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Unlock the Key to SaaS Adoption & Cost Avoidance with Software License Management

software license management on computer

No company wants their software investments to become shelfware, yet organizations, on average, fail to use 44% of SaaS licenses. According to Zylo research, this amounts to a staggering $17M wasted annually.

To eliminate this waste, optimize their SaaS licenses, and encourage adoption, organizations must deploy software license management. This process involves tracking the number of licenses purchased and used, managing user permissions, and ensuring employees gain access to the tools they need to perform their jobs effectively. 

Read on to learn what SaaS license management looks like in practice. 

5 Steps to Better Software License Management

Improve app utilization rates and increase SaaS adoption with these steps.

1. Discover SaaS

Anyone in your organization can be a SaaS buyer. Often, individuals and lines of business don’t funnel SaaS purchases through IT – especially when they want to move fast. To complicate matters more, over half of all software purchases aren’t correctly categorized as software within expense systems. This makes it increasingly difficult for organizations to even know what applications their SaaS stack contains. 

It’s impossible to effectively manage and optimize what you can’t see. So, the first step in software license management is to gain complete visibility into your SaaS portfolio. 

2. Measure Adoption

Next, measure how many contracted SaaS licenses your organization holds versus how many are provisioned. Look for opportunities to either assign unprovisioned licenses or downgrade service agreements if you find your company doesn’t require the total license allotment. 

3. Analyze License Activity and Consumption

Just because a license is provisioned doesn’t mean it’s being utilized. Dig into usage metrics to find out what percentage of provisioned users have logged into an app within the last 30 days.

Zylo recommends a utilization rate of 90-95% or higher for all core applications. This target ensures wide adoption and use of the app in question, with a small buffer for reassigning and provisioning licenses as needed.

4. Deprovision and Downgrade

Take advantage of the findings from the last two steps to uncover cost reduction opportunities, such as unused apps, unused licenses, or redundancies. Deprovision inactive users and reassign their licenses. If you find you bought too many licenses, or users only require access to a free version of an app you currently pay for, downgrade. 

Leverage automated workflows, like those offered through Zylo, to do this in real time. And to save you time.

For example, a large telecom company that manages multiple instances of its CRM used Zylo to deprovision 10,000 unused licenses, resulting in $4 million in cost avoidance.

5. Leverage Multi-Org Licenses

Large organizations, like the telecom example above, often manage multiple instances of the same application across different areas of the business, which all roll up to a single entity. Salesforce and Atlassian are two great examples. 

Ask SaaS vendors about multi-org licenses, which allow IT managers to see and manage licenses for all instances of an app in one place. And you may discover ways to unlock a volume discount. 

Zylo Automates SaaS License Management

The average organization’s SaaS portfolio includes 291 apps, with about 6 new SaaS apps entering the environment every 30 days. Each app comes with its own license terms, and decentralized purchasing makes it nearly impossible to implement comprehensive license management using manual methods. Zylo offers three tools to automate the process — and ultimately eliminate waste while measuring and driving SaaS adoption.

Discovery Engine

Software license management requires complete visibility into your organization’s SaaS stack. Imagine tracking down nearly 300 apps, their owners, renewal dates, and license terms — then managing all that data in a spreadsheet. The process quickly becomes arduous and error-prone.

Zylo’s Discovery Engine uncovers an accurate view of all SaaS applications automatically and continuously, using AI and machine learning. Those pesky, unknown employee purchases become known, even if apps are miscoded or improperly categorized in expense reports.

zylo discovery engine


What good is having all that visibility and data at your fingertips if it’s not actionable? Zylo Insights surfaces valuable usage and subscription data in an intuitive dashboard. It then translates the insights into personalized, prioritized, and actionable recommendations to drive rightsizing and savings initiatives.


Finally, turn insights into action with automated workflows to deprovision or downgrade licenses in real time. Simply set utilization thresholds, for example, someone not using the app in 60 days, then let Zylo reclaim unused licenses.

Ready to eliminate waste and encourage SaaS adoption across your organization? Request a demo today to see how Zylo powers effective software license management.