Total Guide to Technology Expense Management
Businesses are making more and more IT investments, particularly to better leverage digital solutions and transform their organization for the 21st century. If you are like other enterprise leaders, you have invested tremendous resources in developing technologies that make your organization more efficient and effective. You probably often find, however, that price increases or unexpected demand and usage growth can cause spending to quickly grow out of control.
A good TEM solution helps you to understand your usage, includes planned check-ins with your teams to determine whether technology is still needed, and helps you ensure you’re spending only on valuable technology that improves your business. As technology becomes unnecessary, subscriptions can be cancelled promptly to avoid needless spending.
An organization’s technology spend captures a lot of attention due to its overall impact on the budget, but current management strategies may be ineffective in their approach to the problem. Today’s enterprise business leaders continue to struggle to optimize costs and manage efficiencies. Sourcing, procurement, and vendor management leaders need TEM partners to provide cost-efficient solutions to support diverse technology needs across medium and large enterprises.
|Goodbye Frivolous Spending, Hello Efficiency and Ease|
The Evolution of TEM
|What Kinds of Businesses Could Benefit from TEM?|
|What Aspects of a Business Can Technology Expense Management Impact?|
|Technology Expense Management Return on Investment|
|Why Is TEM Necessary Today?|
Goodbye Frivolous Spending, Hello Efficiency and Ease
Technology costs keep rising, and enterprise leaders can rarely pinpoint where and why they are losing control of their budgets. IT departments are under constant pressure from management to drive down costs while transforming the business to remain competitive under unprecedented circumstances. As a result, enterprises like yours are looking to technology expense management solutions for support.
Technology expense management starts delivering value almost immediately, making it easy to manage the assets and services that support technology and communication in your business.
The Evolution of TEM
WHILE THE TRADITIONAL TELECOM EXPENSE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS COVERED FIXED AND MOBILE COMMUNICATION SERVICES, TEM PORTFOLIOS AND OFFERINGS HAVE EVOLVED OVER TIME, ADDING FEATURES SUCH AS LIFE CYCLE MANAGEMENT AND MANAGED MOBILE SERVICES (MMS) INTEGRATION, AND SERVICES SUCH AS IOT AND OTHER IT ASSET MODULES. SAAS LICENSE TRACKING AND OPTIMIZATION ARE ALSO BECOMING MORE COMMON IN ENTERPRISES AS SAAS AND IAAS GROWTH NECESSITATE GREATER CONTROL AND TRACKING.
AS TECHNOLOGY HAS EVOLVED, SO HAS THE TERMINOLOGY. THE SHIFT FROM “TELECOM EXPENSE MANAGEMENT” TO “TECHNOLOGY EXPENSE MANAGEMENT” AND NOW “IT EXPENSE MANAGEMENT” ARISES FROM THE NEED TO MANAGE NEW TECHNOLOGY AREAS. THESE NEW TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGIES, INCLUDING CLOUD AND SAAS, CREATE THE NEED FOR A MORE DIVERSE RANGE OF MANAGEMENT.
Telecom Expense Management
Telecom expense management defines principles for managing procurement, provision, payment, and cost allocation of telecommunications services. TEM service and software initially only included fixed-line telecom but have evolved to include wireless services and associated mobile device expenses. For many years, this software/service category has helped organizations optimize and gain visibility into financial allocation, usage trends, and costs.
Technology Expense Management
Technology expense management derives from traditional TEM vendors that have expanded beyond telecom. While it is also referred to as TEM, Technology expense management goes beyond telecommunications. TEM includes new IT spend and asset categories arising from digital solutions. Because modern computing environments require more robust skills and understanding of architecture and deployment models, technology expense management includes new IT assets such as devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud services, and other digital solutions.
IT Expense Management
IT expense management (ITEM) is an ongoing process for managing IT costs. While it is generally treated the same as technology expense management, it represents an extension of IT spending. ITEM aims to make the technology assets more visible, easier to manage, and more efficient to achieve cost savings.
