Table of Contents
Table of Contents
We kicked off 2023 with optimism it would be the year software management goes mainstream. But did it?
Amidst tightening budgets and cost-cutting pressures from the CFO, we saw software management became a greater priority for IT and Finance leaders alike.
Let’s take a look at insights and innovations that helped fuel cost savings and efficiency for these teams – Zylo’s version of 2023 Wrapped.
Industry Leaders Share Their Best Practices for SaaS Management
There’s nothing like learning from those who came before us. And it was our distinct pleasure to bring you the stories of IT, procurement and software asset management leaders in the trenches of SaaS management.
Ash Rai, Director, Software Asset Management and Vendor Relations at Adobe
Rai’s advice: “A SAM journey is never complete. If you ever feel that you’re done, you’re going to be mistaken. New challenges come every day.”
These best practices are critical to building a successful software management program:
- Uncover all the applications in your environment, and rationalize software to reduce quantities and standardize tools.
- Proactively managing your software can lead to huge cost savings and avoidance.
- Use a tool to optimize internal resources.
Russell Lester, CFO at Versapay
Lester’s hot take: “[SaaS management is] an opportunity for the finance team to be the hero to identify where there’s leakage or wastage in the system.”
CFOs are taking an increasing role in their organization – and with SaaS management. Here are a few insights Lester shared on our podcast:
- CFOs are the glue of the organization – and are modernizing and becoming more strategic.
- Having a tool makes SaaS management easier, but also unites IT & Finance on a common initiative.
- Fiscal stewardship is incumbent on the entire company, not just finance.
Shravya Ravi, Manager, Asset Management at LinkedIn
Ravi’s words of wisdom: “Assuming and running a SAM program or a SaaS management program thinking that you know everything would be the first mistake.”
On the SaaSMe Unfiltered podcast, Ravi shares her advice for taking the lead and furthering your personal brand.
- SaaS is where the big opportunity lies – not with on-premises software.
- Build your brand as a strategic leader, not just a tactical doer.
- Executive sponsorship is everything, and the number one factor for driving success.
Tara Kalkwarf-McGee, Vendor Management Office Manager at SADA
Kalkwarf-McGee’s advice on using benchmarking: “A lot of people that are using Gartner, but nothing that could really provide us with quantitative and qualitative data that the benchmarking tool allows us to implement and really achieve excellence in the market and know that we have the contingency and we feel confident going into negotiations.”
With cost-cutting top of mind, Kalkwarf-McGee recommends:
- Guiding your vendor negotiations with data
- Improving your vendor termination strategy
- Understanding every inch of your SaaS inventory
Gibson Schnurr, IT Ops Lead at Juni
What SaaS management is about, according to Schnurr: “It’s more about acting on the data, acting on the problems, the gaps, the pain points instead of finding them.”
Even smaller IT teams can get started with SaaS management. Here’s a few pieces of advice Schnurr shared on our podcast:
- Presenting the value of a SaaS management program is critical from the get-go.
- SaaS management without a tool is a big headache.
- Without data at your fingertips, you can’t solve your organization’s pain points.
Power Up Your SaaS Renewals with Application, Contract, and User Data
Contract Center + Coupa Contracts
SaaS sprawl leads to renewal sprawl for Procurement. With more than 200 renewals each year, centralizing all your SaaS contract data is critical to success.
This past April, we launched Contract Center to help customers streamline and more effectively manage complex SaaS contracts, including renewals. We believe when you have accurate data, you can make more intelligent cost savings and license optimization decisions.
“Zylo’s Contract Center empowers our team with the visibility into the key contract terms without the need of complicated BI work or manual data manipulation,” said Chris Smith, Purchasing Manager at Entrata. “[It helps us] quickly understand all contracts, take control of renewals and deliver consolidation and cost savings to the company.”
Software portfolios are rife with waste to the tune of $17M annually. Renewals are the perfect time to reduce that waste and save money. But key application data and insights are not always easy to find.
That’s why we created App Overview. IT, Finance and Procurement teams can now instantly identify underutilized licenses and redundant applications, remove waste and reduce spend. You can easily understand the value of any given application, quickly uncover money-saving insights, and streamline your renewal process.
“The Zylo App Overview gives me a clear picture of the app spend and usage,” said Cory Brester, Director of Information Systems at Foundant. “It is a fantastic tool to display during meetings with leadership when discussing SaaS spend on the fly.”
With redundant applications in your SaaS stack, it is inevitable that employees use multiple tools serving the same functionality. This is not only a wasted spend for your company, but also a painful experience for your users.
User Overlap allows you to manage your licenses and uncover where users of a set of applications (e.g., project management) have access to multiple tools serving the same purpose. Quickly understand what users have an alternative solution available to them and manage licenses accordingly. This is particularly helpful when you are attempting to drive standardization on a tool or set of tools.
Improve Security and Data Privacy
Security Detail powered by Netskope
According to Gartner, organizations that fail to centrally manage SaaS life cycles will remain five times more susceptible to a cyber incident or data loss due to misconfiguration. Visibility into your complete SaaS inventory is paramount to fending off security and compliance risks.
This year kicked off our partnership with Netskope to bring you deeper visibility into security accreditations, certifications, and risk scores directly alongside your SaaS inventory. Security Detail enables IT and Security leaders to safeguard their digital environment by surfacing applications key certifications (SOC 2, FedRamp, HIPAA and dozens more), risk scores and attributes to identify potentially unsafe apps and understand the organization’s overall SaaS security risk.
Enhanced Okta SSO Integration with oAuth
With shadow IT abundant in many organizations today, it’s impossible to know where you have security vulnerabilities. Our Okta SSO integration makes it possible to identify applications you may want to secure behind single-sign on.
This year, we’ve added more power to the integration with OAuth. Combined with Zylo’s real-time usage data and Okta Actions, you can automate license harvesting, reclamation and deprovisioning for any application behind Okta SSO. The big win: driving down costs and improving efficiency.
Tally Your SaaS Management Victories, Quantify Program Value
When it comes to software, there’s more cost savings or avoidance opportunities than you can count on two hands. It’s often unclear where to start, what to prioritize, or how to capture and report on savings.
We launched Savings Center to be the hub for IT, software asset management, and procurement to manage activities that lead to savings. Quantify the ROI of your SaaS management program while calling out your professional wins to your boss!
“With Zylo’s Savings Center, I can easily track all of our savings and cost avoidance data,” said Lance Le, Sr. Strategic Sourcing Manager at Redis. “Its seamless consolidation ensures everyone in our company has access to the same information, enabling us to transparently demonstrate the immense value that procurement contributes to our organization.”
Customers Continue to Spread the Zylo Love
As we close out the year, we owe a gigantic ‘thank you’ to all of our incredible customers for their thoughts and reviews. In 2023, we were recognized by G2 as a leader in multiple categories with both mid-market and enterprise companies!
We’d love to work with you, too! See why our customers love us here.