we could get the story out to more people about how transformative software asset management is, particularly in the SaaS space… more people would say, ‘We really need to invest in this for our business because we can leverage that money and then unlock value,’” said Jason Owens, Global ITAM Leader at Salesforce, on SaaSMe Unfiltered.
To learn more, see how Zylo helps Software Asset Managers.
Security leaders want complete visibility into all SaaS tools to ensure the organization follows security and compliance standards. They also should review any SaaS Management Platform options before you move forward. They’ll be most interested in whether the platform meets security requirements and compliance certifications, like SOC2 and CCPA.
While security personnel don’t need to be directly involved in the buying process, you most certainly should include them in the vetting process.
Choosing a SaaS Management Platform with Your Buying Committee
With a dedicated SaaS Management Platform to serve as an official system of record, businesses can discover measurable savings, enhance efficiencies, and fortify security. Now that you know about the key stakeholders who should be on the buying committee and their pain points and goals, you’re ready to start looking for a tool! See our SaaS Management Platform Buyer’s Hub to learn how to choose the best SaaS Management Platform for your business.