TECHNOLOGY EXPENSE MANAGEMENT DOES FAR MORE THAN JUST HELP YOU SAVE MONEY. TEM SUPPORTS YOUR BUSINESS AND ALL OF ITS GROWING IT EQUIPMENT, MOBILE DEVICES, AND DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS, FROM TECHNOLOGY IMPLEMENTATION TO BILLING AND OVERSIGHT. IT HELPS YOU TO UNDERSTAND WHAT TECHNOLOGIES YOU NEED, HOW THEY ARE USED IN YOUR TEAMS, AND TO CONTROL EXPENSES LIKE NEVER BEFORE. TEM OFFERINGS CONTINUE TO EVOLVE TO INCORPORATE OTHER SERVICES AND IT-RELATED ASSET TRACKING AS THE RANGE OF ENTERPRISE TECHNOLOGY NEEDS GROWS.
TEM Includes the Following
- Negotiating and working with vendors to get the best value
- Creating a visible real-time inventory of assets under IT management
- Reviewing and ensuring compliance with contracts and agreements
- Gathering and analyzing bills and billing agreements
- Optimizing the technology environment to improve productivity while reducing spending across the enterprise and supporting every active user
What Kinds of Businesses could benefit from tEM?
IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY TO YOUR ORGANIZATION, IT IS LIKELY THAT A TEM PROFESSIONAL CAN HELP YOU IMPROVE YOUR BOTTOM LINE.
- Do you have a large technology, telecom, or IT spend?
- Does managing your expenses require significant manual work to manage employees, devices, and software subscriptions?
- Do you need an easier, perhaps automated way to track the activity of each technology asset in your IT fleet?
- Do you need help understanding the complexities of detailed expense management?
- Are you unsure how to manage all of this on your own?
Many organizations once managed their own technology, telecom, and IT expenses, but frequent changes to an increasingly complex environment have made it exceedingly difficult to control costs efficiently. This has led to the rise of outsourced TEM services. When implementing TEM, however, caution and good planning are necessary. Decide who will maintain and own the process. Oversight and buy-in are critical to the success of your TEM strategy, and centralized control will improve your expense processes.
What Aspects of a Business can Technology expense management impact?
EXPENDITURE MANAGEMENT IS A CRUCIAL AREA WHERE COMPANIES TREAD A FINE LINE BETWEEN EFFECTIVE SPENDING POLICIES AND COST-CUTTING. TECHNOLOGY COST MANAGEMENT CAN TYPICALLY BE OBTAINED UNDER A MODERN TEM SOLUTION.
Cloud Services Management
Technology expense management continues to grow, driven by the growth of cloud-based services as well as IoT services and devices. These trends revolve around the digitization of enterprises from the shop floor to the boardroom. Enterprises are using TEM solutions to optimize and manage the cost of these services.
The future of technology and IT is in the cloud. Cloud infrastructure is a critical necessity for the continued sustainability of expense management. Cloud resources provide real-time access to data and allow scalable deployment of content, data, and services. It’s a proven means to increase productivity and allows employees to spend less time managing their expenses. Cloud deployment, however, brings with it additional requirements beyond traditional processes such as contract and expense workflows and user support tickets.
Many cloud cost management tools provide some help in managing your cloud spending, but few provide the detailed data linking specific teams, cloud functions, and other factors necessary to manage best practices rationally. Cloud cost transparency enables you to turn your cloud spending into a competitive tool that can help you outpace your competitors.
In addition to cloud implementation, technology expense management can impact several other aspects of a business. The Enterprise Technology Management Association (ETMA) lists these critical areas of focus for technology expense management:
Technology Expense Management Return on Investment
THE PURPOSE OF TEM SOFTWARE IS TO GIVE YOUR TECHNOLOGY INVENTORY HIGH VISIBILITY IN ORDER TO REDUCE INEFFICIENCIES AND GENERATE SAVINGS. THE FIRST ISSUE THAT MANY ENTERPRISE LEADERS ENCOUNTER WHEN TRYING TO CONTROL TECHNOLOGY COSTS IS A LACK OF UNIFORM METHODS TO DO SO AT ANY GIVEN LEVEL OF THE ORGANIZATION ACROSS ALL DEPARTMENTS. OFTEN, DECISION MAKING IS VERY HETEROGENEOUS, EACH DEPARTMENT USING MULTIPLE METHODS TO TACKLE ITS VARIOUS ISSUES.
heMany large corporations are focusing on cost optimization, business process transformation, and growing resources in digitalization. Often, leaders are looking to see ROI on net new contracts within two to three years of TEM deployments. Driving efficiency, eliminating risk, making work frictionless, and delivering real dollars back to your organization is an obvious goal for your expense management solution. However, many benefits cannot be measured so easily.
