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SaaS Optimization

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What is SaaS Optimization?

SaaS Optimization is the process(es) of assessing and aligning 4 key areas for continuous improvement to drive maximum value from your applications. Those areas are licenses, users, workflows, and SaaS spend. 

What is a SaaS optimization cycle?

A SaaS optimization cycle is an engine that uses automation and AI to drive ongoing value within SaaS Management Software and SaaS Optimization Tools. Every new application, user, license, or process added is automatically iterated and optimized into the cycle allowing you to constantly gain cost efficiencies without manual intervention. 

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How can you create an optimized SaaS ecosystem?

By leveraging SaaS spend management tools with optimization capabilities, you can pull granular data that will provide deep insights to be able to right size and optimize SaaS operating costs and usage across your business.  Typically, enterprise level SaaS Management Software with SaaS Optimization has several steps to optimizing your SaaS stack:  

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A. Discovery & Mapping: 

The first step is doing a comprehensive inventory assessment of all applications your organization is currently running. This entails evaluating all associated SaaS transactions, licenses, contracts, and subscriptions and the departments and individuals using them. Data is extracted through direct integrations with various business critical applications, including financial and accounting systems, uploading any scattered information and mapping it correctly within a SaaS Management and Optimization Platform  

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B. Rightsizing Inventory:  

The next phase involves identifying and taking proactive action against any SaaS applications that are duplicative and unnecessary, unauthorized and provisioned outside of IT, or unsecure and at risk of posing a potentially serious threat/liability to your organization 

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C. Usage Assessment, Controls and Accessibility:  

Upon organizing and rightsizing your SaaS stack, the next area of focus should be on usage and user activity to see where and how you can cut costs and reduce or even eliminate risk. SaaS Management and Optimization Software allows you to easily and with intelligent AI embedded capabilities, monitor and optimize usage. Then, you can set up role-based permissions in order gain efficiency and control over usage to mitigate compliance and security threats and keep user activity in check 

How do you optimize and forecast SaaS spend?

One of the main benefits of SaaS Management with SaaS Optimization Tools capabilities is that they allow you to automatically integrate technologies, connecting each transaction to the appropriate application seamlessly. You can then leverage those insights to budget, forecast future needs and ultimately “trim the fat” off SaaS spend 

Here are the four few ways you can do that:  

  • Manage expenses: Compare usage to current plans, pricing and contract value. Assess current, actual SaaS spend versus what the organization requires and can budget for based on the value the application will deliver to the business.  
  • Monitor usage: Terminate any low/no impact, underutilized subscriptions to maximize efficiency across teams and departments.  
  • Create accurate fact-based estimates: Forecast budgetary needs based on current usage and SaaS spend trends and patterns. 
  • Maintain and monitor schedules: Check your alerts/notifications to keep you aware of any billing/contract issues, auto-renewal reminders, etc. 

How can you streamline SaaS operations?

Creating consistency across all inventory, usage and SaaS spend can be achieved through custom, fit-for-purpose workflows and processes. The right SaaS Management Software with SaaS Optimization Tools should offer no-code automation that require little to no implementation effort to meet your specific goals 

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SaaS overspending

What is causing enterprise SaaS overspending?

There are three main factors that typically lead to SaaS overspending are:  

  • A lack of visibility into inventory resulting from shadow IT activity, where technology is provisioned by individual business units and not something IT is aware of  
  • Unauthorized license auto-renewals  
  • Data silos: Unorganized, siloed financial and usage data that doesn’t provide a clear, cohesive, holistic picture  


Poor spend and usage visibility, a lack of governance and decentralized data are common challenges require automation and AI driven technology to drive efficiency, productivity, workforce satisfaction and ultimately help deliver maximum value from your
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What are the key components to a SaaS ecosystem that are within or require IT oversight?

The key components that need to be within IT purview are: application governance, user restrictions and role-based permission,  SaaS operating costs and processes such as buying and renewals. While having each department sign up for a free trial or expense charges for an application on a corporate credit card seem easy, it makes budgeting and IT oversight very difficult.  

It’s been reported that almost half of SaaS licenses go unused, and pricing plans often over-estimate actual needs. Having adequate visibility over your SaaS stack with on-demand alert and monitoring prevents last minute auto renewals, and drives proactive, well-informed strategic decisions and contract negotiations.  

What are the differences between SaaS Management vs. SaaS Optimization?

There are distinct differences between solutions that offer SaaS Management and SaaS Optimization. Ideally, you want to look for software that offers both capabilities.  

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  • Functions: SaaS Discovery and Management
  • Phases: Usually covers only 2-3 phases
  • Data: Raw, static with no analysis
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  • Function: SaaS Lifecycle Optimization
  • Phases: Apps, users, spend, and processes
  • Data: Mapped intelligence and robust, comprehensive insights
  • Value: Consistent, growing ROI

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