What is Technology Expense Management?
Technology expense management is a process and toolset that allows enterprise organizations to track technology and gain actionable insights on their IT assets and services. TEM services provide greater visibility into technology inventories and optimize efficiency through automation to generate cost savings. With each passing year, large corporations face the challenge of staying up-to-date with technology all while balancing expenses, equipment needs, and maintaining their bottom line. This challenge can put the finance and IT departments at odds with each other as they struggle to use their own separate legacy tracking systems which rarely interface with each other.
This leads to expensive manual overhead, poor data visualization, and slow response times. There is nowhere this problem is more evident than with managing mobile devices and service plans. With today’s mobile-dependent workforce, there might be hundreds if not thousands of devices and dozens of applications whose management requires corporations from multiple departments within the organization.
Technology expense management (TEM services) can provide value by acting as an automated liaison between these groups. Put simply, technology expense management solutions help businesses maintain an actionable picture of all of their technological assets and services. This includes everything an asset might require from its acquisition to its deployment, to maintenance throughout its life cycle, and finally to its retirement. This includes managing contracts with providers, servicing, monitoring usage, and bill payment.
This type of expense management system must be flexible and be able to adapt to the ever-changing future of technology so it can grow with a company as it acquires new services and implements new application stacks. When this type of asset management is managed well, it not only saves the company time and money, it can also help forecast future spend and usage and help scale accordingly.
Key-Value Technology Expense Management Solutions Provide
TEM services cover:
TEM services allow an enterprise to work smarter by centralizing and simplifying complex tasks:
- Business Intelligence including advanced reporting and analytics
- Automated invoice audits
- IT asset management best practices
- Inventory management, change control, and compliance tracking
- Procurement, order management, fulfillment, and accounts payable
- Employee expense management and reimbursement
Without an organized system, collecting data from all of these elements, organizing it, and analyzing it against standards can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Broken and inefficient workflows lead to costly errors which in turn can lead to inaccurate forecasting. Through a technology expense management system, these workflows can be automated which provides a huge boost in speed and accuracy, two things that are indispensable in today’s marketplace. This, in turn, reduces the demands on IT expense management and finance teams, letting them focus on the work that matters.
Benefits of Technology Expense Management
Optimize IT spend:
- Gain significant savings on mobile, cloud, and fixed/telecom
- Identify unused services, devices, and plans that can be optimized
- Automatically audit invoices with configurable audit rules.
Simplify IT and Finance processes and operations:
- Advanced data analytics to understand, interpret and use data to make sound operational decisions
- Enterprise-wide digital investment review and governance to measure, fund, and manage digital business performance
- Streamline order fulfillment, auditing, asset management, and payment processes
Security and compliance:
- Deploy security and compliance policies that fit your environment
- Integrate UEM asset inventories and actions from the leading providers with ServiceNow via APIs
How TEM optimizes technology costs
Mobile expense management
Organizations are deploying larger and more complex mobile environments to support remote operations, requiring larger MDM strategies to keep pace. From IT to finance to your end users, the mobility challenge only continues to grow. Without the right solutions, managing mobile endpoints is an unnecessary headache. TEM providers offer data-driven guidance that helps you optimize your IT spend and reduce costs across your environment.
Telecom (fixed) expense management
TEM solutions help your team save time and reduce costs by bringing highly detailed voice and network expense information together with automated solutions for invoice processing, reporting, analytics, chargebacks, and more.
Cloud expense management
Gain control of your cloud costs by fully comprehending cloud spend and by allocating the correct spend to departments and company initiatives. With a robust solution you can eliminate the manual work of pouring over cloud bills, processing invoices, and allocating costs with automated processes.
Ensure your internal teams have the tools and resources they need to perform their role effectively.
How TEM Services Can Streamline Your Business Processes
IT expense management tools arose as a result of enterprise organizations needing to get a better handle on their assets and services. These assets and services are often distributed among mobile, fixed, and cloud meaning organizations need a consolidated way of viewing their infrastructure. At its core, IT expense management tools provide greater visibility and control of the technology inventory and reduce areas of inefficiency to generate cost savings.
Each company’s needs are unique and dynamic, which means there is no one-size-fits-all solution to help visualize IT inventory and usage. With more employees working away from the office, it has become necessary for companies to move beyond large corporate telephone systems to a model where every employee is issued a smartphone.
Legacy tracking systems are not equipped to handle these multifaceted networking solutions which have challenges including VoiP, security, and cloud-based applications. Without a technology expense management system, enterprises struggle to keep up with advances in networking in order to stay competitive while working to balance current business needs. They waste time working with outdated tools that can no longer keep up with the sheer amount of data that must be processed. Fixing this outdated system is needed but prioritized behind other, more urgent, issues.
Using legacy systems has another large drawback; they require more resources. Sifting through thousands of lines of billing data by hand to verify expense, compliance, and data usage is a time-consuming and painstaking process. Automated systems can do the same work faster and more accurately.
Modern technology expense systems can deliver up-to-date information, allowing an enterprise to optimize its business workflows. This allows time and money-wasting issues to be spotted until long after the fact and is even more difficult to correct.
Who needs TEM Services?
Businesses rely on the speed and flexibility that technology provides. As 5G, IoT, and many more new technologies proliferate, organizations’ IT expenses continue to skyrocket.
Over time, the list of technology including telephones, smartphones, tablets, and laptops with cellular data plans, not only gets longer as new technology hits the market, but the number of end-users who rely on the technology goes up. This all leads to complexity and a lot of manual processes which are prone to errors.
Forrester Research estimates that “billing errors average 5% to 12% of telecom services budgets”
If you don’t have the visibility to watch for errors, you likely aren’t seeing them.
One of our customer’s mobile management needs grew organically as the organization expanded through mergers and acquisitions. With only one person in procurement managing all of their mobile devices manually through email, spreadsheets, and carrier portals, the situation quickly became overwhelming.
“Our lag times were huge and our customer service was way down”, said their IT Manager of Global Service Delivery. “We uncovered about $250k per year being wasted on terminated employees with active lines and other nonessential spend.”
Now that is an enormous cost but without the right tools, they had no idea. Complexity also brings a lot of manual work just to process invoices. Telecom and IT asset inventories often include tens, hundreds, or thousands of monthly invoices, circuits, and devices. Organizations need automated expense management processes, whether in-house or outsourced.
According to Gartner, “at the heart of any TEM services offering is an automated software platform used by the business or by an external service provider managing a company’s telecom invoices and assets.”
brightfin can help with Technology Expense Management
A crucial part of a technology expense management system is having the knowledge, expertise, and technology platform to manage assets, expenses, and services in a quality way that doesn’t require vast amounts of effort and expertise. This is where outsourcing is simply the smartest choice. brightfin takes a modern, software-based approach to technology expense management that extends the ServiceNow platform to simplify and streamline technology assets, expenses, and services. Where many software integrations can take up to a year before they are implemented, brightfin can have a company up and running on their software in 60-90 days.
If you are considering switching your legacy tracking systems over to a technology expense management system be sure that it’s the right fit. brightfin tailors your program to your company’s specific needs. This maximizes the usefulness of the service while minimizing cost. You also need to make sure that it can grow with your company. brightfin is dynamic and constantly growing its suite of TEM and MDM services based on what its clients need.