8 Best Practices for a Successful SaaS License Management Strategy

December 6, 2022
Thai Nguyen

Excellent SaaS license management allows firms and teams to take full advantage of SaaS applications and tools. It means that employees always have access to the services they need, while remaining confident their security and safety are well-accounted for. Likewise, companies can rest assured their services are live, data is secure, their important information and systems are backed up, their licenses are up-to-date, and their utilization and spending are well-balanced. How do firms and departments ensure this level of organization, operation, and compliance? They employ the 8 best practices for a successful SaaS license management strategy. Learn more below!

1. Centalize ITAM Management

Companies embracing Cloud services and SaaS applications harness the power of advanced technology. It follows that they should adopt a new management tool to handle the various, and numerous, processes involved in running those systems. An excellent IT asset management software will not only allow you to look after your software and hardware, it will provide Cloud analysis and insights and SaaS license management. It makes it easier to inventory, organize, and track, and relate, all assets, usage, and costs. Regarding SaaS license management, it keeps up-to-date records of authorized users, usage, licensing, and license renewals. When it comes time to make critical decisions about software services, ITAM tools can generate customized reports with relevant data. 

2. Understand Different Software Licenses

Firms may have different types of licenses attached to their software. When they understand how this can affect renewals, usage, and authorized users/location, their awareness will help them make informed decisions about their software and spending. 

  • Subscription: Most SaaS falls under the subscription category, allowing firms to effectively ‘rent’ licenses for monthly, quarterly, or annual payments. Companies need to keep track of every SaaS license renewal, which may be challenging based on how many licenses they maintain. 
  • Users: Named user software is only for a specific user. Concurrent users are for a specific set of people. SaaS spend may be based on the number of users. 
  • Access: SaaS can be accessed on any device through a given network. 
  • Tiers or Features: Some SaaS costs are based on a tier of features, number of features, or type of features a company needs. 
  • Usage: Firms can prepay for anticipated usage, or pay for usage after a certain time period is complete. 

3. Keep an Eye on Unused or Underused Licenses

Few firms think about unused licenses, underused licenses, and forgotten subscriptions. They may be paying for licenses their employees do not even use, or whose services are actually covered by another one of their SaaS. Additionally, they may be paying for an upgraded license while the only tools used are included in a basic license. Further still, firms may be paying for licenses they have completely pushed to the side and forgotten about. These three elements can add up quickly and contribute to significant, unnecessary SaaS expenditures. SaaS license management tools can pinpoint these issues and keep detailed records of assets following a similar path. 

3. Develop Onboarding and Offboarding Mechanisms 

Never leave onboarding and offboarding up to chance, develop a standard procedure with automatic mechanisms. In this way, IT and HR departments can ensure all employees receive the tools and authorizations necessary for their new jobs, new positions, or relocations. Likewise, they can make sure employees going on leave or departing the firm do not have access to software, licenses, or data. These automated processes can increase efficiency from day one, and ensure critical elements are always considered and completed. Additionally, keeping tabs on authorization can heighten security and assist with compliance measures. 

4. Provide Role-Based Access

If entire floors and departments have access to SaaS platforms, there is a high chance firms are increasing SaaS spend unnecessarily. It promotes high usage, without necessarily adding or extracting value. Access to specific apps can be based on role and responsibilities, rather than simply being a team member. In certain cases, firms may also wish to limit or restrict features such that employees cannot make unauthorized changes that would increase costs. 

5. Gain Awareness of SaaS Renewals

Some forward-thinking SaaS providers offer notifications before license renewals. Yet, it can still be difficult to handle many SaaS renewals over the course of the year. Add in the providers who do not send helpful reminders, and it is too easy to forget to evaluate, negotiate, and renew a subscription.

In-actions can lead to business down-time, resulting in productivity lapses and client dissatisfaction. Likewise, it causes firms to miss out on pricing, features, and terms negotiations or usage and value revaluations. Alternatively, companies can benefit from a single system that tracks, records, and notifies organizations of upcoming license renewals. 

6. Use Data Wisely

When IT departments need to pull information from various sources to complete a data report, the result is often inaccurate, incomplete, or fragmented. Firms can use the information to make small decisions about assets, software, and licenses but there is little chance of optimization. When they have a comprehensive system that automatically updates and records important information about SaaS, they can generate up-to-date, cohesive reports. In other words, they access quantity and quality simultaneously. 

7. Track Return on Investment (ROI)

Firms do not usually invest in major assets and then leave the return up to chance. They diligently track usage and value, ensuring they are receiving or exceeding what they put into their business. SaaS should be monitored in the same way. After all, companies pay for the licenses, they should know if their software is working for them or against them in the long term. Making data-backed decisions, tracking usage, optimizing spending, and maintaining license compliance all contribute to making the most of investments.

8. Inform Investors and Key Stakeholders 

Investors and key stakeholders need accurate, relevant information to maintain interest and financial involvement in firms and projects. Maintain good relationships and excellent standing with important individuals by providing up-to-date reports about where money is going, what it is doing for the company, and how processes and systems are continuously being optimized. Furthermore, these types of reports can also help secure new investors or partnerships which can add to efficient business practices, new technology, or significant expansion.