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The Results are In - The 2023 Snapshot Survey on SaaS and Cloud Spend Optimization and Automation

The shift to public cloud, private cloud and SaaS has become so widespread that now, the vast majority of workloads are in the cloud. There are many factors that have caused this shift, from the increased demand for remote work, lower cost of deployments, and fast scalability to support dynamic business needs.

But all the benefits of cloud also come with challenges, both business and technical. Because anyone with a credit card can purchase SaaS and spin up cloud resources, there is a huge potential for overspending, orphaned resources and duplicate services. And as management of cloud increasingly has shifted from IT to the business, security teams have less oversight to enforce policies and protect privileged data.

To learn more about how enterprises are managing their expenditures on SaaS, and public and private cloud resources, Oomnitza partnered with international market research firm YouGov plc. The result is a survey entitled “The 2023 Snapshot Survey on Cloud and SaaS Spend Optimization & Automation.” Let’s take a look at a few of the findings and get a sense of how the survey respondents managed some of the challenges they faced with cloud and SaaS spending.

Question One

50% of enterprises waste at least 10% of their annual expenditures on software and SaaS applications

This question asked about an organization’s spending on unused, unaccounted for, or mismanaged SaaS and on premises applications as a percentage of total software spend. Half of the companies reported overspending of at least 10% of their annual software and SaaS expenditures. 6% of respondents reported spending 30% of their outlays on unused software. This could represent a significant expense item for larger entities.

A few findings from the report:

  • 50% of all respondents are overspending at least 10% of their annual expenditures on software and SaaS applications, which can be a substantial sum for many organizations
  • 17% of organizations are wasting at least 20% of their annual software/SaaS expenditures, which can have an enormous negative impact on their technology budgets
  • Larger businesses appeared twice as likely to experience significant software/SaaS spend management issues compared to smaller enterprises — with 8% of those in companies over 5,000 employees estimating more than 30% of their annual spend on unused and mismanaged licensed software and SaaS subscriptions (vs. 3% of those in companies under 5,000 employees)

Question Two

More than half of companies have spent more than 10% of their cloud budget on underutilized, unmanaged, or unaccounted for cloud resources.

With most company workloads now being processed in the cloud, this question probed an organization’s experience with underutilized public and private cloud infrastructure. In fact, the survey found that 53% of companies wasted more than 10% of their annual cloud budget on underutilized, unmanaged, or unaccounted for cloud resources. And surprisingly, large organizations who often have the resources to employ cloud management tools, 22% reported spending more than 20% or more on wasted cloud resources.

A few findings from the report:

  • 53% of all respondents are spending more than 10% of their budget on underused, unmanaged, or unaccounted for cloud resources
  • 19% of organizations are wasting at least 20% of their cloud expenditures
  • The majority of small businesses (61% of those with 5,000 or less employees) reported spending over 10% of their cloud budget on underutilized or unaccounted for resources

Question Three

29% indicated mature process automation for SaaS and cloud infrastructure reclamation and optimization.

The third question focused on the automation of SaaS and cloud optimization. With the growth of remote workforces causing the migration to multi-cloud infrastructure and SaaS applications, many organizations have instituted automated processes to manage the cloud. The survey results showed that a majority of respondents (54%) rated their workflows to govern SaaS applications and cloud infrastructure as “satisfactory. This also indicates that there is significant room for improvement.

A few findings from the report:

  • Only 29% of respondents indicated mature process automation for SaaS and cloud infrastructure reclamation and optimization
  • The majority (64%) of respondents expressed that their organization experienced unplanned cloud and SaaS expenditures and issues with varying maturity of workflow automation
  • 71% of small businesses under 5,000 employees experienced frequent unplanned cloud and SaaS expenditures with varying degrees of process maturity

To summarize the key points of this survey, the majority of companies are wasting a significant portion of their total expenditures on cloud resources and SaaS applications. And while some organizations leverage automated processes to manage their cloud and SaaS lifecycle processes, there is a huge room for improvement.

To learn more about the survey and the complete list of findings, including analysis by company size and industry, please download the full report “SaaS and Cloud Spend Optimization & Automation.”

To learn how Oomnitza can help automate SaaS lifecycle processes to improve utilization, mitigate cyber risk and eliminate wasteful spend, please see

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