The more popular software-as-a-service (SaaS) becomes, the more popular procurement becomes. Over the past few years, there has been a growing number of businesses looking for reliable management platforms, as well as companies providing SaaS solutions. Is it a trend? Is it a necessity?
The answer is up in the air but one thing is for sure, the daunting task of procuring software is now less time-consuming with a lot more cost savings. Plus, you don't need to be a procurement expert to do it.
The simple definition of SaaS procurement is the whole process of buying SaaS tools the right way with the right price at the right time. A purchasing SaaS journey that is automated from A to Z in finding SaaS vendors who offer secure and suitable SaaS solutions for your organization.
Today, digital-first teams can realize potential savings at a fraction of the energy the typical approach demands.
Since procurement SaaS is operated remotely by automation, you don't need to invest time and money in additional hardware—you can streamline the entire procurement function of your tech stack. These systems eliminate the need for an IT team or a third party to handle the installation, implementation, and daily maintenance required by traditional procurement software.
To understand the whole phenomenon, the what, how, and why must be fully covered.
The evolution in a nutshell
Software-as-a-service solutions started rolling in when procurement leaders and teams found it hard to adapt to the digital reality. It was a challenge for some, not all, procurement teams to rapidly deploy on-premise applications that can execute what a business needs and desires.
Part of the cloud, SaaS applications ultimately run on a web browser. You can utilize the ins and outs of a SaaS tool on your laptop, tablet, or other mobile devices.
SaaS procurement solutions, like Sastrify, give all the glory of traditional software reliability without hosting costs or drawn-out update downloads and installations.
Data stored on the platform belong to the customer and is only hosted by the provider. The management of contracts, negotiations, renewals, and more are either updated automatically online or taken care of by the procurement team.
The beauty is you don't need to worry about hardware or equipment installed to run your SaaS products.
How has SaaS transformed procurement as a whole?
Before the SaaS model, procurement teams were the go-to experts in evaluating purchasing processes and presenting those findings to internal stakeholders for project implementation. With the SaaS way, procurement teams had to regroup to keep up with the evolution of technology and company needs.
Considering the variety of tools, subscriptions, and vendors to choose from, buyers now have the upper hand over sellers. According to Gartner, procurement software as a service started as a way to deliver better products but slowly turned into an essential migration for different departments and changed the buyer’s experience entirely.
The power shifted because not only is the market packed but also there is no way to get lost on the internet. A buyer can find the complete lifecycle of systems by just searching it up. In general, the role of procurement in organizations is changing from a primary negotiation and finance-centric role to a strategic enabler, bringing new technologies, workflows, and best practices into corporate scaling.
Why should you use a SaaS procurement solution?
There are many benefits of using a SaaS delivery model compared to traditional software distribution—the cloud-based model has thrived in the market for many reasons. For starters, a reliable software procurement process allows organizations of all shapes and sizes to keep up with technology while simplifying SaaS spend management once and for all.
1. Seamless integration
Integrating an end-to-end procurement solution is less challenging and complicated than traditional SaaS management software. It allows no room for error, data redundancy, and manual intervention.
2. Everlasting configuration
There are no updates, upgrades, or patches for you to download or install in the implementation process. SaaS services manage the entire system of your tech stack plus any required developments (e.g. add users, change feature settings, add new modules, change cost).
3. Time- and cost-effective
Paying for licensing, installation, and maintenance costs of traditional procurement software can take a toll on any organization. This is abolished with a procurement system as it requires no IT staff and none of that flying time, money, and energy.
4. Spend visibility and control
Transparency in spending is everything for an organization to determine saving opportunities, streamline processes, and maximize the value of each contract. Most procurement solutions offer users analysis reports that are easy to interpret and help improve decision-making and strategic planning.
5. Easy-to-use interface
Nothing is better than a sleek platform that doesn't need any long-term user training or complex manual work from you. A procurement system facilitates everything from a purchase order to the collection of business expenditure information.
6. Customer support
Service and support most likely come with your procurement software. A team of agents will be there for any inquiries, whenever you have hard time-solving problems. Instead of figuring it out on your own, this should be your safe place to ask questions and get answers.
