Software procurement in the dawn of the technology boom was autocratic to the IT department within organizations. To anyone in the workforce today, that seems like a parallel reality, thanks to the Software as a Service(SaaS) boom. The widespread adoption of SaaS tools revolutionized business and productivity, and democratized software procurement. Decentralization became the norm. However, trouble was still lurking in the shadows. In this blog, we highlight the issues it gave rise to, and the fix.

Decentralization - the new dawn

The advent of Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud-based workflows brought about a mass exodus from traditional procurement practices. Decentralized SaaS buying emerged as a revolution, reshaping how work happens across industries.

The allure of this new paradigm was undeniable - it offered unparalleled freedom, minimized interruptions to workflow, and provided immediate access to tools and solutions that fueled business growth. Employees could now simply buy any tool they seemed fit and efficiently enhance their work and productivity. However, amidst the paradigm shift, a not-so-shiny reality cast a significant shadow.

The unchecked growth of SaaS products brought several problems, such as rising costs, poor visibility and governance, possible security threats, and inefficiencies from redundant or underused subscriptions. Organizations needed to strike a balance between empowerment and control to maximize the advantages of adopting SaaS while minimizing the hazards related to the acquisition of unrestricted tools. This was made necessary by the very flexibility that decentralized buying enabled.

Shadow IT - The black box of IT expenses

As teams were fixated on the allure of decentralized buying, they forgot to notice the dark shadow rising right from the ground behind them, almost in horror-movie fashion.

The older, top-down approach offered CFOs full visibility and control over IT expenses. With decentralization, in a painful parallel to the horror movie analogy, their visibility into the expenses were blurred and they bore the brunt of the jumpscares that came in the form of unmonitored expenses that possessed their balance sheets. The lack of visibility also means they are unsure of where the expense comes from. IT teams are confronted with the daunting task of uncoiling the vines that make up their entire SaaS stack to get a clear picture. 

The blindsiding of CFOs and IT results in unnecessary fires that need extinguishing. 

Clear vision - bringing visibility into SaaS usage

Bringing visibility into SaaS usage is essential to gain accurate insights and effectively manage expenses. Relying on glorified Excel sheets or manual tracking methods proves insufficient as they often rely on second or third-hand information, leading to potential inaccuracies and lack of transparency. 

A lot of hours go into updating these spreadsheets and best practices are formulated to get real-time data, but most of these efforts go in vain. The lack of real-time SaaS usage data eventually results in unmonitored expenses and a bloated SaaS stack riddled with redundancy and wastage. 

Bringing visibility into SaaS usage is not just about monitoring expenses; it is about gaining control, optimizing resources, and aligning technology investments with business needs. By using solutions that give access to real-time usage data, organizations can navigate the complexities of SaaS procurement and effectively manage their SaaS ecosystem.

Augment your teams with technology

Maximizing technology investments helps you become a flexible, agile, and resilient finance function. Utilizing technology arms finance teams with real-time insights that allow them to drive efficiency, accuracy, and transparency across processes.

The status quo of gaining visibility into SaaS usage as mentioned above bleeds time and resources. Moreover, the manual workflows still might not yield the best results as they are prone to errors(To err is human, after all). With technology, not only will your teams save time, it enables them to streamline processes and get granular insights that dive deep into usage patterns across departments that will allow you to rightsize your stack and reduce spending. 

Say hello to Spendflo usage tracking

Drill down into granular insights such as active licenses and active users from a single source of truth - Spendflo’s usage tracking tool! Spendflo allows you to track all your SaaS usage and rightsize your spending with real-time usage insights. 

Integrate Spendflo with your SSO or install our Chrome plugin to centralize and monitor all your SaaS data. What can this do for you?

  • See usage based on administrator and user roles. Monitor usage for each department or user and bring visibility across the organization.
  • Get detailed reports on current SaaS spending for each user and department. Uncover unused licenses and make informed decisions about your SaaS investments.
  • Get actionable insights into SaaS usage across your teams and optimize usage to save costs. Reduce bloat and optimize your SaaS stack.

Interested to know how you can optimise your SaaS usage?

Try Spendflo today

Guru Nicketan
Content Strategist

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