As an IT leader, do you remember the first time you had that ‘aha’ moment when you realized that you can’t be all things to all stakeholders because of the pesky, immutable Economic Law of limited resources/unlimited opportunity? If you are like other IT leaders, that moment of enlightenment was probably both liberating and frustrating.  The former because it took the pressure off of trying to do too much with limited money, time and talent; the latter because you still knew there were many un-done or un-initiated projects or solutions that could drive your business forward by leveraging technology correctly.

Well the difference between great IT leaders and those locked into spending approximately two thirds of their budgets on operational needs vs. innovation, are those that do something about this Law of Economics vs. simply accepting it.

Another way to approach the challenge is to ask “What is NOT worth the limited resources you have (Time, Money, Talent), but you always assumed it had to be done by your department”?

Telecom.  Even the word implies out-dated and non-strategic, limited ROI, and frustrating. Important, yes. Strategic, no. A wise use of your time, people, and money to manage wireline and mobility? No.

Here are three key reasons Telecom Management should not compete for your valuable time, people, and resources.

Reason #1 Telecom Management is Not Worth Your IT Time: IT is Strategic. Telecom is Tactical

What would you rather have your star IT talent focus on 1) Transformative IT Technology that will grow your business and keep you at the CEO planning table OR 2) Answer help desk calls on why someone’s mobile phone is not pulling email.

Sound familiar? How about this long list of tactical, talent-wasting activities that have a huge opportunity cost for your IT achievements:

  • Meeting with numerous Carriers that waste valuable time selling their brand of Kool Aid
  • Reviewing Wireline and Mobile Telecom bills and contracts
  • Evaluating Mobile Device Management  platforms and how to manage them
  • Staying current on the best DR strategies and solutions
  • Escalating trouble tickets with non-responsive Carriers

The list can go on and on….it’s all tactical Telecom Management, and it’s all preventing you from being efficient and innovative.

Reason #2 Telecom Management is Not Worth Your IT Time:  Expertise is Unlikely; Mediocrity is Best Case

It is no secret that Carriers have reduced investment in customer service to the Mid Market Enterprise.  This trend has required companies to either accept the frustration and inefficiency that it produces, or expect their IT staff to pick up the slack. Do you want your best IT talent (or any valuable FTE role) investing their training and educational time on learning the latest mobility rate plans, or how to mitigate risks in a SIP environment, or even what is the lowest cost/most reliable DR solution deployed by peers in your industry?

Will these tasks transform your business or create innovation relative to your competitors? Of course not. Your staff knows this as well, and that is precisely why they don’t gain this expertise; namely, there is not a strong ROI to them or you, hence Mid-market firms are destined to experience mediocre Telecom Management outcomes at best, and very wasteful and potentially damaging outcomes at worst.

Reason #3 Telecom Management is Not Worth Your IT Time: Money

Let’s face it, at the end of the day all business decisions are about a return on investment.  However pouring money into developing the people, processes and tools to manage world-class Telecom outcomes is not a good use of finite resources nor will it produce innovation or business growth from technology that your Executive peers demand.

Conversely, ignoring one of your largest operating expenses within your IT budget will surely mean substantial money will be left on the table. In fact, most industry experts put the financial costs overruns that occur when mid-market firms try to take on Telecom Management internally at 20 to 30% or more in terms of Total Cost of Telecom. Therefore, accepting the status quo will guarantee one thing: waste.  And that means less money for IT, and less focus from your IT staff.

Telecom Management: Conclusion

Firms have always sought to fill this inevitable gap between what your internal talent can effectively do, and what is desired to run wireline and mobility outcomes well. Usually this results in viewing Telecom Management as catalyst driven and thus contracting with third party experts on an as needed basis such as contract renewals, expense management, consulting etc.  However that still leaves most firms with managing multiple parties to produce the outcomes desired.