On-premise procurement vs. SaaS procurement
There are two primary ways to procure products, on-site procurement, and cloud-based procurement. Think of it as traditional vs. modern, manual vs. automated. Get the picture?
On-premise, also known as in-house or on-site, procurement software is handheld by a company’s IT department internally. Because the application requires exceptional time and money for installing and configuring, the on-premise software in return demands more hand- and brain work.
On the contrary, the cloud-based procurement process, which includes software as a service, has a more laid-back vibe. This method has blunt benefits that the former is hard to keep up with, such as flexible fictionality, low cost, enhanced security, easy collaboration across departments, and always up-to-date.
On-premise software has a higher chance of messing up because it is mainly run by humans, instead of machines. Humans get tired, lose attention, and well, make mistakes. The edge of cloud-based software is that it gives you what you need before you even know it.
SaaS is the cloud procurement breeze that releases you from complex hardware and software management. Deploying SaaS is not your task as all you need is a stable internet to access end-user solutions. SaaS services are the ones that ensure data encryption, regular backups, updates, and patches. They handle program scaling by adding more database space or more computing power as usage increases. The payment for a procurement solution is typically based on several key factors such as the number of users, usage time, amount of data stored, and the number of transactions processed.
The benefits mostly depend on how efficiently your team manages expenses before the software implementation. Most organizations don’t need large initial investments or significant maintenance costs to use SaaS solutions. Good software reduces human errors, eliminates maverick spending, and avoids duplicate invoices.
SaaS procurement best practices
If you want your transition to a smart SaaS procurement process to be smooth, it's essential to follow a time-tested strategy. The following tips will help you minimize mistakes, identify savings opportunities, eliminate maverick spending, and enforce policies. See here the top SaaS procurement mistakes.
1. Set business goals
Aligning your procurement strategy with your business goals is crucial for risk management. Understand your organization's needs and set priorities correctly by writing down each potential business problem, goal, or scenario and the corresponding software to meet them.
2. Right-size subscriptions
Paying for what you don't need is reckless for any organization. Evaluate your SaaS stack from time to time so you can focus on the features and capabilities that you actually want at lower prices.
3. Test drive
Who doesn't like free trials? Take advantage of free software trials, if available, to ensure the procurement software is the one for you. The amount of functionality must correspond to the size of the companies.
4. Understand contracts
Never sign any agreement that you don't fully comprehend. Read the terms and conditions carefully before closing deals with any SaaS solutions. Take note of every clause on license management, costs, renewals, and how end-users may access and use the software.
5. Vendor management expertise
Your SaaS solution should have your back in negotiations. Try to pick a SaaS procurement service that has vendor relationship management. Procurement professionals can bring unmatchable experience to the table since they negotiate contracts repeatedly and know the market for substantial savings.
6. Ask for support
Don't be afraid to ask too many questions. Investigate what you don't understand and explore your options. A team responsible for a procurement SaaS solution should exist to take away your worries and give you all the knowledge you need.
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Switch to autopilot with Sastrify
Our highly automated software-as-a-service procurement solution provides several key benefits. For one, It centralizes your purchasing and contract negotiations while streamlining your SaaS stack to be cheaper, faster, smaller, and better.
Software like Sastrify can help your SaaS discovery, negotiation and management process run smoothly so you can focus on more critical business tasks. See how it works.
Here's how the Sastrify platform helps companies manage their reach stack, meet compliance standards and turn SaaS procurement into a competitive advantage:
- Explore new solutions from an extensive database.
- Access our extensive database of enterprise pricing benchmarks ($150 million in managed software spend)
- Get all your tools and subscriptions in one place, from Under Consideration to In Trial to New Negotiation.
- Minimize upfront costs and keep a close eye on both your potential and achieved savings.
- Receive regular alerts for upcoming renewals, deadlines, and other important dates.
- Request instant support from a dedicated CSM team.
Sastrify covers the whole SaaS purchasing process, including price benchmarking, smart vendor relationship management and contract negotiations. Your company can save money now and in the future.
Discover now how much you can save on SaaS licenses today with our SaaS savings calculator.