The Human Costs of Poor SaaS Management

We look beyond the financial implications of SaaS sprawl towards the human toll.

May 26, 2021


CFOs are some of the most important people at scaling SMEs, more strategic visionaries than cost-controllers. Their financial procedures have the power to inform and transform companies - and their finance teams are often equally dynamic. 

But the growing burden of SaaS management is increasingly falling onto finance teams, miring them in unrewarding busywork and risking SMEs’ ability to scale at speed. Manual SaaS management doesn’t just take up significant financial resources, it also causes poor employee engagement, undermines company culture and risks staff churn. We’ve talked elsewhere about the hidden financial cost of SaaS sprawl – but what about the human cost?

Poor SaaS management hurts finance teams

Finance teams are already under a lot of pressure. While the whole business is responsible for hitting growth targets, the hard work of making the numbers add up ultimately falls at their feet. And thanks to the new complications of squeezed margins, a volatile marketplace and remote work during the pandemic, it’s only getting worse. In a survey conducted by Robert Half, 34% of workers reported feeling more burned out than a year ago. 

That means it’s more important than ever for CFOs to ensure their teams are engaged, motivated, and being put to use on the most business-critical, strategic work. But they can’t do that if they’re constantly being pulled into low-value, manual admin work. While it might sound like a boring, but inevitable part of business-as-usual, there’s actually a lot at stake:

1. Employee Disengagement. If poor SaaS management means that employees need to spend all their time chasing invoices or reconciling spreadsheets, their work starts to feel laborious and unsatisfying. This has immediate financial consequences: Perkbox estimates that disengaged employees cost the UK 340 billion every year. 

2. Lack of prioritisation. Only 2% of people can effectively multitask. As finance teams become overworked and bogged down by unrewarding tasks, it gets harder for them to prioritise effectively. Working later hours on more menial tasks, they begin to burn out.   

3. Career stagnation. By focussing on the mundane tasks around daily upkeep, finance teams are unable to do the skilled, strategic work they enjoy most – and that they were hired to do. It’s a misuse of their skills that could leave them feeling stifled in their careers; a big risk, since career stagnation is the second biggest cause of employee burnout. 

It all adds up to a poor company culture. That doesn’t just mean you risk losing the team you already have, but makes it materially harder to hire replacements. According to Glassdoor, 70% of UK employees will look for another job if their company culture deteriorates. With employee turnover costing UK companies an average of £30,000 per person, those unforeseen leavers can stop a growing company in its tracks.

The bottom line is, CFOs need to take SaaS sprawl seriously.  Fail to take control of SaaS management, and they risk losing valued team members right when they need them the most.

5 action points for stress-free SaaS management

So where can CFOS cut some of the manual burden and minimise finance team burnout? 

1. Purchase management: Siloed and manual, card-lending processes can cause a lot of drag. Centralise workflows so that all purchase requests are made through one automated system. 

2. Existing SaaS management: Redundant and unused software eats into budget, but it’s hard for finance teams to see who’s responsible for what, and how they’re using it. Tracking usage gives more insight into whether subscriptions are really driving ROI.  

3. Vendor management: SaaS costs can creep up behind the scenes thanks to subscription auto-renewals. Rather than managing renewal and payment dates for each individually, put all vendors and subscriptions in one place. It’ll make life easier when it comes to cancellation, too.

4. Book-keeping. Develop robust and centralised invoicing workflows to ensure teams don’t have to chase individuals for receipts. 

5. Compliance and Security. Systematise approaches to cloud-based security and ensure that oversight is in place to minimise risks. It’ll save the anxiety, crippling fines and reputational damage that might come with a data breach later. 

Make life easier with automated SaaSOps

SaaSOps software automates the basic manual tasks around the purchase, visibility, invoicing and management of company SaaS. It helps companies save an average of 240 hours a year, giving finance teams the bandwidth to focus on strategic work that truly drives growth. 

We’ve diving into all the ways SaaS costs can creep up, and what CFOs need to know to bring them down again. From the complexities of the SaaS lifecycle to the ways a SaaSOps helps increase the ROI, read more to understand why CFOs need to invest in SaaSOps software now.

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