SaaS overlaps: identifying and resolving them

Contract management
June 13, 2023
SaaS overlaps: identifying and resolving them

How can you identify and resolve Saas overlap?

Are your employees using different SaaS for the same tasks? Are you unable to centralize data due to scattered tools

To solve this IT and organizational headache, you need to identify and resolve overlapping SaaS tools without delay.

These SaaS overlaps lead to IT incompatibilities, a lack of centralization, and traceability difficulties for your data, and, of course, unnecessary expense. These weaknesses can also harm your employer image and your company's competitiveness.

To solve these problems, we propose a strategy in a few simple steps: analyze your employees' SaaS usage, identify unnecessary SaaS tools and renegotiate your SaaS contracts. 

In this way, your company will gain in competitiveness and be able to deploy its full potential.

Overlapping SaaS: a negative impact on your business

The overlap between the SaaS you use can affect your employees' activity and your company's overall productivity in a number of ways. 

Incompatibilities linked to SaaS overlap

If your employees are using two SaaS to perform similar tasks, they have to manually manage the use of this duplicate SaaS, wasting valuable time in the process. 

This problem can have two causes: 

  • Duplicate SaaS Tools

The company's various tools can be used to carry out similar tasks, resulting in duplicate SaaS

Example: an employee uses Outlook and Teams, and notes appointments on both tools. In addition to wasting time performing the same task twice, an oversight could cause him to miss an appointment.

  • Shadow IT

Employees use shadow IT not listed by the company, and carry out tasks on external systems. 

Example: an employee is not comfortable using in-house software (unsuitable tool, lack of training, poor user experience, etc.) and prefers to use an independent word processor. When sending a report to colleagues, the layout of the document is disorganized by conversion from one format to another. 

Whether caused by the company or by employee practices, these incompatibilities result in lost productivity. They also represent a risk of database fragmentation. 

Lack of centralization and standardization

The lack of centralization caused by overlapping SaaS systems leads to counter-productive back-and-forth. When similar tools are made available by the company, software competition is created, and data is not centralized. 

What's more, in the event of SaaS incompatibility, this data can only be centralized manually. To a certain degree, overlapping SaaS can lead to the fragmentation, or even irreversible loss, of certain sensitive data. 

This lack of centralization can also lead to oversights, errors and organizational difficulties

If, for example, an employee uses more than one project management SaaS, the scattering of information can lead to oversights and delays in mission deadlines.

The lack of standardization linked to SaaS overlap leads to a multiplication of formats and practices. Communication and understanding between employees and sectors can be threatened by this lack of common standards.  It can also complicate the integration of new employees. It weakens the employer's image and complicates onboarding procedures.

Traceability difficulties 

When employees use external shadow IT, the traceability of data and actions is not guaranteed. However, traceability is essential to facilitate error resolution, and to guarantee security and confidentiality in sensitive sectors (patient records in the healthcare sector, for example).

The use of external SaaS for accounting or calculation management, for example, can make it impossible to trace the history of operations. In the event of an error, it may be difficult to determine which budget line has been incorrectly entered or calculated.

Overlapping SaaS conversations can lead to misunderstandings, or even a loss of precision in instructions. Information travels from one company department to another, through different messaging SaaSs. 

In the event of an error, it's vital that SaaS usage is centralized. Consistent SaaS usage means that problems can be identified and resolved much more quickly and productively. 

Solving the problem of overlapping SaaS tools

As we've seen, overlapping SaaS tools lead to issues of centralization, standardization, confidentiality, loss of productivity and traceability. 

However, you can choose to protect your business from these time-consuming issues and avoidable expenses. 

Here's a five-step SaaS overlap resolution strategy to help you avoid duplication.

Conduct a general audit of SaaS tools in use

The first step is to conduct a general and detailed audit of SaaS usage in your company. This report firstly helps you to understand and identify the needs and tasks fulfilled by your SaaS. 

A mapping of the tools used will help you to understand the overall use of SaaS by your company, and will serve as a basis for proposing optimizations. 

Analyze data and identify SaaS duplicates

Mapping SaaS and understanding how employees use them will enable you to identify overlapping SaaS

SaaS mapping takes into account the company's SaaS tools on the one hand, and employees' shadow IT practices on the other. 

