SaaS grew remarkably over the last 20 years, transforming from an emerging technology to a go-to software. As the cloud outpaces on-premise software, organizations increasingly deploy dedicated tools to manage and optimize their SaaS.
Yet, before Zylo — a dedicated SaaS Management platform — the only solution was to use an asset management system or a hodgepodge of systems never meant for the cloud.
Even today, many organizations rely on outdated processes to manage their ever-growing SaaS portfolios, such as:
- Manual spreadsheets. Yes, really: The dynamic nature of SaaS, combined with rampant employee-led purchasing, means organizations see as many as eight new SaaS applications enter their environments every 30 days. Accurately tracking SaaS becomes virtually impossible and spreadsheets quickly fall out of date.
- Tools not equipped for the cloud: Without dedicated SaaS Management software, organizations often try to cut costs by cobbling together a mix of spreadsheets and existing tools to “make it work.” Sure, some software asset management (SAM) tools include SaaS Management functionality — usually as a free or low-cost add-on — but that doesn’t mean they get the job done.
- Do nothing, hope for the best: Taking the reins of a sprawling SaaS portfolio without intuitive software can cause a sense of paralysis. “Where do we even start?” “Maybe it will go away on its own?” Trust us, it only becomes more challenging.
Why Old-School Methods are Doomed to Fail
Manual SaaS Management shifts the focus from strategic work to time-consuming tasks.
It requires constant surveillance of new purchases and impending renewals, analyzing usage and purchase data, determining whether to deprovision or reprovision licenses, and building accurate reporting (good luck). Further, it forces employees to spend time on activities unrelated to the organization’s mission and goals.
Other pitfalls of using the wrong SaaS Management tools include:
- You never see the full picture: With SaaS continuously entering and exiting the organization, manual spreadsheets quickly become out of date. SaaS Management platforms, such as Zylo’s AI- and machine-learning powered Discovery Engine and Zybrary — a database of enterprise data across more than 20,000 applications — provide actionable insights and real-time analysis.
- Disparate tools don’t “talk” to one another: Equating cloud with on-prem is like comparing apples to oranges. You can’t use an on-premise software management tool to manage SaaS. A patchwork of disparate systems ensures data loss and invites error.
- The longer you wait, the worse it gets: Like any festering problem, the longer you rely on antiquated tools, the worse the problem grows. SaaS will soon become the most widely used software worldwide, and many on-premise software companies are pivoting to the cloud and encouraging their customers to follow suit.
The “Oh Shit” Moment
Simply put, most companies experience a tipping point where the need for a dedicated SaaS Management tool becomes soberingly clear. This “oh shit” moment is unique to the organization.
Check out some of these real-life examples.
SaaS Management tools help organizations accurately forecast software budgets. A lack of real-time data leads to waste and overspend. Consider this example from Versapay.
“We were going into budget planning for 2022, and we believed we had an understanding of what the actual software budget needed to be, based on what we thought we were consuming,” says Versapay’s VP of IT and Internal Systems, Ryan Johnson. “But then we brought in Zylo and it ended up we were actually spending 30% more than we thought we were because of a lot of unaccounted spend happening throughout the organization.”
When Nike asked Lance Giles, former Director of Software Asset Management, to perform an internal audit of all software used across the company, he says the on-premise license management system fell short.
“The SaaS tools we were using simply did not exist in our traditional systems. I didn’t have any answers,” Giles says.
Meanwhile, Genesys wildly underestimated their SaaS inventory, due to a lack of visibility. The software company assumed they paid for 100 tools. But after going through the discovery process with Zylo, they uncovered more than 600 applications.
Out of Control Spending
Jason Owens, Senior Director of Global ITAM at Salesforce, experienced an “oh shit” moment when it came time to renew an audiovisual editing program. To his surprise, he discovered a mid-six figure overage plus more than a million owed in true-ups.
“I said, ‘This is where if we have a discovery platform and implement governance, we can not only avoid these things, but also unlock that money for investment in transformative business processes and platforms,’” Owens says. “We’ve done that now. It’s a testament to everybody on the team that we’ve been able to unlock so much value.”
Power Your Strategy with Zylo’s Comprehensive SaaS Management Tool
Ultimately, relying on inept SaaS Management tools results in lost or incomplete data. It leads to missed auto-renewals and optimization opportunities, duplicate and redundant purchases, increased compliance and security risks, higher costs, and lower employee productivity and efficiency.
Looking for an enterprise-ready SaaS Management tool that scales with your business and allows you to manage your SaaS your way? Reach out today for a Zylo demo.