Snow Software's Becky Trevino on Cutting IT Costs During Digital Transformation Journey

Snow Software's Becky Trevino on Cutting IT Costs During Digital Transformation Journey

Interview by Anja PaspaljAnja Paspalj
Published: June 20, 2023

Who Is Becky Trevino

Becky Trevino is the Executive Vice President of Products at Snow, responsible for bringing together the Product Management and UX functions with Product Marketing and Operations. Prior to Snow, she led a variety of functions at cloud computing leader Rackspace. An engineer by training, Trevino started her career in Engineering Operations at Dell.

Digital transformation has become essential for any company looking to take their business to the next level, but the journey to innovation can often lead to organizations spending more than they make.  

With companies increasingly looking to reduce IT costs while achieving growth through digital transformation, a successful balance is difficult to achieve.  

Snow Software coined the term “technology intelligence” as a solution to this problem, with the goal of helping organizations change the way they think and approach their technology investments.  

In an exclusive interview with Spotlight, Snow Software’s executive VP of products Becky Trevino let us in on why SaaS management platforms are a crucial investment on this journey, how digital transformation can lead to sustainability, and what industry will receive the most IT spending in the years to come. 

Spotlight: Your research indicates that in 2023, organizations are prioritizing reducing IT costs and delivering digital transformation. How can technology intelligence help companies achieve both objectivesimultaneously? 

Becky Trevino: The state of the economy has been the number one driver in determining IT priorities. The reduction of costs has become a key board priority, and delivering on digital transformation to support growth has also become imperative.  

Both of those endeavors align with what we saw Mark Zuckerberg term 2023: “the year of efficiency”. Reducing IT costs, delivering digital transformation, and minimizing security risks were the top concerns for IT professionals and leadership in 2023 according to Snow’s IT Priority Report

Delivering digital transformation and reducing IT costs can be conflicting actions as digital transformation and innovation often require investment and resources.   

Technology intelligence provides organizations with complete visibility and actional insights on a broad web of their technology, giving organizational leaders the levers to anticipate and react quickly to evolving market trends and business requirements. Technology intelligence helps you by: 

  • Identifying what you don’t know. You can’t manage and control what you can’t see. If controlling cost and security risks are the top priorities of the year, IT leaders must prioritize visibility 
  • Making data actionable. We are overloaded with siloed data. Technology intelligence brings siloed data together to make better decisions while giving it meaning 

Even during times of financial instability, why is it crucial for companies to invest in a SaaS management platform? 

With the state of the economy, efficiency and cost optimization is a top board priority. IT leaders cannot afford to not know what they’re spending money on, and for many, a large percentage of their budgets is going towards SaaS applications.  

Gartner's recent report shows SaaS spending continues to grow into 2024, with an increase from $167 billion spent on SaaS applications in 2022 to a projected $232 billion for 2024. 

With the proliferation of end-user procurement of SaaS applications, some departments or independent users are procuring their own applications without sign-off or approval, often putting intellectual property at risk.  

A SaaS management platform (SMP) is a wise investment during these tenuous times and can continue to deliver cost savings well into the future.  

An SMP will:

  • Help you gain visibility into what applications you have
  • Give you specific usage data on the applications running
  • Enable you to optimize your costs and rationalize your SaaS portfolio by showing you what is being used or wasted

By implementing an SMP now, even during budget cuts, organizations can realize quick savings as well as continue receiving a return on their investment well into the future.   

Snow Software has been around since 1997. What are some of the ways that companies today overspend on technology compared to when Snow Software was founded?  

Snow Software was born out of the need to implement software patches ahead of Y2K and grew into a company focused on software asset management (SAM).  

At the time, SAM focused on license compliance, and this was an area where Snow could help organizations save money while becoming compliant in their software usage. In the 90s, companies were potentially overspending on the number of licenses needed while incurring large upfront costs. 

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Today, how technology is procured and managed is very different. In the 90s, technology was procured and managed solely by IT. Today, because of the proliferation of SaaS, any employee with a credit card can procure a SaaS application and put it to use within their organization without approval.

Organizations can still overspend on their software licenses (just like the 90s), but today, organizations must also contend with unexpected cloud costs and decentralized IT procurement, which equates to overspending on security incidents, SaaS, and cloud.  

Congratulations on the launch of Snow SaaS Management! Can you explain how the new-and-improved solution offers more visibility into companies' SaaS usage?  

The new version of Snow SaaS Management takes our existing solution and has applied it to Snow Atlas, our cloud-native platform which brings together Snow solutions into one accessible platform.   

IT teams can see every SaaS application in use across their organization’s entire tech stack, whether IT owns the application or not, through a combination of API connectors, agent, SSO, and browser extensions. This setup further eliminates silos between users, departments, and technologies, as many SaaS applications are managed independently of IT. 

Optimization is a key component of our SaaS Management capabilities, with usage data available for more than 23,000 SaaS applications. Snow SaaS Management is now available as a standalone product, allowing any Snow Atlas customer to procure it directly, and adoption of the capabilities is easier than ever, with value seen within hours of onboarding. 

Sasol, a leading petrochemical business, achieved significant cost savings of $34 million while promoting environmentally aware growth with the help of Snow Software. How can technology intelligence aid other companies in developing sustainable practices?  

Sasol is a great example of how IT asset management can have huge benefits for businesses as a whole. By centralizing the management, procurement, and maintenance of all software assets with their Snow solution, Sasol was able to gain visibility into all their software and understand utilization rates, which has enabled them to right-size their software usage and validate licenses with a number of vendors, achieving significant savings and a huge ROI on their Snow investment.  

The sustainability improvements were a secondary outcome, after working to streamline processes and reduce operational complexity, in turn reducing waste and carbon emissions. 

IT is an unexplored area for a lot of organizations when looking to improve their sustainability efforts, including reducing carbon footprints and making investments into greener infrastructure. The simple act of extending hardware use for one year can significantly reduce your organization’s carbon footprint. For a large company like Sasol, the size of their IT estate (with 23,000 devices managed under Snow) was a perfect example of sustainability through efficiency. 

Being able to track and monitor hardware lifecycles is a great place to start for many organizations in understanding their carbon footprints and working towards more informed choices. 

Looking ahead, which areas of business do you anticipate will receive the most IT spending focus in the years to come?  

Nothing drives people like fear. The explosive use of generative AI, with the release of ChatGPT, has driven an intense fear of missing out, which will drive a surge of investment into AI for the foreseeable future. 

Tech has always been dominated by huge transformations, from Mac vs PC to the rise of the internet to the emergence of the cloud. This is particularly relevant as we see organizations still feeling the effects of slow or nonexistent cloud adoption, who have been left behind with serious repercussions. The lessons learned from the cloud has made the rush to adopt AI even more important. 

The cloud has really democratized technology away from IT and system administrators’ gatekeeping access to software. Now anyone with a credit card can sign up for and use any software. With AI we see a further continuation of this trend, where the ability to use AI prompts is democratizing the creation of code or content, efforts which normally would have taken weeks previously. 

Much like the PC or cloud, this new technology will help people become more productive in their business. 

A common sentiment right now is that AI will not necessarily replace you, but you will be replaced by a human who uses AI. This also applies to organizations – AI won’t replace an entire organization, but it’s entirely possible for a startup or other organizations utilizing artificial intelligence to replace organizations who have not adopted this new technology, with higher efficiency and innovation. 

Keep up with Snow Software on LinkedIn and read more interviews with industry leaders here!

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