More than Fixing Billing Errors
Technology often represents a significant portion of an enterprise business’ expenses, and many overpay because they do not know there is an opportunity for savings just waiting to be harnessed. One aspect of ROI that can be difficult to measure is more efficient use of employee time. A good TEM program can free up employee time by allowing staff to shift from time-consuming and repetitive tasks to higher value jobs and strategic initiatives. This reallocation of resources to higher value functions promotes greater workforce efficiency and accomplishment over time.
These Are Some of the Key Benefits of Effective Technology Expense Management
The Research on TEM Advantages
Gartner recently released a piece of research that addressed How to Improve Employee Expense Management. The analysis discusses a few findings:
- A TEM software solution alone is insufficient to deliver a complete view into company deficiencies.
- TEM can enable leaders to realize savings by identifying errors, fraud, and process bottlenecks.
- Selecting the best providers and services for a company’s unique needs alleviates friction and enhances insight.
- Advances is technology enhance user experience and functionality.
Why Is TEM Necessary Today?
TECHNOLOGY EXPENSE MANAGEMENT IS NECESSARY TO CONTROL AND CREATE VISIBILITY INTO YOUR ENTERPRISE TECH USAGE AND SPEND. IN OUR EXPERIENCE, A SOPHISTICATED TECHNOLOGY EXPENSE MANAGEMENT PLAN HELPS ORGANIZATIONS OPERATE MORE EFFICIENTLY WHILE REMAINING COMPLIANT. TEM BRINGS TOGETHER ALL OF YOUR TELECOMMUNICATION DEVICES, EXPENSES, AND TECHNOLOGIES TO BREAK DOWN YOUR SILOS AND IMPLEMENT ONE COLLABORATIVE TOOL UTILIZING STANDARDIZED BEST PRACTICES TO MANAGE TELECOM COSTS AND PROCEDURES.
This type of all-in-one solution has the ability to get a clear picture of your company’s technology costs and their impact on your business. Companies of all sizes continuously rely on the help of technology management software to develop and maintain a business technology strategy. Needs change quickly, and the solutions that businesses need include almost every element of technology and business governance.
If your company is able to control incorrect or fraudulent billing, is able to negotiate and optimize telecommunications plans and has introduced a system that gives it access to the benefits of not investing in cost management for IT services, you will see enormous benefits. Obviously, some organizations have already made this investment invested in cost management software to achieve significant cost reductions in IT management.
Do you have 100% understanding and control of your TEM processes? Can you see how all of your technology devices are being used at any given moment?
Technology Expense Management can help with:
- Streamlining the audit, asset management, order fulfillment, and payment operations process
- Understanding procurement workflows and improving inefficiencies across the enterprise
- The rise of digital transformation and automation
- Continuation of moving to the cloud SaaS, private, or hybrid
- The evolution of Point and Click, easy to use tools
- The added complexity in billing and subscription pricing models
Increasing Economic Pressure
Organizations often realize the need for a complete TEM strategy when reviewing their IT budget’s annual expenses. Globally, companies spend more than 1.4 trillion dollars annually on communication services alone, utilizing, on average, nearly 40% of the IT budget. Now more than ever, businesses must respond to intense competitive pressure. Many are struggling to keep their doors open, which is a challenge that becomes greater every day. Taking a close look at your business’ technology expenses can greatly improve your market position, efficiency, margins, and long-term viability.
The Rise of Work from Anywhere
Work is no longer a place; it’s an interconnected network of people, customers, and content. The office is becoming increasingly virtual. As remote work becomes the new normal, shared resources may no longer be accessible. Expenses relating to cloud technology, data, and information services are large and growing for many organizations, even those where staff is still reporting to a physical location. Especially if you are packing boxes and sending your team home to work virtually, you need experts to help you manage your technology expenses.
Finding the Right TEM Partner
Each company’s technology expense management demands are unique. You need a partner that not only has technological expertise and experience but also an understanding of your organization and a team that fits your culture.
Experience is a key element of being able to deliver the best TEM value. LinkSource has been in business for more than 21 years, serving clients across the United States as trusted technology advisors in telecom, cloud, technology, and bid management. Our strategic and advisory services help organizations to achieve their business goals, including aligning disparate departments and corporate strategies, redesigning technology, and transforming infrastructure.
Download the “Total Guide to Technology Expense Management”
Outsourced telecom expense management offers worry-free optimization of your company’s technology environment. Use this guide to understand how TEM can impact your business and its bottom line.