The SaaS revolution has been a game-changer for scaling SMEs. Over the last decade, specialist third party providers have popped up to service even the smallest aspects of core business operations. It’s enabled SMEs to build bespoke, best-in-class tech stacks, and to do it easily. Light-touch integrations and subscription-based pricing have removed the old barriers to entry, and made reliance on expensive, monolithic vendors a thing of the past.
Scaling SMEs need effective SaaS asset management
At first glance, that’s great news for CFOs. Lower overheads and better product performance means happier customers, more growth potential and healthier margins. But that’s not quite the whole picture. Behind the scenes, costs and complexity are starting to spiral.
One of the biggest challenges is the way in which most SaaS assets are bought. Because of their niche functionality and low barriers to entry, it’s easy for any team-member to find and get started with the tools they need to do their jobs better. Decisions rarely go through IT, let alone finance, whose only involvement in purchasing decisions is lending out the company credit card. That in itself causes problems in terms of visibility and reconciliation, but there’s also another problem: subscriptions end up duplicated across the business, many of them unused.
With SMEs spending an average of £32.8k a month on around 45 subscriptions, it’s no small issue for finance teams. What’s worse is that the options for managing SaaS assets are limited. While almost every other department has benefitted from wave upon wave of SaaS solutioneering, finance teams have historically been bottom of the heap when it comes to innovation. The result? They end up struggling to manage everyone else’s tech stack, while working in spreadsheets themselves.
SaaSOps helps finance teams drive efficiencies
That is, until now. Strong SaaSOps can help CFOs get a handle on business-wide assets and ensure they’re helping, not hindering, growth.
We’ve written more about SaaSOps, what it is and why it’s important here – but in short, it’s a way for finance teams to improve visibility, control and efficiency across their software assets. For CFOs focused on the big picture, SaaSOps is critical. It breaks down the silos within which SaaS assets are usually bought and managed to give a holistic view of their individual lifecycles and overall cost-effectiveness.
That drives 3 important outcomes for finance teams:
Visibility: SaaSOps goes beyond basic oversight of transaction history to give the full picture of what, where and how SaaS assets are being deployed. Crucially, includes usage – so CFOs can understand to what extend subscriptions are really driving ROI.
Control: Seeing and understanding ROI also puts control over spending back in the hands of CFOs. Rather than being brought in at the last minute to simply lend out a card, CFOs can better assess the need for SaaS purchases, and approve, block or cancel them.
Efficiency: If CFOs are able to achieve any visibility or control over SaaS assets, it’s usually through arduous, manual and disjointed processes. SaaSOps removes that admin, enabling them to do the same job better, faster and cheaper.
SaaS is now among the biggest cost centers for SMEs, and is only set to snowball further as businesses turn to new tools to help manage remote working. Investing in SaaSOps rather than just SaaS avoids wasted time and wasted money, helping SMEs scale faster and more sustainably.
How SaaSOps helped Railsbank regain control over SaaS spend
Railsbank is one of Europe’s leading Fintechs. With multiple offices across the UK, US, Europe and Asia, the potential for SaaS chaos is high. Its large, remote team requires a plethora of tools to perform well, collaborate and service global customers. But ensuring those outgoings drive returns is hard.
Railsbank’s Financial Controller Sadie McBain faced two major problems. First, oversight of all the company’s subscriptions was near-impossible to achieve. The onus of understanding where there might be duplications and wasted spend was putting too much burden on the finance team, who were wasting time on low-value, manual work. Second, having subscriptions on bank cards made it difficult to control when money was going out of the business.
SaaSOps has helped Railsbank solve both of those problems. Now, they have a streamlined, centralised platform where employees can make SaaS purchase requests and check if there are already existing solutions within the business. They also have more visibility over upcoming payments, and can stop subscriptions easily if needed. It’s given Railbank the flexibility they need at a time when margins are tighter, and pressure on finance teams greater than ever.
To learn more about how Railsbank manages its SaaS subscriptions with Cledara, read the customer story.
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