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Tracking Employee SaaS Usage Uncovers Significant Underutilization

SaaS Usage Tracking Black Woman on Laptop

Business leaders want to get the most out of their investments. But that can be difficult when you can’t see how what you’re investing is being used. And that’s often the case with SaaS. Visibility is essential to understanding utilization.

In fact, we’ve found that organizations empowered with this visibility and the ability to track employee SaaS usage often uncover vast underutilization. And what’s what we’re looking at today, how to solve underutilization.  

Why SaaS Usage Tracking is Important

license waste

In today’s SaaS environment, the average organization only uses 49% of its provisioned licenses. That leaves 51% unused or underutilized – ripe for optimization. This waste equates to approximately $18M in SaaS spending every year. 

Even in a strong economic cycle, that’s a sizable waste of investment. And during times like these, when everyone is looking to reduce operating costs and save where they can, having those funds available is an absolute necessity. 

Optimizing your licenses ensures that you’re reclaiming that investment. After all, you want to get the best value out of every purchase and increase your team’s efficiency in the process. That’s why we recommend a utilization rate of at least 90 to 95%. 

Start by looking back at the last 30, 60, and 90 days. Are your employees logging into every application? Are there applications in your stack that have seen no activity at all? Then it’s time to cut those from your stack because they’re not seeing real value. 

On the flip side, if you find an app with a particularly high utilization rate, it’s a sign you may need to purchase more licenses, especially if it’s a business-critical application.

However, finding where those millions are wasted isn’t as easy as it sounds. It takes visibility into your SaaS portfolio and actionable usage insights. Otherwise, you’re trapped operating in the dark, blind to these optimization opportunities. 

How to Address Underutilization

Addressing underutilization in your tech stack requires a program of SaaS management that’s more than spreadsheets and audits. You need a dedicated software license management tool that empowers you to track SaaS usage, take advantage of actionable insights, and automate the process. That way your team spends less time chasing rogue applications and more time driving real business value.  

Identify and Reclaim Underutilized Licenses

As we established, underutilized licenses are a significant source of wasted spend. As such, their optimization represents a key lever to avoid unnecessary costs.

usage insights screenshotUsing a SaaS Management Platform, like Zylo, allows you to identify and reclaim unused or underutilized licenses to avoid making license purchases in the middle of the fiscal year.

SaaS Discovery allows you and your team to find all of your SaaS, including those acquired outside the purview of your acquisition management. That includes the half (51%) of applications that are, on average, miscoded or improperly categorized within expense platforms and other financial systems. From there, it’s simply a matter of looking at your utilization rates and reassigning seats to other employees. 

What’s more, this sets the stage for your rightsizing opportunities to potentially reduce license seats when those applications come up for renewal.

Track and Measure

Integrating your SMP with a single sign-on tool, like Okta, provides additional insights into your tech stack. SaaS integrations allow applications to freely frequent and share data with the SMP. The flow of information provides stronger transparency, enabling you and your team to check applications across your stack in a single place. Consequently, integrations make tracking utilization insights a quick and easy process.

For example, integrating Okta with Zylo provides an easy entry point to explore user activity. These insights allow you to better align spend based on usage information from across your entire organization. 

In simple terms, that means you’re empowered to proactively surface inactive users with real-time usage metrics rather than dredging through data on individual applications. 

Identify Optimization Opportunities

Surfacing insights with an SMP allows you to identify actionable opportunities to optimize your SaaS. Zylo Usage Insights, for example, identifies high-impact license optimization opportunities. Best of all, you don’t have to do anything to identify low-hanging fruit. Zylo does the usage analysis for you and delivers customized recommendations based on application and deep-feature usage data. 

deprovision workflow

And all you need to do to take action on these opportunities is instantly trigger workflows to downgrade or deprovision underutilized licenses from the insights dashboard. That’s hours of work brought down to the click of a mouse. 

Take Action with Automation

Downgrading licenses for employees who don’t need all the functionality of an enterprise license and reclaiming licenses from those who don’t need one both ensure usage correlates with spend. However, as we established earlier, such processes can be slow and cumbersome, leaving you constantly behind on your real-time needs. That’s why automating these workflows are more important than ever to keep your tech stack efficient. 

Here’s what Samantha Griffin from Geneysis shared with us on the SaaSMe Unfiltered podcast about the subject:

“If you consider something like a workflow that we use in Zylo, being able to have access to the information and automate the sending out of the emails to make sure we’re re-harvesting the right licenses from the right people, it saves me hours.”

And again, we see the advantage of integrating tools with a SaaS management platform. Okta Actions can help you automate license de-provisioning to optimize spend and drive that efficiency you need to keep your tech stack competitive. This solution automatically deprovisions licenses for any application you have behind the Okta Single Sign-on. What’s more, it’s based on real-time usage data from Zylo, making it easy to optimize costs and drive efficiency. Get the most value out of every invested dollar in your SaaS licenses without any of the fuss. 

The Bottom Line

The average organization has hundreds of SaaS applications in its tech stack. Covering them all can seem outright impossible. However, that’s only true if you don’t adopt the right SaaS management tools to make the impossible not only possible but easy. By tracking your SaaS usage, you have the data at your fingertips to make informed optimization decisions that boost adoption and save you money.

Request a demo with Zylo today to see how you can reclaim your wasted spend and drive real value with your SaaS.