Financial Management In Alpin Part 1 – Discover, Then Cut Costs And Wasted Spend
Recently, we reviewed the many types of cost savings available in cloud spend. We’ll outline some ways to achieve those savings, including with automation and tools from Alpin.
This week, we focus on discovering and cutting costs and wasted spend in your cloud environment.
Next week in Part 2 of this post, we’ll take a closer look at managing SaaS renewals and preventing unnecessary costs. I’ll add the link here when it’s live. Edit: Part 2!
Finding Apps That Cost Money (And Free Apps That Might Cost Money)
Like with anything in this post, both manual and automated solutions may help you find apps — the first step to cutting wasted spend.
Manual Discovery And Asking Nicely
Foster positive relationships with all department heads, and if you organization is very large, potentially a few of their subordinates as well. Essentially, this would come down to asking people to help you know what SaaS they’re using, if all licenses are active, etc. You can also look at financial reports. And analyzing network traffic could assist you, if you have a way to efficiently parse the data.
Overall, manual discovery is difficult, time-consuming, and not even close to comprehensive. But if you are just getting started on managing your SaaS environment and feeling determined, you may be interested in this Excel template we created as a starting point.
Automated Discovery And Management With Alpin
Alpin uses several methods to discover cloud applications, including API integrations with leading apps, connections with SSO platforms, data extraction from accounting and expense systems, browser plug-in, on-device agent, firewall log analysis, and email scanning. In other words, Alpin allows you to choose from many powerful options to scour your app landscape and find just about everything out there.
Cutting Costs and Optimizing Cloud Spend
Deal with things like extra licenses, inactive users, duplicate apps, multiple instances, or a complicated merger with all of the above. And fix cloud expenses that aren’t the worst but could be better – overpaying for basic users, catching user-initiated upgrades, streamlining audits, and reducing IT tickets.
Manual Surveying And Investigation
While much of this might overlap with the manual discovery we mentioned above, cutting and optimizing costs requires additional digging. Obviously, you have to round up all the contracts and invoices to understand what things cost. Then you have to see how actual usage compares to the bills you receive. Surveying users or department heads about their usage, last login, or who pays the bill (to see if multiple bills are being paid for the same app) may be helpful in trying to get at this next layer of information.
Automated Cost Optimization With Alpin
Add a paragraph about financial info: how the Alpin team does the legwork for you, how it is stored in Alpin, how easy it is to access all in one place. And add another paragraph about how it automatically shows wasted spend — using, of course, the bullet point list moved from the Discovery section above!
You can not only see licenses, but see and organize license types assigned to each user. And the list of apps discovered helps in conducting financial and security audits, as there is a list of app names to check against. Additionally, IT leaders can see what apps – including those that just popped up – that employees use most often. This enables IT to prepare to support and even proactively communicate about these apps, whether by asking employees to transition to a better-supported app or by sending help articles for common issues.
Finding And Cutting Wasted Spend
After extensive discovery, finding ways to cut wasted spend becomes much easier.
Extra licenses and/or inactive users – Alpin’s Users To Be Reviewed tool (seen below) helps you see inactive users (no login within your chosen timeframe), and we can immediately show when an app has unused licenses, depending on the discovery method.
Duplicate apps or multiple instances – Our extensive library has tens of thousands of usefully-categorized apps, so you can see all applications within a given category, like “project management” or “chat.” From there, you can see the people associated with those apps, and take action to consolidate the SaaS environment.
Complicated merger – Alpin help you see apps for multiple entities within one or more Alpin instances, so you can take a combined view, or keep them separate.
Come back next week, and we’ll be posting Part 2, focused on managing renewals and preventing unnecessary costs.
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