Observing these two levels is essential for resolving SaaS overlaps in their entirety and eliminating duplication.

Identifying competing uses for SaaS tools 

Particular attention will be paid to SaaS covering identical needs. It is these competing uses of SaaS for specific missions that generate the overlap of SaaS at risk. 

A detailed analysis of employee usage can also help identify occasional overlaps, particularly in the case of multi-use SaaS. 

These SaaS duplications, although small in scale, cause significant losses of time and productivity when put end-to-end.

Evaluate costs and renegotiate contracts

One of the difficulties in assessing the costs and losses associated with overlapping SaaS is the dispersal of the negative effects. At the time, the employee only loses a few dozen seconds. However, these losses must be related to the number of hours worked and the number of employees. 

Eradicating SaaS overlaps therefore becomes a systemic challenge. Not only does it deliver productivity gains on a massive scale, it also generates significant cost savings.

To get a detailed overview of your SaaS spend, and estimate your potential room for improvement, Welii invites you to use our SaaS Spend Calculator

We'll calculate the potential savings for you. We can show you our SaaS management solutions, and especially our strategies for resolving SaaS overlaps. 

Once your costs have been properly assessed, you can renegotiate your SaaS contracts so that the packages paid for by your supplier meet your needs without surplus or duplication.

Welii can support you in this renegotiation process so that you can obtain competitive rates.

Informing your employees of changes in SaaS usage

Once the diagnosis has been made, SaaS overlap needs to be the subject of a global and coherent strategy. This strategy for eliminating overlap can be based on three levers:

  • Removal of unnecessary tools: tools whose tasks can be carried out entirely by other software should be removed to avoid confusion.
  • Renegotiating contracts: tools that are only partially used should be renegotiated in favor of a package that includes only the functionalities used. 
  • Communicating changes to employees: you'll probably need to implement new tools or update those already in use. It is therefore essential to train employees in the SaaS used, to standardize practices and increase overall company productivity.

SaaS overlap is a major productivity issue. Resolving SaaS overlap immediately boosts your company's competitiveness and performance.

The strategy adopted must be coherent, and implemented at two levels. At a company level, to standardize practices and guarantee data centralization. And at an employee level, to curb divergent uses and the dispersal of IT resources. 

This strategy is underpinned by a global audit that addresses the SaaS overlaps caused by the company and its employees. With the evidence to back it up, you'll be able to renegotiate your contracts with your suppliers under the best possible conditions. 

And employee training ensures that SaaS tools are used consistently and thoughtfully

Get support for your SaaS management strategy: in line with your objectives, Welii guarantees optimal use of SaaS, and provides operational solutions to overlap issues.


Get answers to your burning questions
Explore our FAQ!

Is it too early to work with Welii since I don't utilize many SaaS solutions?


Shadow IT is present for a company of any size and we always identify 3x more tools than our customers thought. If you spend less than $400k annually on SaaS tools, we'll identify fewer saving opportunities than a client who spends millions, but we'll help you quickly implement a data-driven buying strategy to prevent this wasteful situation from occurring and keep you focused on your business.

Is my data secure when using Welii?


The security of your data is our primary concern. Which is why we have taken appropriate measures to protect your business.

Can I add people from different teams on the same platform?


You are free to add any budget owners or anyone involved in SaaS purchasing to streamline your procurement buying process at no additional cost to our platform.

Can I manage people onboarding and offboarding?


Managing users and identities is a separate business that we don’t do. However, to bring you value and help you with this process, we have partnered with industry leaders like Okta and Auth0 so that we can help you in your Zero Trust Identity process.

Can I use filters to analyse my SaaS inventory?


We have developed a simple and intuitive solution allowing you to analyze all your SaaS inventory data through dashboard and dynamic list views based on search criteria and filters.

I use Spendesk to pay my SaaS tools. What more will you bring us?


Spendesk is an enterprise expense management solution that allows all employees to pay for SaaS tools. Welii will provide you with insight and support to help you optimize your spending, add leverage to your negotiations, and remove the headaches associated with SaaS purchasing.