The cost of everything is going up, and that is as true for businesses as it is anywhere else. From office space and salaries to vendors and suppliers, everything is hitting the bottom line harder than before. For businesses invested in online application services and Software-as-a-Service solutions, the rising cost of usage is outpacing other expense categories at a fairly high rate.
Consider that many small businesses start with whatever is cheapest and easiest to use, which usually means a web-based solution. From there, the business cobbles together it’s IT by using a variety of applications and services and eventually ends up with a tangled web that can be difficult to straighten out.
Even larger enterprises find that shadow IT implementations and web-based application services make their way into the mix, costing companies greatly through unmanaged subscriptions, lack of vendor management, and missed opportunities for consolidation of resources.
Covid and remote work requirements fueled a lot of the growth in SaaS adoption as businesses implemented solutions and services to support a distributed workforce. Leaving millions of square feet of office space unused while at the same time investing in remote and mobile work, businesses have had a hard time of it.
According to an article on CFODive, “Software inflation has remained “stubbornly high” this year at a rate of 8.7% — more than double the inflation rate as measured by the consumer price index in the U.S., according to research conducted by London-based Vertice, a software-as-a-service and cloud spending management company.”
In 2023, SaaS inflation increased by 8.7%, meaning the same unchanged set of SaaS products will cost businesses significantly more than it did a year ago.
Vertice.one SaaS Inflation Index report
The Vertice report indicates that sales software, finance software and productivity tools represent categories of software that saw inflation rates of over 10% as compared with 2022. Another uncomfortable reveal from the report is that most software companies simply hiked their prices, and in some cases, they hiked them up a lot (23% increases, for example). The rising cost of Software-as-a-Service, referred to as SaaS Inflation, is a lot higher than with other products.
Part of the problem may be the global nature of online application services and SaaS companies. Costs of operations and the pricing of the product may be consistent across geographies, yet different regions will experience inflation in costs of other goods and services based more on regional factors. The result is a SaaS inflation rate higher than the consumer inflation rate. Yet even in areas where the SaaS inflation rate seems to be more in line with consumer inflation, it’s still a lot higher than many other categories of products and services. Only food and beverages compete at similar levels of price inflation.
Another part of the equation is the value for the dollar. Everyone knows that a dollar today buys less than it did last year. At the grocery store, this shrinkflation is obvious when an item is now more expensive, and you get less for the same price. With SaaS, the shrinkflation may not be quite as obvious. License packages change, features are introduced (or removed), and the value to the customer can change dramatically over time while the rates simply increase.
There are some important steps a business can take to minimize the impact of SaaS inflation, and it all starts with knowing what you have and how you use it. Reducing or eliminating shadow IT and implementations outside of general governance, consolidating vendors and licensing, and reducing redundancy in functionality and process support are key areas to focus on to control the spend.
Mendelson Consulting has experienced consultants that can work with your business to understand your needs and evaluate your options, helping to find the right solution for the problem while minimizing sprawl and spending.
Whether you rely on Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, or any other -as a service solution, the Mendelson Consulting and Noobeh cloud services teams can help you do more with your investment.