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Take Action! Managing Your SaaS After a Reduction in Force

reduction in force


We’re not even a month into 2023 and it’s reported that more than 21,000 US-based tech workers have already been laid off this year. And last year, Crunchbase reports that more than 107,000 jobs were slashed from public and private tech companies as they sought to control costs amidst rising inflation and a tumultuous market. 

For some organizations, a reduction in force (RIF) was needed to drive the necessary savings. At a high level, this is the fastest way to reduce your OpEx and save on headcount expenses. But there are many costs associated with employees that live on after a RIF – many of them related to your SaaS spend – that need to be addressed.

Even after a RIF, cost savings is still a top priority for many organizations. Here is a checklist that we’ve prepared for organizations who have completed a RIF to ensure they’re not falling into blind spots and still actively identifying opportunities to save. 

Identify In-Flight Renewals

SaaS renewals that were being owned by folks throughout the business need to be quickly identified – particularly those that may have been worked on by someone no longer at the company. In these instances, your risk of applications auto-renewing or a service cut-off is very high. Don’t lose out on potential savings, especially as your needs have changed. Identify teams and resources impacted, and get in front of these renewals quickly before they auto-renew and negate some of the OpEx impacts from your company’s RIF. 

Transfer Expense Information

Similarly, identify if there are critical systems currently purchased via credit cards. If one of those tools was expensed by an employee who is no longer at the company, you need to urgently move these to cards that are still active to avoid business impact. Otherwise, you risk losing payment information and continuity of service, and the consequences that entails. 

Perform an Active Employee Audit

For each application that is renewing, ensure that you are not only removing unused licenses, but also removing all licenses that are currently assigned to departed employees. If any of your upcoming renewals have flat license counts, I’d encourage you to take a second look and ensure that you’ve removed all newly vacated licenses. 

Additionally, ensure you are properly offboarding software applications for employees no longer with the company. This will protect your organization from several risks such as compliance violations from former employees having access to sensitive data, losing data such as source code or trade secrets, and even data breaches which cost U.S. companies an average of $9.44 million in 2022. 

Establish an Ongoing Optimization Program

Once you have worked through the immediate impacts of a reduction in force, you still need to continue to drive OpEx rationalization and optimization. Begin implementing the processes I outlined in my last post to ensure you have a larger focus on continual optimization throughout the year. 

Going forward, your business is going to be focused on responsible growth, which entails doing more with less and making every dollar count. Consider rolling out company initiatives around this concept to drive ongoing visibility and awareness around this goal. Branded values like “Make Every Dollar Count,” or “Do More With Less,” or “Think Like an Owner” are all existing examples of how companies have empowered IT and Finance teams to drive optimization. Put the decisions made by each employee in the spotlight to ensure a fully aligned organization.

The economic impact of 2022 and 2023 have brought SaaS/OpEx optimization to the spotlight, whether your company is planning for a slowdown in growth or has already taken measures to quickly bring OpEx under control. Savvy leaders will be out in front of this now to ensure they’re ready to operationalize a program designed to find new optimization targets or ensure that larger employee reductions realize the OpEx reductions rolled out by your company. 

The time is now to step up and strategically lead your company through its next phase of responsible growth!

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your operating expenses, we’d love to chat. Request a demo to speak with one of our SaaS management experts today.



Cory Wheeler

As Zylo’s Chief Customer Officer, Cory is responsible for helping our customers drive ROI and SaaS Management success with Zylo. He helps companies of all sizes effectively discover, optimize, and govern their SaaS through Zylo’s platform and services. Prior to founding Zylo, Cory spent 15 years in finance and procurement, managing categories and sourcing teams at Arthur Andersen, BearingPoint, and both Takeda and Astellas Pharmaceuticals. He built the procurement organization at ExactTarget, and managed the integration with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud procurement organization in 2015. He and his family reside in Indianapolis, IN, where they can be found cheering for the Purdue Boilermakers and Chicago Cubs.