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From Technology Mess to Savings: The Importance of TEM

by | Nov 14, 2023 | T.E.M. Thought Leadership

As the oldest bank in South Carolina, Spratt Savings Bank is deeply committed to serving its customers and communities. However, sustaining nearly 130 years of top-notch service requires continually investing in future progress. Unclear technology expenses stood in the way.

Monthly inflated bills, packed with cryptic fees, and unused services were common. With limited resources, Spratt Savings struggled to make sense of it all. Spratt’s technology picture had become convoluted over time, given its multiple locations. It needed to find savings, but untangling the technology mess seemed impossible without help.

Spratt Savings’ circumstance is familiar: an organization trying to sustain quality services by investing in technology. And with much success, technology has become indispensable. However, managing associated expenses has proved to be another challenge. From software licenses to cloud services, telecommunications, and more, technology costs are complex and often fragmented across departments and budgets.

IT asset managers estimate that 1/3 or more of their IT budget is currently wasted, according to a recent Flexera report. This waste includes desktop software (38%), data center software (34%), and cloud computing services including software as a service (SaaS, 33%), and infrastructure as a service and platform as a service (IaaS/PaaS, 33%). Often resulting from internal teams lacking the visibility to monitor spending, inventory, and usage accurately, IT budget wastage causes many CFOs and IT leaders to struggle to maintain control over these critical expenses.

Technology expense management (TEM) is essential for organizations that want to optimize their tech investments. By taking a strategic approach to organizing and managing technology expenditures, companies can maximize value and minimize waste.

Facing the Multifaceted Challenge of Technology Expenses

In most cases, the first step in solving a problem is identifying it. But part of the difficulty in managing telecom and IT expenses stems from their wide range and variability. Costs may include:

  • Telecommunications services like phone, internet, and cellular
  • Cloud hosting, storage, and computing services 
  • Subscriptions for SaaS apps
  • Software licensing fees
  • Hardware procurement, maintenance, and depreciation
  • IT support and managed services
  • Technology consulting fees

With so many components spanning multiple departments, it’s easy for costs to become convoluted in any organization. Expenses get siloed in departmental budgets, allocated inconsistently, and tracked haphazardly. It’s a perfect storm for waste and uncontrolled spending.

The need for business to be fluid also complicates effective expense management for many organizations. As companies adopt new technologies and services, costs are constantly shifting. Without centralized oversight, it’s nearly impossible to keep up. Unclear ownership of expenses further obscures visibility for decision-makers.

Benefits of Proactive TEM

Organizing technology expenses can provide several benefits, including increased visibility, better cost control, and improved decision-making, with a broad range of benefits including:

  • Savings from eliminating redundant tools, services, and capabilities
  • Better budget control and more accurate spend forecasting
  • Leverage to negotiate better vendor contracts
  • Ability to make data-driven tech investment decisions
  • Agility to scale or modify expenses based on changing business needs
  • Improved employee productivity with the right set of technology tools
  • Alignment between technology spending and strategic priorities

Overall, by categorizing expenses and assigning responsibility for tracking and managing them, CFOs and IT Directors can identify areas for cost savings and optimization.

Best Practices for Organizing Technology Service Costs

To tame the chaos of technology expenses, finance, and IT teams are looking at ways to organize the service landscape. According to Gartner, with inflationary pressures and an uncertain economic outlook, enterprises have increasingly focused on managing their communications spending with more scrutiny to ensure that all services add value to their organizations.

To get organized, organizations turn to a comprehensive TEM audit to:

  • Consolidate all telecom/IT expenses into one master view, allowing leadership to see the big-picture costs across the organization
  • Establish clear ownership and accountability for each category to identify who is responsible for technology services and who oversees software subscriptions, enabling better cost control through clarity
  • Implement a system to track spending over time, looking at costs by month, quarter, and year to spot trends
  • Set budgets for each area and monitor them closely, enforcing approvals for any overages or new expenses
  • Audit invoices, contracts, and licensing agreements for a holistic view of savings opportunities, renegotiating where possible

The goal is to eliminate silos and fragmentation. With expenses organized and visibility improved, organizations can make more informed, strategic decisions about their technology investments.

How Spratt Savings Bank Untangled its Technology Mess

SpyGlass conducted a comprehensive TEM SnapShot Audit and shined a light on every dark corner of Spratt’s technology expenses. Their analysis uncovered thousands of dollars in potential annual savings from eliminating unused phone lines, redundant features, and unnecessary charges.

With these savings, Spratt gained the power to reinvest in next-generation technologies to serve its customers better and confidently. For Spratt Savings Bank, partnering with SpyGlass brought clarity to chaos, transforming technology from a drain into an engine for future success.

Expert Guidance Drives Technology Savings

In today’s fast-paced business environment, technology is indispensable yet also carries substantial costs. By taking a proactive approach to technology expense management, finance and IT leaders can gain the visibility and control needed to optimize investments, capitalize on savings, and enable informed decision-making.

At SpyGlass, we make achieving those TEM benefits simple through our proprietary SnapShot Audit process. What sets SpyGlass apart in technology expense management is our four-phase proprietary data approach to Analyze, Compare, Develop, and Discover the ultimate technology service cost payback.

Our experts leave no stone unturned while reviewing your technology expenses to identify savings tailored to your organization. We then partner with you to implement approved recommendations for maximum savings. Contact us to get started on your personalized technology expense assessment and tap into the SpyGlass difference.


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