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5 SaaS Benchmarks to Drive Collaboration


Based on recommended best practices derived from analyzing SaaS data in millions of transactions, this guide covers five SaaS benchmarks teams can use to monitor the pulse on their organization’s SaaS portfolio.

When these reports are shared and the information acted upon, they encourage collaboration toward proactive SaaS management.

Benchmark 1: All SaaS Subscriptions

Why it’s needed
Most businesses underestimate the actual number of SaaS applications present in their organization by two to three times, so keeping regular tabs on which SaaS applications are entering or exiting the organization and their associated costs can help eliminate surprises.

An initial organization-wide software audit can identify SaaS applications and their associated data (spend, cost center, owner, renewal date, etc.), but to keep continual tabs on new applications and refresh the data on established applications, a report updated at least every month is needed

What it should show
• Every current SaaS subscription
• All SaaS application spend and associated cost centers
• Any new tools entering the organization
• All applications leaving the organization

How it drives collaboration
This summarized accounting of all applications lays the foundation for a single source of truth for information surrounding the organization’s SaaS investment that can be used by multiple stakeholders.

Benchmark 2: Every SaaS Application Renewal Date

Why it’s needed
According to Zylo data, companies experience two SaaS application renewals every business day.

Without a calendar-view report that promotes proactive action by clearly displaying upcoming renewal dates and associated vendor notification periods, there’s a significant risk that inaction on these subscriptions triggers an unplanned automatic renewal and its associated cost.

Zylo recommends creating a renewal plan for each application before it approaches its notification period and renewal date. For high-value, mission-critical, or enterprise-wide applications, start planning renewals six to nine months before the renewal date.

The goals for each renewal include rightsizing each application to the organization’s needs and maximizing value and user effectiveness.

What it should show
• Every known SaaS subscription renewal date
• Associated vendor notification periods
• Application contract value

How it drives collaboration
A shared view of upcoming renewal dates provides a decision deadline for determining the usefulness and value of continuing to use an application.

Benchmark 3: All SaaS Purchases

Why it’s needed
Without a single view of all SaaS application spending, cost information quickly becomes obscured. This creates adverse effects not only for the bottom line but also for planning and budgeting exercises for future software spending.

Collating these transactions can also quickly identify existing and newly added duplicated applications or overlapping functionality, as well as opportunities to consolidate multiple application instances into more value-effective enterprise agreements.

With an accurate, objective view of historical and current spending, executives and teams responsible for planning and budgeting can focus on containing unplanned or unintended costs and driving more effective value from SaaS purchases.

What it should show 
• Current and historic expenditure for all current SaaS applications
• Accounts Payable and Expense transactions and associated cost centers, departments, and functional use category for all SaaS applications
• Employee(s) responsible for purchase

How it drives collaboration
An accounting of SaaS spend drives collaboration by ensuring accountability.

When stakeholders identify sources of unplanned or out-of-scope spending, budget and planning teams can work with these departments or individuals to rein in extraneous costs and align future costs with planned budget.

Benchmark 4: Top Redundant Apps

Why it’s needed
Redundant applications or overlapping functions are core challenges when addressing SaaS application growth within the enterprise.

The ability to centrally view all redundant application categories or transaction types within a single system of record enables business stakeholders to quickly zero in on the types of applications or spending that are the greatest risk to cost containment or application consolidation efforts.

While this information can be also found in the All Payments or All Applications reports, this report provides a simplified at-a-glance listing of “top offenders,” which can help foster sustained focus on paring down duplicated applications or spending.

What it should show
• Top redundant applications by count
• Top redundant applications by spend

How it drives collaboration
The applications that appear on this report are typically highly cross-functional and are used by multiple departments (examples include meeting applications, productivity tools, and project management tools), therefore any attempts to contain spending or consolidate unique application count will require collaborative discussion.

Benchmark 5: Unused SaaS Applications

Why it’s needed
According to Zylo data, nearly 40 percent of all SaaS licenses are underutilized.

Under-utilization not only diminishes value in the form of overpayment for a software subscription that’s not being used.

Rightsizing SaaS license or seat count quantity based on actual need and usage can frequently lead to cost savings, or—at a minimum—reprovisioning licenses to users with legitimate usage needs.

What it should show
• Applications with low or no utilization within a predefined time period

How it drives collaboration

Identifying opportunities to avoid underutilization provides stakeholders concrete evidence of where actions need to be taken to avoid paying for unused applications.

Ready to start benchmarking your SaaS environment? Book a demo with Zylo today to understand how implementing a SaaS management platform can transform your approach to subscription software management for the better.