SaaS best practices for finance departments

Spend Management

Vendr | Finance
Written by
Vendr Team
Published on
December 18, 2019
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A detailed SaaS management strategy for Finance to make SaaS work for you, not you for SaaS

Software usage is evolving, and so is software management. As SaaS becomes the standard model for software, SaaS spend wastage is becoming more common, making SaaS best practices for finance a greater concern than ever before. At Blissfully, we believe collaborative IT should be the new way of software management. This article contains some of the best practices for SaaS for Finance departments.

How SaaS is managed varies for different organizations, according to their size. While SaaS optimization may not be a problem for small businesses with 10-20 employees, a fast-growing company like Robin, with over 100 employees and millions of dollars in funding, can not say the same.

For Robin, having no SaaS management system meant dozens of SaaS tools unaccounted for, thousands of dollars wasted, and too many security loopholes.

Problems Finance departments face in trying to optimize SaaS

Shadow IT is still a major issue in many organizations. According to our research the average company pays for 20 times more SaaS subscriptions than they did five years ago and uses three times more free SaaS tools than paid apps.

A huge percentage of these tools are unknown to the Finance department and other stakeholders in your organization. This translates to thousands of dollars paid for unknown SaaS tools.

As business grow and teams became more specialized, team leaders start choosing their own tools out of necessity. This leads to numerous SaaS spending issues, such as:

  • Duplicate subscriptions
  • Multiple tools that achieve the same solution
  • Hidden spending
  • Poor licensing and renewal
  • And more

More than ever, SaaS optimization is a place Finance teams can make an impact.

SaaS optimization for Finance

For Robin, their first move was to establish an updated inventory of all the SaaS apps that they use. Using insights from this data, they uncovered all their SaaS usage problems. Duplicate subscriptions, apps with irrelevant or redundant features, and doubled licenses were all found in their SaaS stack were all discovered.

Fixing these loopholes helped them optimize their SaaS environment and save thousands in SaaS spend. Here are some key practices that you can use to optimize your business’s SaaS spending.

SaaS optimization best practices for finance

To optimize SaaS and get more returns for your company’s dollars in SaaS spend, it all starts with a strong system-of-record that allows visibility into what software is being used and how. Drawing insights from the data obtained, you can start building an optimization process for your organization. The steps outlined below will help you develop some of the best practices for SaaS for Finance at your business.

Step 1: Get complete (and continuous) visibility into your organization SaaS usage.

The first step is getting reliable visibility into your company’s SaaS graph.

This data should contain all the SaaS tools that are being used in your organization, who is using them. Other useful data include the features they provide, how well they’re being used, and how much they cost your company.

Step 2: Dig into the data to understand your organization-wide SaaS usage and loopholes.

From the SaaS usage data, identity abandoned subscriptions, duplicate and underutilized tools, as well as tools that are heavily used.

Step 3: Fix the SaaS usage loopholes

Consolidate duplicate and redundant tools to eliminate wasted spending. Include team leaders and stakeholders in these conversations to be sure that you aren’t going to pull the plug on a tool a team genuinely requires. Be aware that switching tools can be a complicated and time-consuming process.

Step 4: Get ahead of vendor negotiations

For SaaS tools that are heavily used, negotiations can be planned with the vendor for better pricing to cut costs. Having vendor contracts and renewal dates as part of your overall SaaS system-of-record makes this process much easier.

Step 5: Build a long term SaaS success strategy

Create a SaaS approval workflow for your organization that governs the evaluation and approval of SaaS tools. This workflow should ensure major stakeholders (IT, Finance and Procurement) are involved. After creating a SaaS onboarding process, set up a SaaS renewal system to ensure renewals are not missed, and tools that are no longer needed are not automatically renewed.

Step 6: Carry out confident SaaS spend forecasting and budgeting

From the data obtained on the tools each team and employee in your organization uses, you can forecast budgets for each team’s SaaS usage. Your system-of-record will also keep you up-to-date about teams’ SaaS spending to ensure teams do not exceed the budget, and allow comparisons between your forecast and reality to improve forecasting in the future.

Vendr was designed to help you

We decided to build Vendr to save your organization cost in resources and wastage in SaaS spending.

Our SaaS management platform works in two steps; it serves as your system-of-record, automatically identifying all the apps your organization is using (down to the owner, user, contracts, and payment models).

Step two is our customizable workflows and org-wide connectivity, which let you control and manage SaaS across your business from a central platform.

Want to learn more about how Vendr can save your business money and fix your SaaS struggles? Request a demo now.

Vendr Team
Vendr's team of SaaS and negotiation experts provide their curated insights into the latest trends in software, tool capabilities, and modern procurement strategies.

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