Why managing SaaS subscriptions leads to significantly higher employee productivity?

By Michael Fornander on May 03, 2021

One of the key reasons behind the increased SaaS adoption in the recent years is the increased employee productivity in times when the workspace becomes more and more digital. But, if the SaaS environment in an organization is not properly managed, it can wreak chaos, excessive spend and expose the company to potential security breaches. 

Hence, a carefully prepared and well-structured strategy for managing SaaS subscriptions is essential, so you can have visibility on the corporate SaaS stack, ensure optimal usage of your technology and no redundant applications. A SaaS management strategy will give the CEO and ITs detailed insight on the software usage in the company, while at the same time will ensure high productivity for the employees.

How should you structure your SaaS management strategy in order to boost employee productivity?

If we take a look at the employee’s personal phones, we will see they have installed multiple applications, each catering for a specific need - budget management, sports tracking, calendar, etc. All these apps are easy to onboard and use, and save time in a specific aspect of a person’s life. This same experience, however, is what employees expect to have at the workplace, which is now more and more digital - they need easy access to business applications which help them do their job, better. This is supported by Gartner’s predictions for 2020 and beyond, according to which “..by 2023, 40% of professional workers will orchestrate their business application experiences and capabilities like they do their music streaming experience.”

In the years to come, organizations will no longer be buying large, expensive and clumsy on-premise applications. Rather, it will be employees picking the best SaaS assets responding to their needs. This new way of acquiring and working with software will, however, pose new challenges for ITs and this is where a solid SaaS management strategy should come to help.

What key principles should a solid SaaS subscriptions management strategy be based on?

Ensure employees can choose from a catalog of approved applications

Regularly evaluate the SaaS usage 

Perform SaaS rationalization and act as needed

Giving the employees access to pre-vetted applications

Employees like the ease and speed of onboarding new SaaS apps - they don’t need to go through a long process of app approval and get their productivity hindered. But, the selection and onboarding of SaaS apps by employees potentially exposes the organization to security and data breach issues. To balance between flexibility of new SaaS onboarding and security, companies can provide a list of approved SaaS apps for usage within the organization, along with a clear and quick process for requesting and receiving access to those.

Without a list of approved apps, employees might be losing time inquiring other team members on whether a specific software has already been signed up by another team member. Or, they may be aware that such software is being paid for, but unable to identify the account owner.

When a list of carefully selected, high-quality cloud software is available to employees to use on their job, there are many other benefits: ITs spend less time reviewing new SaaS signed up by employees, they have less security and data breach issues to respond to, and in general their SaaS-related tasks are significantly reduced. On the other hand, employees are fully aware of the software available to use across the organization, they can self-manage their SaaS onboarding and can more efficiently collaborate with others, who are using that same software.

When selecting the apps for organization-wide use, you need to be very careful and mindful of the software needs across all business units, however. Because if the tools are not meeting the needs, employees would then sign up the tools that better work for them, creating all those lack of visibility, security and wasted spend issues for the company.

Evaluate SaaS adoption and usage on a regular basis

If your company has selected a list of pre-approved business apps, it should be checking on a regular basis whether or not this list is indeed full and appropriate. And a key indicator for that is the software usage data.

Many SaaS apps provide usage data inside their app dashboards. But when an organization has hundreds of SaaS in their inventory, checking the usage data manually might be quite time-consuming. If your organization is using Single sign-on (SSO) systems, those can help with evaluating the SaaS usage. But, the employees might also be logging into the SaaS apps without using SSO, thus preventing the full SaaS discovery.

An efficient approach you can take is start using a SaaS subscriptions management platform that integrates with your most popular (and most SaaS-cost contributing) software tools like office suite, collaboration tools, conferencing tools, CRM, product management and other tools. Thus you can accurately evaluate the usage of that software based on the last login data for each license, for example.

Keep optimizing your SaaS stack

The SaaS environment is quite a dynamic one. New SaaS apps emerge, others fail to catch up and get abandoned by employees. Hence, it is important to keep optimizing your SaaS stack on a regular basis. Identifying opportunities for optimization is possible when you get a response on the following:

  • Whether all SaaS assets your company is paying for are reasonable from financial standpoint
  • Whether all SaaS is actually increasing productivity, or some apps are failing to meet the expectations
  • Whether the technologies in your portfolio stack well into each other
  • Whether some technologies might already be overlapping as functionality

Based on the above, you can decide which SaaS apps your company should keep paying for, what apps seem no longer used/appreciated and can be safely retired, and what apps are redundant and can be eliminated. 

Managing the SaaS Portfolio increases employee productivity

With the expanding SaaS usage, CIOs should understand the positive effect that efficient SaaS management has on the digital workforce. The regular measurement of the SaaS tools usage and the elimination of redundant or unused applications not only results in significant cost savings for the company, but also improves the employee experience. Having centrally-defined, single solutions for project management, cloud storage, video conferencing, etc empowers easier collaboration between employees, saves time and increases overall employee productivity.

Find out how Viio SaaS management platform can support you in efficiently optimizing your SaaS stack and increasing employee productivity, at a fraction of the usual time and costs - book a personalized demo!

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