SaaS Management is the process of managing the cloud based software applications used in a company.
This is a relatively new discipline because the problem is also new. The goal of SaaS management is to reduce the risk of uncontrolled tools or technologies in a company, improve the value of the software used and increase the effectiveness of teams who rely on it to drive success.
It sounds simple enough. But if you’re reading this, you know that with SaaS applications more popular than ever, the number of subscriptions used in businesses continues to grow quickly, forcing finance and IT teams to figure out how to manage this growth effectively.
The move to the cloud over the last two decades has been nothing short of stunning and nowhere near slowing down. As SaaS companies make it easy to try and buy their products on a recurring basis, IT and Finance departments are frequently not even aware of the software teams are using, and the scope of software sprawl across an organization. In fact, most businesses have information about the software they use scattered amongst spreadsheets, bank statements, expense reports, email and browser history.
These subscriptions bought and used across a company now have become a significant point of friction to the tune of tens of hours of unnecessary administrative work every month, even for relatively small companies. Worse, because typically no one has the full picture of the software in a business, this wasted time translates into wasted money and processes that don't scale. In fact, globally, it’s estimated that 30% of SaaS Spend is wasted on forgotten, unused and duplicate SaaS. With SaaS now one of the largest expenses in most tech businesses, you can start to see the sense of urgency we feel in helping companies better manage their software subscriptions.
The initial convenience of SaaS has now become a double edged sword, as the challenges tracking and managing SaaS applications lead to wasted time, money as well as company culture, security and compliance issues.
Cledara was founded to help companies like yours get visibility and control of the software you use so you can focus on what really matters: Growing your business.
At Cledara we look at software adoption as a journey, rather than a point in time purchase. A single system that manages the end-to-end journey to discover, buy, manage and cancel software is the basis for how we look at SaaS Management and provides a foundation for success to get the most out of the software companies use.
Let’s take a closer look.
In the ‘old days’, employees were simply provided with pre-installed, pre-approved software to use and that was that. This top-down approach left little agency to individual teams looking to solve specific challenges, resulting in one-size fits all software that inspired no-one but was easy to manage centrally. When the cloud burst on the scene in the 2000’s, software as a service changed that model forever and now there is pretty much no other way to consume software. We love our software subscriptions to the tune of almost 50,000 different tools out there.
Discovering the right software to use is becoming harder everyday. Think of how you ended up using the software you depend on daily. Maybe it was already in use when you joined the team. Or it is a well known application in the space and considered one of the leading solutions that most other companies or teams your size use. Or maybe you chose it based on a recommendation. We liken the discover process to visibility, collaboration and recommendations:
Visibility: What software do you already have in your business?
Collaboration: How do you get easy access to it?
Recommendations: What is the best SaaS for companies like me?
What if you could discover approved and compliant software, at the right time for your team based on what other companies at your stage already use and find useful?
It’s never been easier to try and buy software. Trials are seamless, subscriptions roll over to paid commitments and before we know it, we have yet another subscription on the corporate card for...several years. In fact, buying software is the easy part. The harder questions relate to what happens next. For example, how did you buy it? Did you use a shared corporate card, or even a personal card that needs to be expensed? Did we just make it harder for the accounting team to reconcile this spend at month end? The buying process revolves around authorization, payment and spend control:
Authorization: How do I get approval for new software?
Payment: How do I pay for it in a compliant way?
Reduce and Control Spend: How do I control the costs associated with this application as my business grows?
Cledara’s unique approach to SaaS management rests in combining a software purchase and management platform in one. This approach allows for visibility of 100% of the software purchased and used at a company.
Managing software is where the rubber meets the road. Once you’ve discovered and bought a software subscription, chances are you will be using it for years. That’s the magic of SaaS models that investors love - the revenue keeps recurring every month. However for you, the buyer, the question to ask is around sustained value. You need to know that your software investment is still worth it.
Stop and think about some fundamental questions around your software and you’ll see why we stress the importance of the journey of software. We think about the Manage stage across five dimensions:
Automation: How can I automate the administration tasks, like chasing invoices, bookkeeping and reconciliation?
Onboarding: How do I facilitate leaver / joiner / mover processes as my company grows?
Manage: How do I manage the moving targets of budgets and spend
Track Usage: How do I know which apps are used within my company?
Compliance: How do I simplify the risk management process for my SaaS subscriptions?
Breaking up is hard to do, but in the software world sometimes is downright painful. The truth is that globally, it’s estimated that 30% of SaaS Spend is wasted because unlike buying software, most vendors make cancelling software a tedious, opaque and sometimes infuriating process. Cledara makes it a snap to cancel any subscription in a click because we assign a unique virtual card to each application, keeping you in control. Once you have proper visibility, you can achieve savings by ensuring software is being used and if not, cancelling what you don’t need. It’s that simple.
Visibility: See what software is being used by whom.
Savings: Find that 30% wasted software in your company and cancel it.
Cancellations: Simplify and standardize cancellations.
With thoughtful and robust SaaS management processes, companies can gain full visibility over subscriptions, figure out which purchases are driving ROI, and implement workflows to reduce wasted hours and even team tension.
Finance teams and, importantly, the rest of the organisation have visibility of what software is being purchased, what software is already available in the company, what it is used for, how to access it, how much it costs and any other information needed.
A holistic SaaS management process helps businesses continue to use SaaS in the way it was intended — as a democratising innovation which saves money and encourages collaboration between teams.
Learn how Cledara can help you take control of your SaaS subscriptions. Book a demo today.