SaaS Management

Research on 2022 SaaS Spending, Shadow IT, and SaaS Security Risk

December 16, 2022

G2 recently released its annual Software Buyer Behavior Report that includes some important key takeaways around 2022 SaaS spending, and the impact of shadow IT on SaaS security.

We surveyed 1,002 B2B decision makers across the range of levels from individual contributors to C-level executives. Our research included a diverse set of SaaS buyers in all industries and organization sizes across the globe.

Against this background, let’s dig into what the research, along with G2 Track internal data, tells us about 2022 SaaS spending, Shadow IT and the SaaS security risk that rides along. We’ll close on how our data points to why every organization should consider SaaS spend management software.

Surprise! SaaS Spending isn’t slowing down

It’s been a bumpy economic ride in recent months, but there’s one thing that isn’t bumpy: SaaS spending. It seems to be steady and in some cases increasing.
Bucking the conventional wisdom we’d expected during leaner times, SaaS budgets aren’t being cut for next year. In fact, 51% of organizations expect spending to increase over current levels in 2023.

Of course, 2022 did see some budget adjustments from what was expected. At the beginning of the year, 55% expected to increase what they spend on the SaaS apps that power their organizations. Meanwhile, 37% expected investments to remain the same.


As 2022 unfolded, research showed a change in SaaS spending

Instead of 55% of organizations expecting to increase spending, 46% of organizations actually did this far into 2022.  

That makes a difference of 9% between what was expected and what occurred.  What happened to that group? Of that 9% difference, 6% kept SaaS spending the same in 2022.

According to G2 Track Data, 2022 SaaS Spend is up 15%

Turning to a different data source for 2022 SaaS Spend, let’s look at data from SaaS management platform, G2 Track.


Since our discovery engine is about as comprehensive as it gets, we are able to track trends in SaaS spend. G2 Track is powered by the world’s largest SaaS product taxonomy at, so no SaaS app can ever hide from us. Late last year, predicted that SaaS spend would continue to increase, and our data here at G2 Track backs that up.

By looking at this data source, year over year – from Q1 2022 over Q1 2021, there’s a 15% increase.

This key finding also supports the Software Buyer Behaviors Report conclusions – 2022 SaaS spending is stable and growing, and this trend is expected to continue into 2023.

More SaaS- with Shadow IT - Brings More Security Risk

With a growing SaaS environment, comes a security risk that grows as each new app or new user is added. And most organizations instinctively know that the security a SaaS app provides is crucial.

After all, our research shows that 88% of software buyers say that it’s either important or very important.

Some of that risk is due to Shadow IT and the G2 research shows it. An alarming 56% of respondents admit to using software tools that have neither been approved or vetted for security by their IT or infosec team.

This is known as Shadow IT.

Shadow IT Means Unknown Security Risk

On one hand, it’s great that SaaS gives users a hand in their own productivity and improves the employee experience. But on the other hand, it introduces unknown SaaS security risk.

According to the research, Shadow IT’s security perils are especially acute for larger organizations. Nearly 56% of enterprise-sized organizations report using software that wasn’t properly vetted by IT or security. In the mid-market, 58% confess to using unapproved SaaS apps.

G2 Buyer Behvior Report Stat Shadow IT

This trend appears more often in North American markets, at 62% and slightly less in the EMEA (54%) and APAC (48%) markets.

The reason for this lies, partly at least, in the purchasing process.

Flexible Procurement Encourages the Shadow IT that Grows Security Risk

At 56%,North American organizations prefer to purchase software with a credit card. Meanwhile, in APAC and EMEA- 40% and 41% respectively – they tend to buy using a credit card less often than their North American counterparts.

Regardless, you can’t blame the expansion of Shadow IT and its byproduct - increased security risk -- on the corporate credit card alone.  

The growth of remote work makes it all too easy to use unapproved and unsecure software. While the company, of course, is on the hook to pay the bill.

These trends work together to foster Shadow IT that only brings security risk.

SaaS Spend Management Solutions are Gaining Ground

SaaS Spend Management is still a relatively new software category. It’s been around for a few years now, and SaaS spend management solutions come in many flavors. While these tools vary in features and functionality, most tools have some common capabilities.

But first, what is this category?

According to, they define SaaS spend management solutions as “tools used to manage and control software as a service (SaaS) costs.”

All with a goal of being able to Identify unnecessary spending on SaaS apps with low utilization, multiple accounts of the same tool, or tools with similar use cases.

Back to the G2 Software Buyer Behavior Report, it reveals that only 13% of buyers say they use software to track their SaaS adoption.

The truth is, though, by not using SaaS spend management tools, organizations are losing out on their many benefits. 

In the coming year, as SaaS continues to expand into every organization's operations, it’ll become increasingly apparent that a SaaS spend management platform is an operational necessity.

Manage your software costs with G2 Track.