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3 Steps to Take Back Control and Optimize Your SaaS License Management

Ryan Grutter
May 12, 2021

Managing your software licenses effectively has never been a simple task, but the increased adoption of SaaS has added a layer of complexity on top of an already challenging process.

There’s enough anxiety from a dark, looming cloud of unknown assets hanging over you, and this amplifies it.

As a team of practitioners, we have sat in your seat, and we know what that feels like. This article suggests three steps to take back control of your SaaS license position.

STEP ONE: Assess your SaaS license issues.

In our experience, jumping to the solutions phase can’t happen effectively without first identifying the issues you are facing. It’s important to stare your challenges square in the face, grapple with them, then create a plan to resolve them. Therefore, your first step is to identify the challenges you are facing. To get you thinking, here are some typical issues we see:

Lack of Real-time Visibility

So many licenses are cloud-based and accessed through a portal, causing challenges for clear visibility, resulting in a colossal headache. Either you request information from the stakeholders to the portal or access multiple portals yourself. Chasing people down isn't fun, and it can be time-consuming, relationally challenging, and has a high potential for inaccuracies.

The lack of real-time visibility to all aspects of your SaaS position has a domino effect, creating further issues like compliance and financial risks.

Unnecessary Overspend

Because of the uncertainty of your SaaS license position, it can be easy for your organization to take the path of least resistance: purchase more licenses than you need to ensure you have enough. However, without real-time visibility, you may end up renewing licenses that are not needed anymore. Multiply this issue across multiple departments and Saas vendor contracts, and the costs add up exponentially.

Lingering Over-allocation

If there is no clear process in place, it’s common to have an overwhelming amount of licenses still assigned to people who’ve moved on from your organization. It’s also incredibly common to have licenses still assigned to employees who don’t need the software anymore. Without a way to track software usage, most organizations are blindly spending money they could easily be saving.

Regular Compliance Issues

Following regulatory requirements and providing accurate compliance reports is challenging when dealing with many stakeholders and accessing multiple portals. A solid SaaS management tool will help you understand your compliance in an instant, tremendously reducing audit prep time and anxiety.

What are the challenges and consequences you are facing when attempting to track SaaS licenses in your organization? Identify them now so that you can deal with them later.

Step Two: Identify the right IT solution.

Once you have clearly identified and grappled with your SaaS license issues, you can better determine what you need in terms of an IT solution. As you think through what you need the solution to do for you and your organization, consider these essential components:

Seamless Integration

There are many SaaS providers and licenses to manage, and trying to access each one separately can be a huge undertaking. Instead, choose a solution that will provide you with seamless integration of multiple software providers and allow you to access your entire license position from one centralized platform.

Efficient Automation

To reduce SaaS management complexity, it’s important to choose a solution that can efficiently and accurately automate processes like reclamation rules. This will help you quickly and easily reclaim licenses that are not sufficiently used or are no longer used by former employees.

Intelligent Accessibility

Whether you need real-time access to your license position for compliance, or to track license renewals, choose a solution that can calculate and report specifically by essential categories like:

  • Licensed users
  • License usage activity
  • Organizational department
  • SaaS provider
  • Projected renewals/true-up cost

Step Three: Find the right implementation partner.

Taking back control of your SaaS license position is not an easy undertaking, but with an experienced partner to guide you, you’ll be saving yourself significant time and headaches. You could implement a solution yourself, but having an experienced partner will help you avoid all of the common pitfalls that waste your time and investment.

Proven Expertise

Assessing your SaaS position, configuring the integrations, and setting up rules-based automation can be tricky if you have never done it before. Finding a partner who can get in the trenches with you and provide you with the roadmap and the deep implementation knowledge you need is essential for successful implementation.

Knowledge Transfer

Implementing a solution to manage your SaaS position is only a part of the complete picture. Find a partner who can teach you and your team how to understand and make meaning from the data you receive from your implementation. An experienced partner will walk alongside you, give you the tools to succeed, and check-in with you regularly to ensure your long-term success.

Don’t allow your SaaS license issues to get bigger.  

The impact of not being able to manage your license position effectively is serious. This is an issue that will only continue to grow as publishers move towards SaaS platforms in our era of cloud-based technology. If it’s a problem today, fast-forward a year from now, and the looming cloud of software license uncertainty will be more significant.

Thankfully, ITS has a team of experienced practitioners who know what you’re up against that have been helping organizations like yours manage their software assets for years. We can help you identify your challenges and give you the tools to face them head-on. If you’d like more control, visibility, and confidence in your SaaS licenses, reach out to us to talk about getting started.

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