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SaaS Optimization Tips from a SaaS Optimization Pro

July 17, 2018

If you’re working at an office in the 21st century, there’s a good chance you’re using software at work. 

Whether it's as simple as your email provider or as complex as a CRM software, your company is paying tens of thousands of dollars for the services that help you achieve your goals. And when it works effectively, it's worth every penny. 

Right?

In fact, it’s actually pretty incredible how many business problems we can solve with various software tools. Are you struggling to keep track of your projects? Try project management software. Need to analyze your latest PR campaign? Well, there’s a tool for that too.

Software is truly an excellent innovation. It makes our lives easier every single day.

Until it doesn’t.

Software as a Service (SaaS) tools are only beneficial when they’re being used correctly. And far too often, they’re underutilized or even completely forgotten about. The financial loss here can be detrimental. While neglecting one or two tools may seem minuscule, it will quickly add up.

And we mean really add up. A recent report from 1E disclosed that unused or rarely used software tools in the U.S. and U.K. waste $34 billion per year.

SaaS optimization tips

But there’s more. Underutilized or misused SaaS tools are more than just a massive money pit. That’s why I spoke to Michoel Ogince, vice president of strategy at Intello, a SaaS management tool.

SaaS operations management software is a tool that helps users optimize practices, policies, and securities across their software stack. Companies user the tools to improve user experience, ensure security protocols are met, and overall, manage their software tools and licenses. 

He provided insights on the various other risks you may be taking by not fully adopting or adequately using your software tools (you’d be surprised!) and offered some tips and tricks for how to avoid this. You may be taking some of these risks without even knowing it!

The most overlooked, Michoel mentioned, is compliance risk.

Before the emergence of SaaS, software was all on-premise. Remember? You’d purchase the software on a CD, and it would arrive in a plastic-wrapped box. All users would have the software loaded onto their work computer, and that was that! Information technology (IT) and security had full control and visibility into the software tools your team was using.

Today, that’s far from accurate. Because of SaaS and its accessibility, everybody can be a software buyer. While this can be beneficial, it can also create a lot of headaches for security teams and IT departments. This brings us to our first risk. 

SaaS risks

While SaaS provides many benefits, there are also hidden risks with the current model such as:  

Free subscriptions and accounts

Within an organization, different teams have different needs. That said, it’s understandable that when a team finds itself with a problem, members set out to find their own solution. Often, this means a team member takes it upon themself to sign up for a free trial of a SaaS tool, or even make a free account altogether!

What’s the harm in that, you ask? While it may sound like they're just self-directed, this can pose a severe risk. This employee may be putting client and company data into these applications knowing little-to-nothing about its security architecture. The risk here is obvious. While a data breach may be uncommon, is it really a chance you want to take?

The next risk Michoel mentioned is indeed something I’m guilty of – can you say the same?

Connected apps

How many times has an application prompted you to create a new account, and you opt to log in with your Google account instead? I know I’m guilty of this!

While this may seem like a simple life hack, be wary before you grant your latest chrome extension access to your G Suite account. Sure, it may just be your name and email address it’s getting access to, but it could also read your emails or, worst case, manage your Google drive.

The same goes for any apps that are connected. Every time you use another app’s credentials to sign in to a different software tool, you’re granting it access to highly secure and specific content. If multiple team members are doing this, your company data could be sprawled across dozens of apps with nobody on your IT team any the wiser.

Off-boarding

Whenever an employee decides to pursue an opportunity with a different company, your HR manager will disable their access to your email system, internal communication tool, and any other apps you know they worked in.

But what about the 14 apps their team downloaded without informing anybody? They may still have access to that – and all that company data.

We don’t want to assume that your former employee is vindictive, but when we’re talking about sensitive company data, it’s better safe than sorry.

Solutions to SaaS risk

Luckily, all of the above situations are avoidable. There is a way for you to be sure you know which tools your employees are using and ensure that they’re using them most effectively. 

Execute a software audit

To ensure each team is transparent about the tools they’ve signed up for, consider running a company-wide software audit every quarter. This requires each team to document the various tools they’re paying for or using and what business problems they’re solving with those tools. With the results, your team can work to identify redundant applications, manage the team budget, or gain insights into usage trends. However, these can be time-consuming, and you’ll have to regularly check back to ensure it stays up-to-date. Fortunately, that’s not your only option.

SaaS to manage SaaS

This final option may seem like a bit of an oxymoron. You’re trying to make sure that your software isn’t going to waste – why would you purchase another tool? Hear me out, though. If you’re genuinely concerned that your software is being misused or, frankly, just a money pit, consider implementing a software management platform like G2 Track. These tools will help you manage purchasing, implementing, utilizing, and, in some cases, disposing of your software.

Minimize software spend and maximize your business results now.  Get my G2  Track Account, FREE →

SaaS operations management software tools are like a CRM platform for software. It centralizes all of your applications and everything related to them – spend, usage, compliance, contracts, key contacts, notes, and more.

These tools and their real-time, actionable data may catch things that a human wouldn’t, saving cash and effort in the long run.

SaaS optimization is crucial for success

Software is invaluable, but, like everything else, it has its limits. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your money, it’s critical you keep tabs on the tools your team is using, and more importantly, how it’s using them.

Interested in learning more about SaaS Optimization? Feel welcome to reach out to Michoel here. And be sure to check out SaaS optimization solutions on G2 Crowd, like Intello, BetterCloud, VendorHawk, Zylo, and more! 

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