Telecom expenses run the gamut from hardware to software and a variety of mobile budget lines. IT represents the single largest expense line for many companies, so it should come as no surprise that telecom spending increases annually. Increases in the cost of services mean more oversight from management in an attempt to control this budget. By tracking trends for the past year, IT decision makers can better map spending and efficiently plan future funding.
Data and Mobility Services
Data services have become a major factor in telecom pricing. Many vendors have moved away from unlimited data or have throttled the speed of service after a daily maximum. This leaves teams out in the field with limited options. Hotel Wi-Fi may be available, but it may cost even more than adding bandwidth to existing data plans.
Enterprise companies were on target to spend an average of $13.8 million on data in 2015, according to Forbes. With employees based around the globe and the rapid growth of cloud-based interfaces to CRM, ERP and other SaaS platforms, not to mention video conferencing and other communications technology, employees need faster access to data than ever. Data was a priority in 2015, and it will continue to be at the top of the list of expenditures in 2016.
One Platform for All Communications
The unification of communications was an important factor in telecom spending over the past decade. In 2016, the unification trend is one to watch for as enterprises work to simplify their platforms. More enterprises started investing in single platforms to combine services from VoIP, hosted PBX, conferencing services, messaging apps, and more. By bringing all of these technologies under a single platform, businesses streamline operations and make communication an individual action. The challenge is in creating platforms that support both desktop and a variety of mobile devices.
Bring your own device (BYOD) may be a growing trend, but more than a third of enterprises still provide devices internally. This allows companies to ensure better security and consistency for mobile access. It also allows IT departments to control the cost by using planned upgrades and cycling mobile devices that are no longer in use.
The telecom budget line might be up, but by tracking trends and managing expenses, enterprises can better plan for the future. A savvy approach to upgrading hardware, investments in unification, and tracking mobile data costs allows businesses to improve their telecom expense management (TEM) and determine mission-critical areas of spending.