Each software as a service (SaaS) subscription you pay for is another link to the chain of commitment around your company’s neck. Ironically, some people see this chain as a good thing. They see it as a leash, establishing order and direction for the company. Others, however, see it as a chokehold, binding them tighter into debt and stagnation. Your perspective depends on one thing: who holds the leash, or in other words, how management authorizes and controls SaaS subscriptions. If careful thought and organization dominates subscription management, then you can find yourself saving up to thousands in spend each month. However, it’s easier said than done. Managing subscriptions is getting harder each year as new technologies and software innovations change the way we run a business. Software services are becoming so saturated that the main question business owners are asking is no longer whether a particular software exists; rather, almost all of the time they are asking, “Which software do we use?” In a 2017 report by Cleanshelf, a 200-person startup averages 120-134 SaaS subscriptions. You can find a software to aid you in nearly every company task, from customer relations (Salesforce, Hubspot, etc.), to brand design (what did we do before Adobe?), to internal communications (Slack, we love you and always will). Companies find the tools that fit best with their needs and become extremely accustomed–if not dependent–on such services. Imagine your life without Slack? Would you email a co-worker each time you had to “ping” them about something? Just the thought makes me cringe. This dependency takes us back to the leash. It keeps companies in order and opens more time to strategize and actually get work done. However, now that you can find SaaS solutions for practically every aspect of our company, monthly and annual payments start adding up. Going back to the Cleanshelf report, a 200-person startup on average spends $2,036,000 on cloud app subscriptions. The sad part is, each company averaged $460,000 in losses, due to reasons such as wasteful usage and excess payments. How do you prevent the problem? Ironically, there are SaaS softwares that helps you organize your SaaS subscriptions. But they are harder to find. Since the concept is fairly new, some are still deciding whether or not to stick with the term, vendor management, SaaS management, or subscription management. If you just google search “subscription management”, several of the first options that come up won’t be what you’re looking for. For example, the first non-ad link is to Zoho, which doesn’t help companies manage their subscription license and contracts; rather, it helps SaaS companies manage their recurring billing. The G2 Crowd “Best Subscription Management Software in 2018” article gives you similar results. The offered softwares are meant for subscription and billing support, not subscription payment, organizing, and monitoring support. So what do you search? Vendor management? Negative. This takes you to softwares that assist in the billing of suppliers and vendors, usually involving industrial items and materials. You can find a couple softwares that match the description we’re looking for under “SaaS expense management tool” or “SaaS service management & vendor management.” However, you’ll mainly find a lot of IT and field service softwares. When Google search doesn’t give you what you want, Quora is always a good place to go with specific questions. One user asked, “Are there any tools I can use to manage my business’ SaaS subscriptions?” and received a list of softwares. Here are a few that have legitimate websites and customers:
- Subcentral – Described in 5 steps, Subcentral allows to connect your credit card accounts, discover all of your cloud app purchases, assign people to manage them, collaborate costs, and optimize strategies in order to increase savings.
- Meta Saas – Use Meta SaaS as a management tool for medium and large businesses to manage SaaS vendors, reduce spend, and organize cloud applications in one visible dashboard.
- Binadox – Optimize underutilized SaaS licenses and manage SaaS subscriptions in order to reduce spend and identify underused subscriptions.
- Divvy – yours truly. Manage the payments of your subscription by assigning a virtual card to each subscriptions. Using an online card with a unique card number for each subscription will increase security and ease of cancellation.