The SaaS explosion we have witnessed over the last 20 years has turned IT procurement on its head. And this rapid change has had several unintended consequences. Chief among these is the absence of reliable information on what questions CIOs and CFOs should be asking their SaaS vendors. But while the digital transformation process has been going from strength to strength, SaaS vendor assessments have been an afterthought.

We want to put this right. So we decided to do what we could to help our colleagues in IT security, procurement and finance get the best possible SaaS deals. In that spirit, our CEO Dusan Omercevic has teamed up again with AJ Witt of the ITAM Review to co-author an insightful “Ten Questions to Ask Your SaaS Vendors”.

We are proud of our work, which serves as a great entry point for those of us trying to get visibility and control of our SaaS. But we didn't stop there. We also prepared a SaaS Vendor Evaluation Template and Calculator to help you on your way.

 

 

Traditionally, when compared to perpetually-licensed tech investments, SaaS has suffered from a relative lack of attention. But that is already changing, and we need to adapt accordingly.

Industry experts like those at the ITAM Review are among those who have already noticed that IT asset management is racing toward SaaS-based subscription models.

As a result, new opportunities are emerging for us all to deliver greater value to our organizations. And that starts here.

Article overview

Our joint article provides an overview of the SaaS market and the top 10 SaaS vendors by revenue. The differences between it and perpetual licensing are also explained.

For example, SaaS subscriptions are usually treated as operating expenses (OPEX) rather than capital expenses (CAPEX), which is the norm for perpetual licensing. This shift in expenditure can have significant effects on budgeting and forecasting.

We also cover the other key differences between SaaS and perpetual licensing, including renewals and maintenance. The weakness of SaaS when it comes to contract renewal negotiations and asset visibility are also highlighted.

And we provide an overview of the inevitable legal, regulatory and governance issues that materialize as a result.

Concluding with the ten most important questions to include in your SaaS vendor assessments, our beginner's guide saves the best for last. We have divided these ten points into three categories, devoting particular attention to security, service and cost considerations.

We hope you enjoy the article, and look forward to hearing your feedback and comments below!

 

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Further Reading 

Check the NCSC framework for SaaS security guidelines.

Read here for a full breakdown of all ITAM Review research on this topic.

Cleanshelf has prepared further insights into SaaS vendor negotiations.

Also check out Cleanshelf’s very handy SaaS Vendor Evaluation Workbook and Calculator.

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About Cleanshelf

Based in San Francisco, Cleanshelf is the best way for enterprises to monitor and manage their SaaS spend. Our SOC 2-compliant and AI-powered technology saves our customers up to 30% on fees. Cleanshelf already helps businesses like Drawbridge, Ellation, Crowdriff, and Qumulo, among others. Join them now and gain control of your enterprise SaaS.

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