The solution is to view Telecom as a process and not an event.  This thinking then frees up firms to gain all the benefits of solving the three areas highlighted here. Seeking fully outsourced Telecom Management by partnering with a firm that invests in the people, process, and tools to run world-class Telecom Departments is the only sure path to an efficient IT staff focused on strategic initiatives, world-class service to your end users, and substantial savings that can be better invested in technology vs. Telecom.

Like what you hear? Contact Renodis today to learn how Turnkey Telecom Management helps businesses manage all Telecom outcomes in a holistic and integrated fashion while allowing valuable IT staff to focus on strategic transformation not operational chaos.

When you think of the telecommunications function within the enterprise, most professionals are likely (and erroneously) to assume that telecom is synonymous with IT.  While there are definite interdependencies, most organizations’ strategic IT plans tend to leave telecom by the wayside. The telecom function seems an identy-less waif looking for a home. Is it a subset of operations?  Does it belong under IT?  Are there aspects of telecom that need to be attached to specific business units? Who manages our BYOD and MDM policies?  Because of telecom’s ubiquity and necessity, time and again it fails to find a holistic, permanent residency amongst established business units within the enterprise.  Because of its tie to IT, it seems obvious to include telecom within the strategic IT plan.  However, there seems to be a pervasive gap between the telecom business unit and IT, perhaps due to differences in objectives and culture, or maybe because of a mutual obliviousness for the other group’s expertise.   Whatever the cause, this uncertainty can result in costly IT systems that ignore an organizational wide telecom strategy. For this reason, the search for IT and telecom alignment has frustrated the enterprise for decades.

Telecom’s very function roots it in IT, from the onset, and makes it very difficult to determine the differences between the two, or that telecom is a viable subset of technology.  Why then, does telecom have such a difficult time earning its way into enterprise IT planning?  Perhaps, in many organizations, IT doesn’t have the means to understand how it supports a telecom management strategy.  The link between IT’s capabilities and telecom’s needs is not usually adequately mapped out.  Additionally, the execution strategies within the IT department can be notoriously slow, and trying to get any type of business objective, let alone telecom objective aligned within the IT strategy can be challenging to say the least; especially with the explosion of mobile devices in the enterprise.

All of this may seem superfluous, ultimately not truly identifying the underlying causes of why telecom has suffered so.  Amongst mid-sized, as well as large and Fortune 500 enterprises, telecommunications has been treated as a necessary evil;  recognized as vital to any organization, but a pain to manage.  Since most organizations do not have adequate IT resources to holistically manage telecom, let alone optimize, the telecom function, it is likely to spiral out of control and become an exasperating sunken cost to the organization, across all departments.  Taking ownership of such a disconnected mess and trying to tie strategic objectives to it can be an effort in futility, full of ambiguous information. Telecom is dynamic, and complicated, requiring much flexibility in planning and execution.

Telecommunications horizontally supports all facets of any enterprise, and as such should be managed with metrics in mind; for instance: total cost of telecom (TCT™) per employee. Within a typical organization, when a business unit requires IT department expertise, a business case or plan is created and presented, justifying IT’s time and efforts with some type of meaningful ROI back to the business.  Telecom cannot be positioned in this manner, as it’s a supporting organizational function; crucial as it may be, it cannot compete with other strategic initiatives when most organizations have a difficult time managing all aspects of telecom across an enterprise.

Additionally, attempting to manage telecom with IT resources not properly trained or prepared to deal with the mesh of operations, technology, accounting, and economic functions necessary will, time and again, result in a huge uptick in indirect spend across multiple departments.  While telecom is not a revenue generating powerhouse, it is something that, if properly managed and optimized, can have a positive financial impact on each facet of the organization.  Magnifying it’s potential to increase efficiencies and output from other strategic IT initiatives may bolster telecom’s importance within the enterprise planning process.

If your telecom management is spread across multiple departments without clear identity or holistic management, it’s also likely that it cannot be effectively measured. If this article describes your organization, it’s time to get a telecom management evaluation.

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