Telecommunications Is Strategic - Executive Sponsors Secure Competitive Advantage for Enterprises (Part 2)

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As we discussed in the last blog, as the world becomes more connected and mobile, telecommunications technology provides ways to meet customer demand with innovative applications and new ways of doing business. The case for executive involvement is very important from a buy-in and adoption perspective. It allows decision-makers to do their jobs more effectively and find new ways to improve employee productivity. The corporate network and communications are indispensable to the success of organizations.

The Role of Finance Executives

Finance executives know that there are two primary ways that enterprises can improve its standing. Enterprises can cut costs or increase revenue. Evaluation of strategies and debate on the merits of growing revenue or cutting costs is often conducted in the boardroom. CFOs add value in this discussion by contributing their knowledge of finance and frameworks to manage expenses.

Finance executives:

  • Establish rules for recognition of productivity gains and cost savings and reporting
  • Serve as a catalyst to establish the agenda for cost cutting
  • Set corporate standards and drive accountability for expenses

Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act requires that CEOs and CFOs of public companies personally confirm the adequacy of their internal controls relating to recognition of revenue and expenses. Telecom Expense Management (TEM) programs align with SOX efforts by helping automate the reporting and storage of key financial data about telecom expenses.

Increase Revenue

The second focus area for enterprises to improve their position is to look for ways to grow top-line revenue. CFOs are well positioned to ensure that scarce resources are allocated to growing areas. Mobile services speed real-time data collection from the field to increase revenue. Communication enabled technology makes it possible to receive real-time updates and transfer information to minimize conflicts, bottlenecks and delays. This allows stakeholders to do their jobs more effectively.

Cut Costs

Telecommunications services improve the bottom line with a positive return on their investment. Financial executives can oversee costs and improve accountability with expense charge-backs to business units for consumption of communications services. TEM programs ensure that spending is optimized, and offer ways to cut expenses without impacting employee productivity. TEM delivers with reporting on operating expenses by division, region, business unit, and employee.

These features enable TEM programs to improve employee productivity and reduce the costs of SOX compliance. CFOs can also provide assurances to board members that there are stringent controls in place, for one of the enterprise’s top line-item expenses.

The Role of Technology Executives

Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), Chief Security Officers (CSOs) and Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) benefit from more effective corporate communications networks. CTOs can identify innovative uses and competitive advantage from deployments of unified communications, cloud computing, mobility, M2M and the IoT. CDOs may be able to leverage data from these programs to pioneer new ways to interact with customers. CSOs should investigate how new communications technology will mitigate security risk.

CIOs must balance limited or shrinking budgets with demands for more communications functionality and constant connectivity for employees that are no longer tethered to a singular work site. In addition, CIOs also seek to shift a great portion of the budget from "keep the lights on" ongoing operational activities to projects that promote innovation and competitive advantage.

Employees take it for granted that the network infrastructure will be running smoothly to provide access to critical business applications and data with no delays in processing time. Managing the network is a thankless task. CIOs rarely receive compliments when things run smoothly, but they are sure to hear from employees when there are problems.

Visionary CIOs will find that telecommunications technology provides a unique opportunity to shift resources from the “keep the lights on” budget to innovation. The latest communication technology will drive more efficient business processes, new applications, and better interaction with clients, new services and innovation for competitive advantage. This in turn will drive higher revenue per employee and revenue growth.

CIOs may delegate many aspects of day-to-day management of the telecommunications infrastructure to other members of their team, but there are some areas where CIO leadership is critical to:

  • Drive adoption of telecom applications across different departments
  • Ensure system integration of telecommunications, unified communications, TEM, and Mobility programs with enterprise resource planning, human resources, and financial enterprise applications
  • Eliminate duplication of efforts with users entering data into legacy systems
  • Drive standardization across different cloud software and adoption of one application to manage and report on telecom expenses

Have you considered how your executive team can get involved? The third blog in this series will be geared towards Human Resources as well as Procurement and Sourcing Executives.

The content of this article was provided by TEMIA. For more information, visit www.temia.org.

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