5 reasons to replace Excel to follow up your company’s subscriptions
As the need for new digital tools increases, the company’s cloud-based services quickly become impossible to manage – especially as the team grows.
New challenges require new digital tools, which often require you to sign up for a new business subscription. But once the challenge is completed, what will happen to the subscription? – Who was the user, what was the password and what was the tool even used for? About a third of companies digital services are not used because of the lack of a clear overview.
Excel does a good job in handling business subscriptions, but today’s business world is far too complex and challenging to rely solely on spreadsheets. In addition, a large majority of today’s decision-makers state that they are already drowning in Excel sheets. In this white paper, we go through 5 reasons why you should stop using Excel to manage your subscription-based services.
1. Get a better overview
Basically, all companies in all industries rely on digital subscription services to handle their daily tasks. It’s no longer just marketing and IT. Companies in HR, finance, and accounting are also increasingly moving from paper-based processes to cloud-based solutions to handle their tasks more efficiently. But the perceived efficiency often has a downside. When the subscription services are stacked on top of each other, there is a risk of losing control, and the excel-sheets weakness becomes apparent – the information becomes too complex and confusing for one Excel sheet to handle.
It’s easy to lose track of your business subscriptions – especially as your team grows and new services are acquired. Each new service involves an additional payment cycle to manage. And when each digital service has different owners in the company, it is basically impossible to get an overview of what is spent and who uses what. Gathering everything that affects company subscriptions in one place brings with it many benefits and gives you that wonderful feeling of being in total control. It facilitates internal processes and increases visibility, which also frees up time from employees.
With a clear overview of your digital services, you can:
- Find out how much of your budget is spent on subscriptions and other cloud services.
- Discover potential security risks and understand which digital services imply the greatest risks.
- Identify any overlap between services used within the company to see if there is a possibility of consolidation.
2. User management – who is using what?
Once you have identified all the digital services available in the organization and their costs, the next step is often to identify their users and renewal dates. By taking costs into account and user values, it enables a more informed decision about which applications should or should not be renewed. By gathering information, you can then get help to avoid unnecessary expenses and subscription renewals.
3. Manual work equals time and time equals money
If you use Excel to manage your cloud-based services, you probably already know how frustrating it can sometimes be. It is impossible to get a complete overview and maintain this as new digital subscriptions constantly are added, replaced or renewed within the organization. A manual work tool like Excel relies on frequent updates from your team. If their usage has changed, and if a service has been added or removed, it is up to them to report it. The chance that information falls between the cracks is therefore relatively high.
The value for money and the short starting distance often speaks in favour of the use of Excel. However, this does not reflect the actual cost, as it represents a huge amount of time only to maintain and operate such a dispersed process as the management of cloud-based services. Keeping relevant data up to date for budgeting and reporting manually is time-consuming. As decision making becomes increasingly collaborative and the workforce becomes more distributed and global, the process of keeping spreadsheets up to date, emailing them to colleagues, then manually feeding in updates and resubmitting them is far too time-consuming and inefficient.
The more complex tasks to be handled, the greater the probability of human error. Research indicates that more than 90% of spreadsheets contain errors, and half of the spreadsheet models used in large companies have “material defects”. The creator of the Excel sheet often has limited control over those who edit certain cells.
4. Duplicate Apps, Duplicate Costs
About a third of companies’ digital services are not used. One-third of one’s digital services involve a large amount of money for most companies. Google G Workspace subscriptions alone can be costly, as many are not distributed or left unused. For a company with 50 employees, this can mean unnecessary costs of 3090 EUR annually on their Google Workspace subscriptions alone. (based on stats from Cleanshelf, 62 EUR per person) Still, a third remains an evidence-based number to relate to. How can that be?
The answer to the question probably relies on how digital subscriptions are presented. No one would raise an eyebrow to the image of a subscription lined up in a field in an ancient Excel file. Other tools are required to perceive the total cost and get a clear picture of one’s digital services. Tools that first show which subscriptions are actually used and secondly present the statistics clearly and appealingly.
To keep track of your costs, you need to:
- Know where the money actually goes
- Make sure these costs are necessary
- Find ways to reduce costs
But this in turn requires answers to the following questions:
- How much do you currently spend on digital services?
- What services are purchased (annually and automatically renewed)?
- Who actually uses each application?
- Are there any redundant services or recurring costs?
Companies need a tool that constantly scans and examines the digital business environment. Companies need a tool that, with the help of easy-to-read dashboards and reports, reveals duplicate, underutilized and unauthorized applications. This transparency is the only way today’s companies can regain control of their digital services.
5. Say goodbye to excel sheets once and for all
Underutilized or unused digital services are not only a cost issue but are also something that affects security. As many as 71% of organizations today have subscriptions without an invoicing owner. This may mean that the person who originally purchased the service on behalf of the company has left the organization.
In addition to this, today’s compliance and control environment mean that locked cells and password-protected sheets are insufficient and directly weak. Spreadsheets can easily disappear or be compromised in other ways.
So what is the solution?
How can your organization make the best decisions about your digital services and usage when you are forced to make decisions based on incomplete or incorrect information? By switching to a subscription management system, you can take control while saving time and money.
We have built Substly to help you overcome these problems by providing a cost-effective way to regain control of your digital services and subscriptions. We give you the overview you always wanted, without you even knowing about it. So say goodbye to the Excel sheet once and for all and move on to modern management of digital services.