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How To Drive Productivity While Optimizing SaaS Costs

As I mentioned last week after the Gartner Symposium, Technology leaders have a big challenge to face in the current climate. We are a key stakeholder in driving the sustainable growth for our organizations while also recognizing that technology costs are increasing due to SaaS sprawl.

As we know well here at Productiv, companies today have many hundreds of SaaS applications, with about half now being purchased outside of IT.

The average company uses over 250 SaaS apps

So how can we manage to achieve both of these outcomes — growth and savings — which often feel diametrically opposed?

To approach a situation like this, we must start by taking emotion off the table. It’s important to think strategically about what it is you need to do. For that, you need solid, strong data. And it needs to be democratized in a more powerful way than sitting in stale reports or being spread across inumerable spreadsheets.

How you use software and, more importantly, how teams and people are using software to drive productivity is critical to understand. Making decisions to cut an application based on gut instinct or price could have a negative impact on the sustainable growth you are looking for.

But on the counter-side to that, do we really all need eight project management apps?

This is why data is important. Firstly, you need to understand who is using these applications and what they are using them for. The relationship between the teams using the software is also critical — how can two teams collaborate efficiently if they’re working in different tools? That’s creating silos of a different kind and likely harming productivity.

Having data to support these hypotheses is the only way to handle the conversation. It can lead to more open and pragmatic conversations across functions and open up collaboration with your peers in the lines of business to drive the business outcomes everyone is striving for.

Why else is it important? There has never been more pressure on our colleagues in Finance and Procurement to negotiate better deals and reduce waste across our organizations.

Having a single source of truth for what is going on in your company matters. If you want to have strategic conversations with your company, then democratizing that data with these teams is the only approach that will work. Asking teams to gather data manually over months, only to find it’s out of date the minute it was typed means that negotiations over what it is you need to buy or renew become challenging and tactical.

As we say at Productiv: when teams align, great things happen.

Read the next blog in the series, where I share my thoughts on how you can get to that next stage of maturity in relatively short order, so we can all get on with the job at hand.

— Aashish Chandarana, CIO at Productiv