How many software subscriptions did you pay for last month? If you’re trying to tally them up without wincing, you’re not alone.
44% of SaaS licenses are wasted or underutilized.
Like many professional services firms, yours might be swamped with a plethora of software tools, each promising to be the silver bullet for client work management. Yet, many end up as neglected icons on a desktop. They eat into your budget without delivering value.
Isn’t it time you addressed the software sprawl problem and regained control over your tech stack? Let’s look at how you might approach consolidation and streamline your operations.
Before diving into how, it’s always useful to know why you’re making a particular move. Why has your business ended up with so many tools in the first place?
The answer often lies in the evolving needs of a service firm. As you grow, it’s natural to seek solutions for each brand-new challenge. It’s tough to fight the allure of the next best thing as the tech industry continuously releases new software that promises to revolutionize the way you do business. Unconsciously, you’re creating a mosaic of tools that may not work cohesively.
Moreover, if you have siloed teams, different departments could select software tools that work just for their unique needs without considering the full organizational context. These isolated choices can lead to redundancies, with multiple tools serving similar purposes. A lack of centralized decision-making can exacerbate clutter and complicate your workflows.
There’s no shame in realizing you might be in that position of tech tool overload. Use that awareness to drive action.
Start by conducting a thorough inventory of the tools you currently use. Catalog everything, from client communication software and project management platforms to invoicing systems and data analytics dashboards. Understand the primary function of each tool, its cost and frequency of use.
Example: The director of ABC Marketing Agency puts together a tech review committee with representatives from design, content, sales and client relations. Each person is tasked with building a master list of all of the software their respective departments use and detailing frequency of use, purpose, monthly or annual cost, user count and last usage date.
With your inventory in hand, it’s time to find out where there’s overlap. If you’re using one platform for quoting and another for sales lead tracking, there might be a unified communication tool out there that combines both features.
Example: ABC’s committee works together to filter the master list of tools by purpose, flagging any repeats. By cross-referencing with cost and usage, they create recommendations for which ones to keep and which to get rid of.
A fragmented toolkit doesn’t just eat into your budget; it also impacts productivity. Jumping between different platforms can interrupt work and stifle collaboration. As you consider which tools to retain, prioritize those that offer a suite of native integrations and, possibly, advanced integration opportunities via open API. Tools that speak to each other reduce manual entry and the chance of errors.
Example: In another round of review, the committee compiles all of the integrations for each platform that’s been deemed as a potential keeper. With this analysis and the expertise of each represented team, leadership is prepared to have strategic discussions about the benefits and risks of consolidation.
While niche tools address specific challenges, it’s worth adopting a platform that caters to the broader needs of businesses like yours: software that connects the stages of the client journey.
The Vital Nature of Change Management
Building a culture that’s receptive to change and innovation is key for achieving and maintaining a consolidated tech stack. Use these three tips to help:
Consolidating client work tools is not just about reducing your software expenses. It’s about creating a lean, agile and responsive environment so your team can deliver their best work. Use the above structured approach and our helpful buyer’s guide to evaluate, integrate and replace the components of your tech stack.
And the next time you’re about to click “subscribe” on a shiny new software tool’s website, pause and consider whether it’ll simply be adding to the clutter. Your bottom line, your clients and your team will thank you for it.