Not all organisations have the know-how to track and manage SaaS costs, and there may be a lack of visibility into what software is being used on which devices. Take time to break it down to better understand the past, present and potential future costs of the use of SaaS applications. Future use is particularly important to track, as it can help an organisation plan and budget out any needs for future SaaS applications.
SaaS license management fundamentally changes the posture of IT and procurement from a centralised, reactive approach to an empowering, insight-driven management of the ever-evolving SaaS vendor stack. To implement most effectively, the type and quality of data matters. Below are the four streams of SaaS data needed for the most accurate picture of your SaaS stack.
Four streams of SaaS data:
- Financial payment data: A healthy scrub of the expense side of the general ledger and expense data is required to paint a picture of the total vendor footprint with which the business is currently engaged. Actuals are interesting, but budgeted information can also be piped in to paint a picture of budget versus actuals.
- Vendor contract data: Deals can range from enterprise agreements, SOWs, SLAs and security reviews to a simple email receipt in someone’s inbox. Knowing where you stand with each vendor is key for navigating that relationship and mitigating risk, increasing value and controlling cost.
- Vendor licences and consumption data: Pricing drivers are constantly changing in the software industry, from licence-based to consumption-based, to a mix of multiple drivers in most of today’s contracts. Understanding usage correlates to business value—are you getting what you paid for?
- Tribal knowledge (spreadsheet): Most companies have some form of a spreadsheet or database of information. From renewal dates to ownership, to licences and approximate cost, all kinds of things end up in this spreadsheet. If a column exists, it must have been valuable enough to track. That’s why it’s important to compile that data into one platform.
SaaS license management would suggest that after combining all streams of SaaS data into one integrated platform, all the business stakeholders from IT, procurement, software owners, and budget holders must be involved.