Table of Contents
Table of Contents
SaaS applications can be a great source of productivity for your organization, but they can also be a nightmare to keep track of and use efficiently and effectively. A staggering 44% of SaaS applications go unused in a 30 day period. These applications often end up as shelfware, which drains company budget and, frankly, is just wasteful.
But what about the other 56%?
Despite a large number of apps with low utilization, there are still some that are hitting it out of the park. Let’s take a look at the top utilized applications for Zylo customers and explore what they’re doing right to achieve high adoption and utilization rates.
Top 5 Most Utilized Applications
Let’s explore the most used SaaS applications and see what trends there are in usages and licenses. Maybe you’ll recognize some of the applications below.
Outreach is a sales execution platform used by more than 5,500 customers across the globe. It is a SaaS application that manages and optimizes sales information to help sales departments win sales and close deals—and it has over a 94% utilization rate!
LaunchDarkly is a software development SaaS application with over 4,000 customers employing their services, including IBM and Atlassian. LaunchDarkly has an incredibly high utilization rate, in no small part because it offers a complete software development package to its customers.
Slack is a productivity and communication platform that allows companies to stay connected and organized despite any distance or time difference. Slack is commonly used as a “mobile HQ” and is especially popular among fully-remote companies.
Veeva Vault is a life sciences cloud content management platform that is specifically designed to help life science companies streamline end-to-end processes across all their departments. Veeva Vault maintains a high utilization rate due to its horizontal integration of company processes.
PagerDuty is an incident response platform that is built to streamline critical responses across digital infrastructure. It’s used by companies as big as Zoom and Slack (hey, we just saw them) and allows companies with broad digital infrastructure a streamlined method of crisis management.
Alright, so now we know the top most utilized SaaS applications. You might use some of them in your own company. Think about the SaaS applications that are most utilized in your organization. Maybe they’re some of the ones we listed before, maybe they’re other ones. Or, maybe you’re still not quite sure.
Why do you think they’re utilized so much? Well, the answer is a little complicated, but it largely boils down to this: the most utilized SaaS applications are the ones that fill niches well and are easy to use. So, when you’re thinking about driving utilization rates, the goal isn’t to force employees to use random SaaS applications. It’s to make sure that you’re purchasing the right SaaS applications and propagating them across the organization.
What is a Good Utilization Rate?
Healthy utilization rates can vary drastically depending on a variety of factors, but there are some benchmarks you might want to aim for. For one, you probably want to limit or eliminate shelfware. In other words, you want to make sure that all the SaaS applications your company purchases are being used, or end subscriptions to those that aren’t used at all.
Two, understand that certain applications have different optimal utilization rates. An extremely niche but extremely useful SaaS application may only be used once a month, but it is perfect for that once-a-month occasion.
Besides those two, an optimal adoption of a SaaS application should clock it at about a 95% utilization rate; however, you may decide that your organization’s optimal adoption is closer to 90%, or even 80%. Do what works for your organization. Different companies vary wildly. Adobe, for example, allows no shelfware—with due exceptions where it makes sense. Others care significantly less about shelfware so long as SaaS utilization is generally well-optimized.
Benefits of Well-Utilized Applications
Now, you may be wondering why well-utilized SaaS applications are even important. Well, they benefit your company for a variety of reasons:
- They promote better collaboration among teams by streamlining SaaS usage across the organization.
- They ensure that employees have the right tools they need to do their job, without having redundant options or missing ones.
- When you optimize your SaaS licenses, you use your investments wisely, avoiding new and unnecessary costs.
- They strengthen your relationship with your vendor partners by ensuring that you’re using their applications, and thus you have a stronger connection with them.
We’ve convinced you that high utilization rates (whatever that means for your organization) are important, but how does an organization go about driving utilization? Well, since utilization rates are impacted by so many factors, that means that there are a lot of avenues for improving utilization. Consider which ones would affect your organization most and go from there.
Unify SaaS Application Ownership
You want to have a clear business application owner. This should be someone who can lead the charge and manage your organization’s applications. This will allow you to centralize all SaaS application licenses in one person who can help manage and track them—and lead new purchases.
Monitor and Optimize Applications
You should actively monitor and optimize your organization’s application licenses. You want to reassign unused licenses and ensure that you’re not keeping any SaaS license bloat on your organization’s budget.
You need to consolidate and rationalize applications with redundant functionality. The last thing you want is to have a dozen SaaS subscriptions that all fill the same niche. Having fewer applications with more employees on each maximizes return on investment while also improving collaboration and unity among employees. Everyone will be on the same platforms and thus be doing more similar work and speaking similar languages.
Educate Employees on Applications
You want your employee base to know and understand your organization’s SaaS application repertoire. Even the best applications will leave licenses on the shelf if you don’t have employees who:
- Know of the application’s existence
- Know how the application works
- Know how best to employ the application
If your employees are kept in the loop and on top of your organization’s SaaS subscriptions, then your licenses become that much more valuable.
You might notice that a lot of our recommendations to drive SaaS application utilization rates are pretty closely connected. There’s a reason for that: they all fall under the same umbrella of managing SaaS applications efficiently and effectively. You need good SaaS management to implement these changes well, and these changes are themselves products of good SaaS management practices. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle of efficiency goodness.
If you want help with SaaS management and streamlining your license management and optimization, look into a SaaS management platform like Zylo. Address all the utilization rate problems we discussed before—and many other challenges that may arise.