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Addressing Technology Cost Uncertainty: Gain Clarity in Times of Change

by | Jan 15, 2024 | T.E.M. Thought Leadership

Technology may promise endless possibilities but its costs, if left unchecked, can quickly spiral out of control. Just ask overburdened CFOs facing economic volatility today while being pressured to digitally transform the company’s tech stack.

According to a recent survey, 70% of CFO respondents feel strained by inflation, economic disruption, and recession — a combination Gartner describes as a “triple squeeze.” Yet, to stay competitive, finance leaders must prioritize tech investments, even as they scrutinize spend to maximize ROI. It’s a relentless balancing act.

SpyGlass recognizes this high-wire struggle to optimize expenses amid unrelenting uncertainty. The latest proprietary research outlined in our 2024 State of Technology Service Expenses report confirms that tech remains a priority budget item for most industries.

As financial leaders balance external pressures and internal investments, emerging technologies show promise to help. Find out how you can navigate technology implementation and cost uncertainty to balance investments from our exclusive insight.

Generative AI Shows Early Promise, Raises Security Concerns

Recent research found that U.S. and Canadian companies are forecasted to increase GenAI investments by 67% in 2024. In addition to offering data outputs much like those provided by traditional business intelligence tools, GenAI can help finance teams through:

  • Data integration
  • Improved data accuracy and consistency
  • Automation of manual processes
  • Enhanced data security and compliance
  • Predictive analytics
  • Real-time data access
  • Reduced reliance on IT staff
  • Streamlined collaboration

Even as finance leaders are intrigued by the promise of GenAI’s productivity gains, they’re also concerned about potential security risks, including:

  1. Data privacy risks: GenAI systems access large volumes of company data to generate outputs. This increases the risk of data leakage or unauthorized access to sensitive financial data used to train GenAI models.
  2. Potential model manipulation: GenAI systems are trained on the data provided. This creates the risk of models being manipulated to generate biased or incorrect outputs that could affect financial decision-making.
  3. Lack of explainability: Executives worry they might “lack the full context behind the numbers GenAI produces,” which poses risks if they don’t understand how the system arrived at specific financial recommendations or projections.
  4. Integration risks: Rapidly integrating emergent GenAI systems with existing financial data systems could open security vulnerabilities if not managed properly.

Despite the risks, CFOs are finding suitable workarounds. For example, proven automation with built-in AI represents a prudent starting point to boost efficiency without the risks of a full-blown GenAI engine for 2024.

Still, even while mitigating risks through careful measures, finance leaders should also consider the risk of underinvesting in technology.

The Risks of Technology Underinvestment

Underinvesting in innovation and digital transformation poses substantial risks that leaders cannot ignore. Companies that chronically underinvest in technology compared to competitors often struggle with:

  • Productivity drag: Reliance on manual processes versus automation technology severely restricts productivity over the long term, directly affecting customer experience, profitability, and growth potential.
  • Business disruptions: Legacy infrastructure and systems not upgraded regularly significantly increase risks of major outages and failures that severely disrupt operations.
  • Security vulnerabilities: Older unsupported technology lacks the latest security protections, exposing organizations to exponentially greater cyber threats that lead to breaches.
  • Missed opportunities: By not keeping pace with digital trends and emerging tech, underinvesting organizations miss growth opportunities and have a harder time attracting top talent.

While cost efficiency matters, so does adequate, consistent investment in resilience and progress. Leaders must find the right balance between the two. One way to do that is through benchmarking spending and saving opportunities.

Benchmark Technology Spending and Savings Opportunities for Clarity

To make smart technology investments amid uncertain times, CFOs need clarity on where their organizations stand on current tech expenses. SpyGlass can help. Our proprietary database of over 14,000 clients provides unparalleled benchmarking to compare technology spending against industry peers. We start with a complimentary SnapShot Audit.

A few industries where our experts uncover significant potential savings include:

  • City and County Governments:
    • Preferred government pricing models
    • Grant money savings and reallocation
    • Interdepartmental telecom service optimization
  • Education:
    • Remote learning device management
    • Video conferencing services
    • 911 surcharge savings
  • Financial Services:
    • Data network configuration
    • Cloud data storage optimization
    • Video conferencing performance
  • Health Care:
    • Remote patient care device costs
    • Unused grant fund reallocation
    • Telehealth and conferencing services
  • Nonprofits:
    • Grant savings reinvestment
    • Remote work technology management
    • Video communications platform costs

Address Technology Uncertainty with SpyGlass

Because CFOs are under immense pressure to balance cost control and strategic technology investments, they’ve likely scrutinized their organization’s budget with a fine-tooth comb. But their combs just aren’t fine enough. One overlooked area rife with savings potential could be right under their noses, and they could find this area if they have the right partner to shine a light.

SpyGlass recognizes why the struggle is real for finance leaders. What sets SpyGlass apart is our relentless focus on challenging the status quo to unlock surprising technology savings for organizations of all types and sizes. Our time-tested approach blends sophisticated analytics software with experienced analysts who take a hands-on, customized approach to every client’s needs.

SpyGlass auditors and analysts can illuminate precisely where companies are overspending and why. They can benchmark technology expenses against an organization’s peers, identify opportunities for significant savings, and provide tailored recommendations to help meet specific goals within an average of one month. We also collaborate with clients to ensure all the heavy lifting required to implement suggested changes to realize bottom-line savings quickly.

With SpyGlass as a partner and its proprietary analytics and expense database, organizations would have the tools and knowledge to continually drive down tech expenses. For example, this financial institution found over $234,000 in unused or excessive technology expenses and now sees more than $300,000 in total annual savings.

Find Out Where Your Organization Stands with a Free Assessment

Download our latest industry research report for proprietary insights into technology spending and savings trends. Also, take us up on our complimentary SnapShot Audit, a quick yet robust solution to benchmark your technology expenses against industry averages and pinpoint potential optimization opportunities.

Contact SpyGlass today to schedule your free assessment and put our data-driven expense management solutions to work for your bottom line.

Ready to address technology cost uncertainty?

Download the 2024 State of Technology Service Expenses report.

Contact SpyGlass to inquire about a no-costs-up-front SnapShot Audit.