According to a recent Forrester Research study on the future of CIO organizations, within five to seven years, IT groups are estimated to shrink by 40%. Specialization, further automation in IT, and an enterprise-wide shift to the cloud will drive this sharp reduction in IT staff. Marc Cecere, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester said, “A smaller organization is in a position to suggest what (technologies) to use because they’re not spending all their time with detailed, hands-on technical work, much of what IT is doing now doesn’t differentiate the company, but as we start to move more of these (legacy systems) to the cloud, what’s going to be left in the organization are those differentiators.” Let’s take a quick look how enterprise tech and the need for TEM (Telecom or Technology Expense Management) are changing.
CPaaS, RTC changing enterprise communication
Many of the fastest growing companies in the world today are capitalizing on new Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS). CPaaS is a cloud-based platform that enables developers to add real-time communications features (voice, video, and messaging) in their applications without needing to build backend infrastructure and interfaces. A number of well-known solution providers like HPE, Salesforce, and Uber have built disruptive communication-enabled solutions leveraging the APIs. Self-service workflows that leverage communication technologies will transform many industries including transportation, travel, healthcare, hospitality and client services.
Real-time communications (RTC) like traditional phone service, Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, and others have been the dominant standard because it was costly to build and operate a communications stack that relied on a real-time network infrastructure with interfaces to common programming languages. CPaaS offers a complete development framework for building real-time communications features with software tools, standards-based application programming interfaces (APIs), sample code, and pre-built applications.
Will there still be a need for TEM?
The development of these applications is exciting. Marc Cecere’s dramatic forecast for reductions in IT staff needed to create applications that differentiate a company’s offerings sound an alarm that TEM managers must be prepared to address. As CpaaS revolutionizes different industries, use of communications will skyrocket. This has broad implications for Telecom Expense Management and increases the need for TEM.
Organizations will need to leverage a combination of TEM automation and people to manage skyrocketing expenses. It will be important for telecom managers to clearly identify how automation in IT and an enterprise-wide shift to the cloud do not translate to opportunities to cut TEM programs. If anything, the coming revolution in RTC and CPaaS will demand more effort to manage telecom expenses. TEM managers need to understand these changes are coming. They must be prepared to defend TEM budgets and staff requirements otherwise enterprise spending on network communications will spiral out of control.