The COVID-19 crisis has forced most offices to close in observance of social distancing guidelines. Suddenly, millions of employees are working from home. Having access to cloud services to connect to one another and continue working has helped businesses keep running, but with employees spread out, it’s harder than ever to get a grip on SaaS usage and cost.

At the same time, the current situation has created vast economic uncertainty forcing companies to control costs across the board. Being able to understand where your money is going, what services are essential and which ones you can drop is more important right now than ever before.

Some companies, even small ones, have dozens of SaaS tools. Even if a tool only costs a few dollars a month per user, your clients may want to get a much firmer grip on those costs than previously. They also may want to eliminate duplicate services, settling one standard for the company.

The problem is that it’s so simple for end users to sign up for a cloud service that it doesn’t take long for them to proliferate outside the purview of IT. Now may be the time to find some tools to take back some semblance of control, choose one service and stick with it, at least for the time being.

Some tools to help

The way most companies track this kind of information is through a spreadsheet, but that only goes so far and manually tracking is bound to leave gaps. You can only know about sanctioned services with no way of digging out those that employees found on their own. But there is software to help with all aspects of this problem.

As with the SaaS tools you are trying to get under control, there are a variety of offerings to help you understand your SaaS subscription costs. We are going to go over a couple as examples, but you should do your homework and find out which one works best for you and your particular company and clients.

Blissfully is an early stage startup based in NYC. It does a scan of your systems and builds a database of all your SaaS tools. You can generate reports showing exactly where you monthly spending is going, who is using each tool and so forth. It also has workflows for easily on-boarding new employees and removing employees leaving the company so they no longer have access to your systems.

Zylo, another early stage startup working on the problem, takes a similar tack. It discovers your Saas applications, helps you manage licenses and renewals, and generally control costs.

There are other tools that offer similar services, but the idea is in a time of crisis to find ways to better serve your clients. Helping them control costs right now could be job one.

Photo: Plufflyman / Shutterstock

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Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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