Businesses Turn to Tablets, iPhones but Overspend on Mobile

A new report recommends gaining better visibility into all expenses as the first step toward eliminating unnecessary spending.

Telecom spending is among the largest operating expenses for midsize and large organizations, according to a study from Dimension Data, an information and communications technology specialist.

Even with telecom costs on the rise, businesses burn dollars unnecessarily on variable costs, the research shows. Underutilized bandwidth and circuits, excessive roaming charges and non-optimized tariffing are some of the factors causing corporate bill shock. The report recommended gaining better visibility into all expenses as the first step toward eliminating unnecessary spending.

However, businesses that are engaging in unlimited plans with telecoms and communications providers are in luck. After polling a number of customer service divisions of well-known communications providers regarding the availability of their unlimited plans in the future, Dimension Data concluded that vendors are hesitant to discontinue these offerings for fear of losing customers.

"Cost control and investment optimization are at the top of every boardroom agenda. Most traditional telecom expense management approaches provide limited visibility of assets and services that reside outside the edge of the enterprise network,” Grant Sainsbury, vice president of advanced solutions at Dimension Data, said in a statement. “However, as these top five telecom spending trends indicate, the vast majority of expenses are actually incurred inside the enterprise network."

In addition, as individuals start taking advantage of corporate bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, tablets have seen a 75 percent uptake from 2010 to 2012, indicating a dramatic increase in the general popularity of these devices. On the smartphone side, Apple's iPhone remains the top choice for corporate buyers, whereas more reasonably priced smartphones remain the devices of choice for personal use.

The report noted that in addition to perceiving the device as all-around best in class—and also as the safest smartphone on the market—the iPhone has one operating system, with varying versions; therefore, companies value its platform stability. The report also highlighted the importance of mobile security in any corporate environment.

Finally, the company’s research indicated that mobile phone users are surfing the Web for business purposes, and, therefore, mobile optimization of corporate site assets must be a part of any long-term communications strategy for customers, partners and employees.

The company also launched its Communication Lifecycle Management (CLM) service, which helps organizations manage the lifespan of both mobile and fixed communications services inside and outside the corporate firewall. The CLM service is available in the United States and includes a self-service option through a secure Web portal.

The CLM service was born out of Dimension Data's acquisition of Xigo in 2011, and built on Xigo's legacy offerings. The service combines a range of Dimension Data capabilities spanning the communication estate, both inside and outside the firewall, and adds related technology solutions and services focused on providing a more complete view of the entire communications network.