On the Cloud? Get SaaS Optimization ASAP!

When I first started writing for credit union audiences, I was nervous. I could talk about technology, but I’d never worked in a financial institution before.

And then I learned that most credit unions weren’t yet on the cloud.

“Okay,” I thought. “They might know more about credit union operations than I do, but I worked in electrical engineering for a decade and can still bring valuable insight to bear.”

That was years ago. And cloud transitions are still coming slowly. Hybrid solutions are common. And this slow adoption rate without massive institutional support makes things tough for IT teams.

And when things get tough, things fall through the cracks.

Fortunately, there are companies out there that specialize in keeping things from falling through the cracks. Especially with cloud migration and SaaS optimization.

 

A Little Context for This Blog

One of those specialist companies is Hypershift. Hypershift is a DC-based SaaS consultancy and reseller that focuses on helping larger organizations strategize and manage their cloud strategies. This blog of theirs about SaaS spend optimiation inspired this Fintech Friday post.

A few month ago, I sat down with them to see what they were doing for their clients. I was shocked when I saw what they did with a quick SaaS assessment. They knocked well over $100k off a company’s annual SaaS spend.

I’ll get to how soon. Keep reading. Or if you’re impatient, just scroll on down!

But here’s the thing. Transitioning to the cloud isn’t exactly easy. There are a lot of things to keep track of—especially credit unions, which are burdened with an abundance of legacy tech.

Of course, that’s no reason to stay away from it. Quite the contrary, in fact. The cloud provides an incredible array of benefits for any modern organization. But there’s one small aspect of cloud computing to keep track of:

Optimization.

We’ll touch on the benefits of the cloud, and then we’ll discuss SaaS optimization—both cost and strategy. Read on to learn how to save tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars!

 

Why Cloud and SaaS Are Critical

We’ve written about this often, so this time we’ll refer to Trellance’s top six list:

  1. Lower cost of ownership: No server costs, reduced implementation timelines, and no maintenance fees. Trellance sees a 16% average savings in IT spending after cloud migration.
  2. Less maintenance: Someone else handles the hardware maintenance, software updates, etc. for you.
  3. Cutting edge technology: Most cloud and SaaS technology is leading edge stuff. Cloud providers provide the benefits of powerful hardware at a fraction of the cost.
  4. High security: Cloud vendors ensure optimal security to protect clients of any size. Typically, their infrastructure is built with a security-first mindset.
  5. Faster insights: Access to data when you want and where you want helps. So does faster data transfer speed.
  6. Agile and ready for the future: Trellance says “future proof,” be we know that’s not a real thing. Still, the cloud is better able to adjust to new developments, strategies, and technologies than legacy hardware.

But all the benefits of the cloud don’t mean much if you’re not using the cloud right. Many organizations may find that their SaaS spend adds up quickly without good management.

 

SaaS Optimization Strategies

There are three things that chip away at the cost benefits of SaaS applications and cloud computing. Each is a common way that organizations overspend when they don’t need to.

Remember when I brought up Hypershift earlier? Their recent blog expounds on each more than I have room for here. (If you want to know even more, you can probably email them. They’ve been highly responsive and love digging into SaaS cost optimization.

  1. Redundant applications. A lot of popular SaaS apps feature duplicate or overlapping functions. Think SharePoint vs Dropbox, or Trello vs Basecamp.

Paying for both applications when just one will do is common. But a quick SaaS assessment can help you reign in that unnecessary spend.

  1. Overbuying seats. Larger organizations often buy dozens of extra seats for things like Microsoft Office 365. It helps with institutional agility, but the costs can run up quickly.
  2. Wrong license tiers. To pick on Office 365 again, the license tiers can be a little confusing. Often, credit unions and other organizations pay for tools and features for users who will never need them. A quick audit of licenses can save thousands.

All these things can be done for free. Simply let a company like Hypershift look at your current SaaS spend and usage, and they’ll come back with findings and recommendations. They said that to date, about 65% of their assessments reveal major cost savings opportunities.

 

Next Steps for Credit Unions

SaaS optimization should be a part of every credit union’s cloud strategy. It frees up space in the IT budget for more exciting apps, tools, hardware, and more.

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