A new study by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. is out and it offers an intriguing look at an important issue for anyone who wants to manage telecom and technology expenses. The main takeaway of the study can be summed up by one of its headlines:
“Data may be abundant, but managing data isn’t cheap”.
We’ve made this point in the context of expense management in past blogs. Many businesses are drowning in telecom invoice data that is trapped in PDFs, web forms, EDI, and other hard-to-analyze formats. Their problem is not a lack of data. Their challenge is that getting that data into a usable format can be exorbitantly expensive.
For many businesses, it is the cost of someone manually collecting and entering data into a spreadsheet and performing analysis, one spreadsheet at a time – and the opportunity cost of having them do low-value work instead of what they are really trained for.
The dilemma facing businesses that want to reduce expenses is simple. They need data to do it but getting data in an actionable format can itself create substantial new costs. What can a business do?
The short answer is automation, automation, and automation.
The longer answer provided by McKinsey is that it depends somewhat on where businesses spend their data-related dollars.
As the graphic above indicates, McKinsey identifies four major “levers” businesses can focus on to lower their data management costs:
- Data Sourcing
- Data Architecture
- Data Governance
- Data Consumption
Each of these areas ties to our experience in helping companies reduce their telecom and technology costs.
For example, data sourcing, which includes the use of third-party data, maps to the challenge of efficiently managing telecom invoices from multiple carriers and enhancing processes for invoice translation.
Similarly, a “fragmented” data architecture (to use a McKinsey phrase) sounds a lot like the situation of businesses that have their critical cost data hidden in disparate and disconnected emails and spreadsheets.
This is a problem that Cloud Age Solutions’ gpxcloud SaaS platform solves through its integration and consolidated databasing of telecom invoice and inventory data. gpxcloud can also help businesses address costs associated with data governance and data consumption. Its UniBill functionality, gpxcloud puts critical invoice data into a standard, easy-to-analyze data file format, while its automated cost audit and reporting capabilities reduce the cost of understanding and acting on data. gpxcloud is an easy-to-use, cost-effective platform that provides better invoice data and more timely and insightful cost analysis.
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