How to prevent “shelfware” and optimize SaaS usage


Meet Gabby from a mid-sized company working in marketing. She’s a go-getter, always looking to streamline her team’s everyday workflow. Last year, after careful research, Gabby decided that Asana was the perfect project management software for her team. She coordinated with IT to ensure that no other software was already in place, and then she made the purchase.

Fast forward a year and things have changed. Gabby and her team have since abandoned Asana in lieu of tracking campaigns in an alternate format. 

But here’s the kicker: nobody in the company realized that Asana is still active, and the renewal date has passed, costing the company another year of Asana. 

This scenario might sound familiar. Terms like “shelfware”, “bloatware”, and even “crapware” have been coined to describe the situation where companies spend money on software that goes unused or underutilized.

What is shelfware?

Shelfware occurs when organizations invest in SaaS solutions, but fail to fully utilize or all together abandon the software altogether. 

This can happen due to various reasons, including lack of user adoption, insufficient training, or evolving business needs. shelfware not only wastes money, but also prevents organizations from maximizing the benefits of their software investments.

Luckily, businesses can take a proactive approach to prevent shelfware from occuring in the first place.

Preventing shelfware

Visibility matters

To make the most of your tech stack and budget, having optimum visibility for everyone involved in the transactions is a must.

A centralized dashboard provides a complete picture of all of your applications and software subscriptions to empower your team to identify underutilized subscriptions and optimize costs effectively. 

(P.S. Visibility also helps combat shadow IT)

Software selection is a team sport

It’s not uncommon for different teams within your organization to use different software solutions for their given needs. 

Just like in the introduction of this blog, the marketing team found a need for Asana. Just like our likes change in our personal lives, they can in business too.

It’s important to choose software that not only aligns with your organization’s goals, but what your team needs.

Weigh employee sentiment within the BetterCloud platform with pulse surveys to determine what programs your team prefers and which ones they don’t. 

Pulse surveys will allow you to leverage this data during contract negotiations, enabling meaningful discussions on software value.

Automation is your friend

We’ve all been there when a contract auto-renews for a software we no longer use.

That’s why we built our new spend management software in the BetterCloud platform to not only view all of your applications in one place, but to notify you when contracts are up for renewal.

With BetterCloud, IT can easily identify software that is no longer needed and notify the organization early to avoid unseen and unnecessary renewals. This not only helps IT optimize the software stack, but also allows Finance to better manage costs and budget effectively, fostering a stellar level of collaboration. 

Leverage an end-to-end SaaS Management Platform (SMP)

BetterCloud, a leading end-to-end SaaS Management Platform, offers a centralized dashboard full of insights into all of your organization’s applications, aiding in identifying underutilized applications in your tech stack so you can effectively optimize your tech stack.

  • Discover your entire tech stack: BetterCloud provides a centralized dashboard that offers insights into all of your organizations’ applications. No SaaS application can hide from you anymore.
  • Contract negotiation: Fuel conversations with key insights into employee sentiment and usage levels.
  • Monitoring and reporting: Regularly track and analyze SaaS usage data to pinpoint trends and potential areas for optimization, providing support to users to encourage maximum utilization.
  • Benchmarking: Determine how best to utilize your tech stack with key benchmarking insights with others in your industry.

Preventing “shelfware” at a glance

Consider implementing these SaaS spend best practices to prevent shelfware:

Gain full visibility into your tech stack is key

Review utilization routinely and benchmark against others

Utilize an SMP to gain valuable insights and automate to save time and money

Improved new hire productivity by ensuring successful onboarding on day one

The value of spend management with BetterCloud

Are you tired of paying for software you’re not using? You’re not alone.

By implementing proactive strategies, such as regular audits, user training, and leveraging tools like BetterCloud, organizations can ensure that they are getting the most value out of their SaaS investments while reducing shelfware and software spend.

Start working with BetterCloud now to reign in unnecessary spending and gain full insights into your tech stack today!

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