In Lucid’s earlier years, the company adopted new SaaS tools as needed to solve pressing daily challenges and support the company’s organic growth.
The company did not have a centralized process or a procurement system in place to manage these SaaS purchases. Employees simply used credit cards to buy subscriptions and then submitted them for reimbursement.
This led to many challenges. Because teams often bought and used application in siloes, Lucid ended up with multiple subscriptions for the same software with different commercial terms. And because different teams went through the procurement process for the same software, the company also saw duplication of effort.
In addition to these procurement issues, the IT team also lacked a proactive process for security and legal review of purchased software, according to David Torgerson, VP of Infrastructure and IT at Lucid. This resulted in increased security and business risk.
“We may not be in a regulated industry, but our customers are,” David points out, which made security reviews of internal software critical.
“There were quite a few AHA moments along our SaaS management journey, the biggest being all the subscriptions to the same tool that we identified, with different discount rates and terms. We needed to fix that."
VP of Infrastructure and IT, Lucid Software
While the team could calculate the total cost of their SaaS landscape – first by analyzing financial information from reimbursements and later by implementing Coupa as procurement system – they had no insight into the business rationale for each application.
“While the financial aspects were clear, we did not know why the tool was purchased,” as David put it.
Cost aside, the IT team had no consistent, reliable overview of what Lucid actually owned.
For example, one time the IT Helpdesk got an urgent email: their sales dialing tool was down. As they worked to solve the problem, they realized no one on the IT team knew of the tool's existence.
“It had been bought, rolled out, and used on the sales team without anyone’s knowledge,” Ana Coles, IT Helpdesk manager, remembers. The IT team resolved the issue, but knew they had to get a handle on their full SaaS stack.
David, Ana, and the team at Lucid wanted complete visibility into their SaaS stack, a clear SaaS procurement process, and a consistent review process for purchases from a legal, security, and finance perspective. They also wanted to right-size their SaaS landscape, through application rationalization, de-duplication of redundant software, and contract consolidation.
They turned to a SaaS management platform.
Lucid first purchased a “SaaS management” solution in 2018. (This makes them an early adopter, given the relative newness of the category.)
David, Ana, and the team first focused on getting SaaS costs under control. The first step was consolidating information about their more than 300 SaaS applications – cost, number of licenses, usage – in their new platform. The next step was using the insights gained to drive cost savings. This produced the first positive results of their efforts.
“We managed to save enough dollars in a matter of months for the tool to pay for itself,” David noted.
“There were quite a few AHA moments along the way, the biggest being all the subscriptions to the same tool that we identified, with different discount rates and terms. We needed to fix that,” David remembers.
The team also uncovered a ton of unused licenses, highlighting the lack of accountability and clear ownership for SaaS applications across the business.
As they progressed on their SaaS management, the team continually found new ways to increase efficiency and save money.
“We found that Asana, a tool designed to increase collaboration, had a utilization rate of 30%, even though it was deployed company wide. Instead of reducing the license count, we looked at it from a different perspective and focused on increasing adoption,” David explains.
“We conducted trainings, talked to different teams, and helped them see and gain value through report generation. We managed to increase collaboration and productivity. This is what we started to call ‘indirect’ cost savings,” Ana adds.
The team first focused on getting SaaS costs under control. They started by consolidating information about their more than 300 SaaS applications. The next step was using the insights gained to drive cost savings.
Next, the team focused on the software procurement process. They introduced an application catalog: a central location where employees can turn when looking for a new application to solve their business problem. The catalog included information about applications, contracts, terms, and relevant licensing information. It also identified the application owner, administrator, and business owner.
But the team did not stop there. They also improved the process for purchasing new tools by creating a Tech Counsel consisting of stakeholders from across the company responsible for approving new software requests.
“The Tech Counsel includes individuals who are familiar with tech in their department and have the authority to approve requests. We wanted to implement a lightweight process for the end user while decreasing the time our IT department spent looking for a solution. We also wanted to make sure our legal, security, and procurement teams were not duplicating their efforts working on something that’s already been done before,” David explains.
The Success and the Future
Once proper processes were in place, David and Ana’s team saw a significant drop in the number of duplicate and low-value SaaS requests coming through. They also saw increased efficiency across the organization.
“We realized some remarkable results. We managed to increase IT operational efficiency by 10% in the first few months, reduced IT response time, and significantly reduced IT Helpdesk requests per quarter,” Ana reported.
Their results fit into a simple equation: Quicker response time + happier team = better customer service.
“Since alignment across teams is integral to creating tools that customers want, this process helped us fulfill our core mission as a support team.”
“We realized some remarkable results with SaaS management. We managed to increase IT operational efficiency, reduced IT response time, and significantly reduced IT Helpdesk requests.”
IT Helpdesk Manager, Lucid Software
The team at Lucid saw results with LeanIX in multiple areas.
“LeanIX is a tool that acts as a conversation starter between colleagues. One of the biggest wins for me was deepening relationships with internal stakeholders. The information – on applications, usage, costs, and so on – that we suddenly had within reach gave us an opportunity to start meaningful conversations regarding software and break down cross-departmental siloes,” Ana shares.
With LeanIX SMP, the team at Lucid seeks to totally deduplicate their application landscape and continuously right-size their license portfolio. But that’s just the beginning. Recently, they started using LeanIX EAM to manage the broader IT landscape.
“We want to expand our efforts beyond SaaS to cover the entire Application Portfolio. We aim to start planning its future state based on accurate forecasts and budgets while staying closely aligned to our business goals,” David notes.
“Stakeholders quickly adopted the ‘fact sheet’ concept. We immediately saw a shift in the mindset as people started to think beyond app functionality. Everyone started to think about the business fit and what business capability of Lucid it supports,” Ana adds.
David and his team plan to drive additional efficiency optimization and rely on LeanIX EAM to reduce IT complexity and increase transparency across the organization.
“We're at the beginning of our application portfolio management journey, but with LeanIX guiding us along the way, I know we're going to continue to build on our success.”
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