Not long ago, strategizing and budgeting around technology expenses was not as important as it is today. Because costs were much more linear and less complex, it was easier to manage. Now, increased complexity and adoption of new tools means technology expense management (TEM) is more crucial than ever before. Any organization that has invested in resources to support employees and customers needs a TEM solution.
These days, there are very few companies that don’t spend a significant amount of capital on their technology. As the saying goes, every company is a technology company. Yet, it can be an uphill battle to make a business case for an outside solution to manage technology expenses. Reluctance to outsource, lack of awareness about the solution, and return on investment (ROI) concerns can dampen enthusiasm.
Technology, finance, and information technology leaders often ask three questions before investing in a TEM solution like Tangoe’s. In this blog, we explore how knowing the answers to these questions can help you make an open and shut case for a technology expense management solution.
How does a technology expense management solution help me lower my IT expenses?
Above all, a technology expense management solution provides three key benefits: it saves money, saves time, and accurately tracks inventory. CTOs, CFOs, and IT leaders need clear sightlines into what is being spent, and used, on technology. In turn, this allows for investment in new initiatives, while keeping costs in check. Tracking technology expenses gives leaders the confidence that they’re being cost-effective. It also provides the necessary resources to enhance business performance.
With a technology expense management solution, you can:
- Stop paying for services and features you no longer need or use.
- Ensure that inventory is only tied to active locations and employees.
- Discover usage, spending, and cost trends to improve forecasting.
- Put an end to the billing and service dispute runaround.
- Understand contract terms and conditions, so you can pivot quickly if the need arises.
- Realize huge savings with tariff optimizations and implementations.
By understanding spend and usage, leaders can make the most of their technology budget.
How can it help my organization be more efficient?
Simply put, a technology expense management solution allows enterprises to work smarter by simplifying complex technology environments. 9 key areas of impact include:
- Inventory management and change control
- Sourcing, order management, procurement, and fulfillment
- Expense management (including validation and optimization)
- Reporting and analytics
- Bill payment
- Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)
- Usage management and chargeback
- Business intelligence
- Automated invoice management
It’s labor-intensive and time consuming to process and analyze invoices, validate and dispute charges, recover funds, manage the inventory, and order equipment. Moreover, broken and inefficient workflows lead to costly errors and increase the need for human intervention. By utilizing an expense management solution, you’ll enhance productivity and streamline operations. Because automation helps reduce the demands on finance teams, it frees them to focus on value-add activities.
As technology continues to advance at a dizzying pace, a robust solution can help you stay one-step ahead of the game. Whether it’s telecom, mobile, or cloud, tracking what you have and what you use just makes sense. Inventory management becomes a key component to help you uncover devices that are outdated, broken, or unused. Those assets can then be donated, recycled, repurposed, or destroyed. In addition, a solution like Tangoe’s also provides strategic assistance to help you make confident decisions on purchasing and implementing new technologies.
What about the future? How does technology expense management help forecast my future IT needs?
According to CFO, organizations with “better spend analysis strategies typically have more mature procurement processes.” Although it’s necessary for a healthy business, financial leaders face significant challenges in forecasting, from manual processes to insufficient and incomplete data. TEM, on the other hand, is designed to help you avoid the pitfalls of planning with standardization. Spend analysis, standardized data and processes, along with expert guidance, help you accurately predict spend and usage.
So, how will TEM help you forecast?
To ensure that everyone is working confidently, there must be a centralized process and platform. The single system allows for automated workflows, built-in compliance, and instant access to forecasts, variance analysis, and plan adjustments. Disparate data will also be standardized, meaning you can compare apples to apples instead of apples to a picture frame.
Manual budgeting and forecasting processes may be bearable when teams are small; however, it quickly becomes unmanageable as that number grows. Utilizing a TEM solution that’s standardized and highly automated, across a vast number of global vendors, means you prioritize speed to process and pay without sacrificing accuracy of details.
Instant Visibility and Maneuverability
Inefficiency, outsized demand, and bloated initiatives drive IT costs. Without information to justify these costs, increased spend is looked at as a cost of doing business. But, with data at your fingertips, rapid consumption of vital information is possible. Current and up-to-date data points allow you to make informed decisions, regardless of changing financial realities. By eliminating manual, spreadsheet-driven processes, your team has more time to analyze future spend against strategic business objectives.
Understanding the complexities of expense management is a consistent challenge. Therefore, it’s imperative that you arm yourself with a global team of auditors and industry experts. These experts can review billing records, contracts, tariffs, and inventory. In addition, Tangoe’s team of professionals can negotiate and dispute terms, rates, and charges on your behalf. Tracking usage and spend, and being able to pivot accordingly, gives you a clear picture of technology assets. As a result, you understand how to measure yourself against industry peers and leverage the full breadth of services and capabilities.
Reporting and Analytics
Robust reporting and analytics are the hallmark of any technology expense management solution. These reports give you the tools to easily identify, understand, and adjust plan components. In addition, cost center owners can interact with the budget to enter changes and instantly see the impact on their plans. Business intelligence allows you to identify trends in the industry and offer the visibility needed to forecast accurately.
Open and Shut Case
Making the case for a technology expense management solution is relatively easy when you look at the value it provides. It’s a proven way to identify overspending patterns, reduce waste, and achieve maximum savings. In short, TEM puts the control over expenses back in your hands and allows you to control costs and optimize communications and IT budgets.
If your organization is ready to see how decades of technology expense management experience can help save you money and operate more efficiently, schedule a demo with Tangoe today.