SaaS management empowers FP&A professionals by giving them information and tools to do their jobs better in the age of SaaS.
That’s the short version, at least.
How would a talented FP&A leader go about leveraging SaaS management, for both corporate and professional glory?
We’ve previously written a few posts covering SaaS cost-cutting and even a detailed SaaS budgeting guide, but he benefits go far beyond simple cost cutting.
SaaS management bolsters FP&A core responsibilities by:
- Giving FP&A information on “consumerized” software purchases to see the whole picture.
- Revealing true costs per employee to improve planning accuracy.
- Creating an ongoing source of new information that can drive proactive planning.
SaaS management gives FP&A necessary information to see the whole picture
Financial planning and analysis lives and dies on good information. The consumer-like purchases for subscription-based software have remained in the shadows.
Why? Scale and complexity.
Alpin tracks over 40,000 SaaS vendors. These vendors typically represent newer and more specialized software. Accounting and expense systems often fail to properly identify or categorize them — and often miss them altogether.
Without effective tools, organizations reacted to SaaS by attempting to either control or ignore the spread. The choice mattered little. SaaS sprawled regardless of how “locked-down” an organization chose to be.
SaaS management gives FP&A leaders consolidated information on SaaS, something that by its nature has escaped centralized oversight. Consider the types of reporting that become possible with SaaS management:
- The cost and rate of spread of new software.
- Wasted spend of various kinds: unused licenses, under-used licenses, hidden licenses used by a small group, licenses still issued to long-gone employees, and more.
- The number of apps and cost by employee, department, division, company-wide or other groups of your choosing.
Whichever way the data gets sliced, it’s finally available for analysis.
SaaS management reveals true costs per employee, improving planning accuracy
Employee health insurance, desktop hardware, or mobile devices? Easily tracked by accounting software. Shadow SaaS, on the other hand, makes per-employee software costs nebulous.
Shadow IT is approaching half of already large and growing IT budgets. Employees use more software than anyone knows about (including themselves).
As companies conduct M&A, make expansion plans, or simply have to hire “X” number of employees in a short amount of time, these shadow IT costs matter.
With enough data, it becomes possible to not only forecast software costs more accurately, but begin to predict software spend growth better as well. Alpin’s SaaS management platform can show data over time to identify historic trends that can inform forecasts.
Creating an ongoing source of new information that can drive proactive planning
SaaS has been a driver of innovation in corporate environments. The proliferation, easy signup, and “hidden” nature of SaaS have all driven this innovation.
FP&A leaders looking to bring proactive analysis to their organization may find valuable data within SaaS. Looking at new or emerging trends in software adoption can provide insight into future needs (and costs) the company will have.
For example, you might predict with some certainty that the rapid spread of new videoconferencing software could result in paying multiple vendors during a changeover period. You could be the one that puts this idea into IT executives’ heads by asking about it before they think about it. And later, share how the changeover resulted in lower overall costs for the company.
If you’re looking to get more serious about using SaaS management to fuel your financial planning & analysis efforts, we have even more features to show you. Contact us for a demo or start a 14-day trial. You’ll see how Alpin can work for you. Get started by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.