SalesTech Star

SalesTechStar Interview with Eric Christopher, CEO at Zylo

What holds for the future of SaaS? Eric Christopher, CEO at Zylo shares a few thoughts during this catch-up with SalesTechStar:


Welcome to this SalesTechStar chat Eric, tell us about the Zylo journey so far and your latest product innovations this year? 

We started Zylo when SaaS was just beginning its rise. We knew that managing an organization’s SaaS applications would be a challenge, but we never expected the challenge to accelerate the way it has in the past two years, in the wake of the pandemic.

Organizations have adopted new SaaS applications at a faster rate than ever to mitigate the challenges of remote and hybrid workforces. Given this, it’s no surprise that Gartner predicts global SaaS spending to increase 16% to $140 billion by the end of this year. SaaS has become an integral part of our working lives.

In fact, we recently found that the average organization has 323 SaaS applications in its portfolio and spends nearly $65M on SaaS each year.

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And since we founded Zylo five years ago, we’ve been laser focused on helping organizations organize, optimize and orchestrate their SaaS to get the most value from their investments. And looking at the past few years, we’ve introduced some unique innovations to help organizations accomplish this. For instance, we released our App Catalog, which creates an employee-facing catalog of available SaaS tools; Zylo Insights, which automatically surfaces the highest priority optimization opportunities; and Zylo Benchmarks.

Zylo Benchmarks is our latest innovation that provides SaaS benchmarking metrics to help guide your SaaS strategy, help you save money and improve efficiency. It shows how your SaaS tools, spend and portfolio size compare to similar organizations and gives you the insight needed to ensure you have the best tools at the best price. We’ve baked our expertise managing 20,000 SaaS applications and more than $21B in SaaS spend directly into the platform – and the value it’s bringing to our customers is incredible.

What should technology buyers be doing to ensure they have the best-suited tech stack to empower teams (base practices that matter)? 

To ensure technology buyers have the best-suited tech stack, they need to practice implementing high impact SaaS Management. We know buying is happening all across the organization. Some is being driven by IT and procurement teams, and in many organizations, business units and even employees themselves hold the power to go out and buy the tools they need. The missing component in most of these conversations though is understanding what your peer group is doing. Yes you can ask analysts, you can even look at sites like G2 or Capterra, but that doesn’t tell you what people are actually buying and using. This where Zylo’s Popular Application Benchmarks can be especially valuable – surfacing up the most popular applications for organizations like yours. Price Benchmarks can then help you ensure you’re getting a good deal on that technology.

Tools such as Popular Application and Price Benchmarks give you on-demand data to support your SaaS strategy, renewals, and decision-making. Rather than just offering high-level metrics, these tools drill down and compare your application sprawl, stack, and spend with companies similar to yours. By utilizing these tools, application owners and buyers can be sure they’re picking the best solution for their problems, down to the functionality level.

When it comes to shifts in technology trends and demands for certain features today, what are some of the top aspects that users/businesses need more of in today’s environment? 

In a world where there are a million different SaaS options, users and businesses need simplicity. Organizations need to organize, optimize and orchestrate their SaaS – not only for cost savings, but for security and ultimately for a better employee experience. There is a lot of confusion and complexity surrounding SaaS, but Zylo is striving to make it easier to make sense of the tools you have, procure what you need and provide employees with a great SaaS experience to get their jobs done.

As B2B trends evolve and technology changes how teams function, in what ways will the market start to shape up a few years from now? 

We’ve watched the SaaS market grow exponentially over the last decade and fully expect it to outpace traditional, on-premise enterprise software in the coming years. In fact, by 2026, Gartner predicts public cloud spending will exceed 45% of all enterprise IT spending, up from less than 17% in 2021.

Zylo is predicting:

  • You’ll continue to see more SaaS in your organization – linking vertical and microSaaS, AKA SaaS developed for specific areas of the business, such as MarTech, SalesTech, and FinTech. In 2022, we’ll see SaaS tools becoming even more granular, serving specific industries like retail, restaurants, and more. Because of this, we’ll see more specialized tools finding their way into organizations since they will have small price points to fulfill for very specific functions.
  • SaaS is going to get increasingly complex – combining a shift to consumption-based SaaS and unbundling it. Prices won’t necessarily rise, but the trend of making your SaaS more substantial will. Managing these more substantial and complex subscriptions will prove a different motion than a monthly/predictable subscription fee. One thing to keep in mind is that unbundling will offer up more options, however it will make navigating the world of SaaS more complex.

Overall, SaaS will continue to grow and expand to even more industries. From major SaaS tools deployed organization-wide to MicroSaaS tools that serve niche needs — organizations need to make sure to keep up with the latest software trends for 2022 and beyond.

Some last thoughts, takeaways, best practices for B2B before we wrap up!

There will never be less SaaS in your organization than there is today. Gartner is predicting that by the end of 2025, the top 20 software vendors will phase out on-premise licensing completely in favor of SaaS models, increasing prices by 35%. SaaS is here to stay and now is time to get in front of it. The sooner you begin to get your arms around your SaaS portfolio, the sooner you can save money, shore up security and deliver a better experience for your employees.

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Zylo was founded on the vision that SaaS applications bring both new challenges and opportunities. Since day one, our mission remains the same – to empower customers to unlock the full value of their SaaS investments by controlling spend, managing risk, and improving the employee experience. Today Zylo is leading the charge in SaaS Management and Optimization.

Eric Christopher is the Co-Founder and CEO of Zylo

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