Many of the businesses we team with are looking to get a handle on their enterprise technology spend. Managers seek to improve overall technology expense management, but are challenged to know how to begin. They are often mired in duplicate data entry, silos of spreadsheets, and manual handling of invoices, reports and documentation, among other fragmented systems.
A key part of getting a handle on enterprise technology spend is to determine the “current state” – or where the enterprise is now in terms of managing the technology expense process.
Typically, technology expense management has evolved over time and passed from one team member to another with minimal documentation. However, it’s important to constantly evaluate processes based on strategic value, and results produced.
We find that those enterprises that are looking to get a handle on their enterprise technology spend have the perfect opportunity to dig deep into how the organization currently performs technology expense management.
Here are three questions to get you started:
- What’s the scope of the technology estate? In terms of mobile expenses, what are the current geographies, services and carriers now under contract? Are there plans to expand into other regions, countries, languages and currencies? Will services need to expand in the future? When determining the current state, take the time to get an overview of the level of complexity of the mobile technology environment.
- Where’s the waste? Carefully document any wasteful, non-value added steps such as duplicate data entry or manual contract handling. Do team members have to take multiple steps to import invoices from various countries? Is language translation an issue? Are you manually creating reports for upper-level management review? Are you manually auditing your invoices for erroneous charges? Typically, bottlenecks happen in the area of contract and order management and provisioning, invoice handling and payment/reconciliation, mobile services management and other areas. The idea is to identify cumbersome processes and transform them into one lean, automated process.
- What’s the timeline? Is there a shared understanding among key stakeholders of the challenges and the timeline for a solution? Is the end goal clearly outlined, whether it’s centralizing invoice processing for better control or optimizing mobile rate plans to reduce costs? The TEM initiative timeline and requirements should be understood and agreed upon. This helps in setting a realistic schedule with achievable milestones and deadlines.
Your Enterprise Technology Spend – Next Steps
Outdated or manual-intensive technology expense management leads to bottlenecks and wasted effort, not to mention cost overruns. An over-reliance on physical files and highly manual business processes wastes time and resources and frustrates the entire team.
By taking a look at the complexity of the technology estate, as well as assessing any wasted effort or duplicate data entry, and documenting a realistic timeline, the enterprise can better assess the “current state” of its processes.
Once an audit takes place, the next phase is a review of technology expense management systems that streamline the complexities of these environments and drive cost cutting.
Looking to get a handle on your technology expense spend? Contact the AMI Strategies team to learn more.