The very reasons that make SaaS attractive conversely are the areas that give rise to the biggest concerns. It is these that will cause uncontrolled costs.
Profiling: Applications can usually be accessed by users in a variety of ways, the more complexity the user requires from the app, the higher the cost of the subscription will be. The type of access the user requires is set as part of a profile. It is important to profile each user accurately to ensure that the company is not paying more than it should for subscriptions.
Over-Subscription: Because you can never be non-compliant it is easy to assume your costs are accurate. However, it is common to have more subscriptions than you need due to not cancelling those no longer in use. Link to the starter/leaver process to ensure subscription cancellations.
Shadow IT: With SaaS, the historic way of requesting software purchases from procurement or going through IT for permission/installation/testing etc., is seen by many as no longer required. This Shadow IT creates many unknown installations across the estate, with no control over costs or usage.
Subscription Costs: By gaining full visibility and tracking of what subscriptions you own (maybe several departments are using and paying for the same app unknowingly), where they are and if they’re being used, will enable a stronger position at subscription renewal through bulk discounts and planned use knowledge.
Account Misuse: It is possible with some SaaS products that a company will buy a single seat of the product and then have multiple people use the same seat, even though that’s prohibited by the licensing agreement. This untracked account misuse will lead to audit payments and must be controlled.
Free Trial Loops: Unknown installation of ‘Free’ products often leads to billable product creep. This also includes the challenges around freemium products.
So, to control costs your company must still be able to manage what software is being used, how it is being used and by whom. Only then will it be possible to manage expenditure and plan spend proactively.
You can read the previous two parts of this three-part series of blogs here:
Part 1: ‘What is SaaS?‘
Part 2: ‘SaaS – Challenges & Benefits‘
For further information on how ITAMS can help your organisation with SaaS please download our
ITAMS_SaaS Service Overview.
Alternatively, you can contact us on: 03704 050508 or email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org