Make a great business case to the CFO with our CFO Advocacy Kit
You’ve done your homework, watched interactive demos, and studied your ROI calculator results. You’ve decided on the SaaS management platform that best meets your needs. The next step is approaching your Chief Financial Officer (CFO). For making the business case to your CFO, there’s some fundamental questions you should be prepared to answer.
So here, we review:
- The role of the CFO when it comes to buying SaaS management platforms and IT products
- The five main questions a CFO will ask
- How to prepare for making the business case with a CFO advocacy kit
The changing role of financial executives in 2023 IT purchases
With recent shifts in the economic environment, CFOs are increasingly involved in purchases – even at lower value thresholds. For example, during the roaring 2021/2022 IT investment boom, IT has more latitude to invest without the strong involvement of finance leadership.
Now, those days are gone.
According to early 2023 CFO magazine research, 84% said they expect to be more involved in developing technology strategy than they were in 2022. In addition, more than a third of those are expected to be “significantly” more involved.
So, while IT might expect more scrutiny from the numbers team, that same research also had some good news for IT regarding budgets. Most finance leaders expect to increase IT budgets, and Gartner agrees.
Even though Gartner revised their 2023 projection downward, they still expect the average company IT budget to grow in the 4.5% range. As for software budgets, they are expected to grow by about 9%.
Thus, it’s clear that your next task is to make your great business case to the CFO. Without it, you probably won’t get too far.
So now, let’s talk about how to build a winning case for a SaaS management platform.
Selling a SaaS Management Platform Investment to the CFO
Before you schedule a meeting, you need to prepare your answers for some important questions. Specifically, you should come with answers for:
So now, let’s take these questions one by one.
1. Make the CFO aware that you have a SaaS management platform in the budget
No one likes surprises. Especially financial leadership.
With technology purchases under renewed scrutiny, make sure you know the total required investment (including deployment and your expected time-to-value) and that your IT team plans for it.
A SaaS management platform is critical enterprise IT infrastructure, and its automation is a competitive necessity for efficient operations. Therefore, if you don’t have it in this quarter’s budget, you most certainly should include it in your next quarterly budget cycle.
2. Tie the need for a SaaS management platform to your enterprise IT priorities
Some organizations might choose a SaaS management platform to scale IT impact by automating day-to-day operations or user lifecycle management. Others deploy one to improve visibility of the more than 130 SaaS apps the average organization uses.
Some organizations implement a SaaS management platform to improve SaaS spend management, improve security, and apply security policy consistently across the SaaS environment. Meanwhile, some companies might need one to improve their ability to prove compliance.
Finally, some companies benefit from all the SaaS management platform use cases (and eliminate 78% of the work along the way). Thus, to make a winning business case to the CFO, be clear on how much this crucial technology will benefit your organization.
3. Show how a SaaS management platform aligns with corporate strategic imperatives
Nearly all organizations buy a new IT product to save money, become more efficient, or more secure. Perhaps your company needs all three?
Before you approach your CFO, it’s necessary to know the organization’s financial and strategic goals and determine how a SaaS management platform best supports those goals.
4. Communicate why you need a SaaS management platform now
New efficiency is a heightened need in today’s inflationary times. If your company is rapidly growing, then without a SaaS management platform, manual work multiplies with each new employee.
To manage, you must hire more expensive, hard-to-find, and harder-to-keep IT talent.
And if you’re not quickly adding headcount, surfacing new operational efficiencies by automating day-to-day SaaS-related help desk operations and user lifecycle management can help keep costs in line, and profit margins stable.
So, the key piece of advice here is to know and share the near-term and longer-term gains from deploying a SaaS management platform now.
5. Explain how delaying a SaaS management platform keeps IT less efficient, more expensive, and impedes overall competitiveness
Invariably, your finance executives will want to know the impact of postponing SaaS management platform implementation.
Automating the SaaS environment is a journey. It exponentially grows organizational efficiency the more you automate, and the better your orchestrated workflows become.
Every day you put it off, is a day where your competitor accelerates its own operational efficiencies. In a matter of months, your company could be suffering a serious competitive disadvantage.
To be successful, be prepared to make sure the CFO understands that there’s a steep cost of inaction.
Getting started on your winning business case to the CFO
Here at BetterCloud, we know how hard it is to articulate your business case.
That’s why we created the SaaS Management Impact Report and our CFO Advocacy Kit. To help you make a winning business case to finance executive leadership, we created a comprehensive playbook on how to build a business case.
Our playbook goes into detail in how you can prove operational efficiency and cost savings that results from using a SaaS management platform. In addition, it provides step-by-step guidance quantifying the unique value automation would provide to your company.
Finally, The CFO Advocacy Kit also includes a short business case template that you can complete and present to your CFO, as well as a sample email to get the conversation on automating SaaS management off to a great start. Download yours now.