What is your top telecom management priority for 2016? Is it tied to savings? Is your measure of success the amount of money you will save this year?
Every year I speak with hundreds of enterprises about telecom management strategy, obstacles to achieving success and new opportunities to exploit. Many of these conversations gravitate towards the topic of financial savings. Identifying cost takeout, eliminating financial waste, clawing-back overcharges paid out and securing lower service costs are typical savings themes mentioned. While the goal of generating savings and optimizing service-to-cost performance makes good business sense, the fact that the same goal emerges on an annual basis signals a fundamental underlying issue with execution; savings should decrease over time as root cause issues that lead to overspending are mitigated and measures to prevent financial excess are implemented.
Financial savings is the byproduct of upstream telecom management inefficiency. Periodic belt tightening exercises are dictated by the business; but if the perpetual goal of telecom management is to generate savings, then broken processes, service delivery misalignment and lack of environment control are typically the cause of financial excess that warrants perpetual cost savings initiatives. Correcting the issues that drive excess cost is more valuable to the business than continuing a never-ending overspend-spend recovery cycle.
Dedicate effort in 2016 to streamline telecom management processes; establish performance measures that illustrate technical, operational and financial efficiency; improve visibility into telecom environment elements that provide a clear understanding of cost drivers; and, gain deep understanding of business objectives supported by the telecom estate. These actions promote overall telecom management efficiency and serve to identify and resolve the cause of financial excess. Fixing the problems that lead to overspending is far more beneficial to the business than chasing savings.
Timothy C. Colwell is a telecom management industry thought leader exploring the impact of technology as a business accelerator and social capital enabler.