Billions of Dollars in Unused Software Points to SaaS ‘Engagement’ Problem

A new report on enterprise software usage by Emarsys reveals that 28% of all software on work PCs is essentially unused. The analysis was based on a study of 74 enterprises in 13 industries in the US and UK. None of the companies in the study were SMBs.

The report concludes, “Over a quarter (28%) of all software deployed across those 1.8 million desktops is unused (not used in 90 days) and 6% is rarely used (not used for the past 30 days).” Emarsys estimates the cost of all this unused software is roughly $6.6 billion in the US.

What struck me about this study is that it’s very analogous to a major problem in the SMB SaaS market: lack of engagement with the product. Many SMBs sign up for SaaS tools and don’t use them or never integrate them into daily operations. Non-retention rates are north of 50% in many cases.

This is part of why CAC is so high — companies need to keep acquiring new customers. It’s very similar to what’s happened in SMB marketing and advertising.

  • Why do SMBs fail to engage with software tools they’ve purchased?
  • What’s the right way to onboard and support them?
  • Is there a better way to qualify SMB prospects to ensure usage and retention?

These are questions that we’ll explore in-depth at the Engage conference, June 3 – 4 in Washington, D.C. We’re bringing small business owners and SaaS and marketing professionals together for a two-way conversation about the critical questions everyone is grappling with.

One Response to “Billions of Dollars in Unused Software Points to SaaS ‘Engagement’ Problem”

  1. Neal Polachek says:

    This situation has long been an issue at enterprise- but at the SMB level – the ongoing cost implications are probably more acute and runs the risk of affecting all SaaS for SMB providers

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