Mobility Center of Excellence Meets Wireless Cost Management

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from Jeff Muscarella of NPI, a spend management consultancy focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping.

When I ask CIOs to describe wireless cost management within their business, their responses inevitably vary somewhere between “a challenge” and “a nightmare.” There’s a long list of reasons why companies overpay for wireless – ranging from carrier pricing disparity to the general lack of visibility into how wireless is being consumed across the business.

But, that’s just half of the mobility spend management challenge. What about the spend management discipline required to identify and implement the mobile applications and initiatives that will increase productivity or boost revenues?

A recent survey from TEKsystems, as reported by CIO Insight, highlights several concerns held by CIOs regarding their mobility capabilities:

  • 40% say their organization’s mobility strategy is “weak.”
  • 81% say their organizations do not have a mobility center of excellence to address the unique, rapidly evolving mobile environment.
  • 41% struggle with finding and attracting the talent and skills required to oversee mobility projects in-house.
  • 38% say they outsource the development of mobile apps.
  • 26% say their projects have been put at risk due to their vendors’ unqualified resources and skill sets.

Each of these concerns has the potential to drive overspending. The fact is that mobility, while pervasive, is still a relatively new cost category for most businesses. Most IT and sourcing departments have little expertise when it comes to mobile application strategy development, along with managing mobility vendors and related outsourcing agreements required to meet the prescribed objectives.

Some enterprise CIOs have started to recognize the need for a mobility center of excellence, where companies can organize, manage and distribute their mobile enterprise solutions and initiatives. Projects can range from developing new mobile apps (and helping to implement the infrastructure to support them) to creating and implementing BYOD security.

NPI believes the mobility COE will also be responsible for cost control. As these mobile initiatives grow in volume and scope, mobility-specific expertise will be required to manage costs, prevent wasteful spending and preempt vendors’ ever-changing pricing models, licensing structures and professional services agreements.

Does your company have a mobility COE? If so, how involved is it in sourcing and vendor/contract management?

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