When it comes to IT and telecom, public sector organisations face a unique challenge. Leading the way in modern IT and communications to drive digital innovation is an important goal, but with it comes intense pressure on costs and unwavering media scrutiny. Those working within the public sector must achieve this whilst maintaining a tight budget and demonstrating full transparency and accountability.
As an essential part of their strategy, many organisations are turning towards various software and service solutions to help them better control, track and manage their telecom and IT estates. These solutions provide the transparency necessary to control costs and gain visibility.
The Three-Legged Stool of Managing IT and Telecom
In a typical public sector organisation, telecom and IT contracts can span everything from mobile devices to fixed-line telephone lines, video call charges, IoT devices and more. Managing all of the associated contracts, assets, and expenses can be difficult, if not complex. This is especially true when multiple carriers, offices, and varying rate structures are involved.
In many cases, this three-legged stool of contracts, assets, and expenses are often not connected or centrally managed. As a result, organizations struggle with control and visibility, which impacts the ability to keep costs in check.
This is where Technology Expense Management (TEM) comes into play. The benefits of TEM go beyond simple cost savings. TEM is a software-based approach that enables businesses and public sector organisations to manage the entire lifecycle of their IT and communications. Organisations turn to TEM to accomplish the following:
- Keep track of the entire IT and telecom estate by creating a centralised asset database.
- Gain visibility into which services have been bought, where they are located, and how they are being used.
- Identify billing errors by the carriers and dispute incorrect charges.
- Streamline the procurement process to make the buyer’s job easier and more transparent.
- Strengthen an organisation’s negotiation power during the contracting process.
Reducing government spending
In the UK, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has developed the RM3802 framework specifically for the public sector. This framework helps organisations to quickly identify and implement a TEM solution, with the goal of reducing spend by at least 20% across the entire UK public sector.
While cost reduction is a primary goal, TEM isn’t solely about saving money. It is designed to help organisations to both scale and optimize. Many government entities integrate their TEM solution into their current technologies, inclusive of IT Service Management, HRMS and accounting systems.
IT and communications are ever-evolving fields, and the potential for innovation is enormous. A well planned TEM strategy is an essential tool to help foster growth and modernize services to support constituents.
Additional key requirements that the CCS focused on within the RM3802 framework to help support the UK public sector’s ability to implement and achieve more immediate results include:
- Ease of use, so that organisations can focus on the facts rather than untangling usage patterns.
- An innovative, cloud-based service with access to detailed analytics on invoices and spending.
- Proactive management of dispersed estates, enabling a true picture of what’s happening within the organisation.
- Value, flexibility and choice, with a variety of different packages available to meet the organisation’s needs.
- Peace of mind of knowing that the TEM solution is provided by a CCS-approved supplier that meets the stringent security standards required for public sector organisations.
Deeper insights for better strategic decisions
TEM can also enable public sector organisations to take a more strategic approach to future technological development – aiding innovation and driving change, through:
- Data analytics across the entire estate providing deeper insights into technology use and spending, helping public sector organisations to understand patterns of behaviour and predict their future needs.
- TEM makes it possible to identify all of a business’s assets in one place and see how they are used, helping organisations to spot ‘quick fix’ areas where they can make easy cost savings.
- With external experts on hand who understand the IT and telecom market and know the direction in which it’s moving, it’s easier to future-proof decisions, ensuring that an IT strategy is one that’s workable and cost-effective going forward.
Looking to the future: integration of TEM with other technologies
Looking ahead, TEM will have an important role to play in helping public sector organisations to develop their digital offerings, by better integration with other technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation programmes. The automation of key tasks will make processes quicker and more efficient, and integrating AI-based technology with existing systems, will augment their potential to provide added value.
Fully integrated digital transformation strategies will help public sector organisations make the transition to a fully digital way of working that is user-focused, more efficient and transparent for everyone.
According to a new study on digitalisation of the public sector, technology and systems are helping councils to kick-start their efforts. Community Mentoring and Support (CMAS) has a new case management system developed to manage communications across a wide range of agencies from one central platform.