June 29, 2023

Preparing for a Recession: Five Smart and Easy Ways to Cut Business Wireless Costs

Whether or not you believe the global or U.S. economies are technically in recession, there's no doubt that we're facing economic uncertainty. And IT teams are feeling it. Eight in 10 (83 percent) of organizations are worried about an impending recession this year, according to the 2023 State of IT study by Spiceworks Ziff Davis. Half (51 percent) of those organizations have plans to tighten their budgets as a precaution.

Since enterprise mobility is a growing expenditure, it may make your shortlist for cuts. But with the rising importance of mobile devices to your business operations, eliminating wireless spending is not a feasible option. Instead, try these strategies for optimizing wireless spending in the workplace:

#1 Policy and Procedure Review - Auditing your wireless policies and procedures is a vital exercise for getting a handle on your wireless costs. Without parameters for acceptable wireless usage, you run the risk of too much waste. Putting controls in place and holding users accountable to policies that lower costs will pay off.

Therein lies the rub. Mobile device policies and procedures that ensure cost-effective wireless usage only work when enforced so follow these steps:

  • Establish the policies — Create your wireless policies to support your employees' work and provide a good experience while prescribing cost-efficiency. Enlist the help of wireless optimization experts if needed.
  • Communicate the policies — Creating policies in a vacuum does no good. Communicate them to the masses early and often.
  • Enforce the policies — Automate usage notifications so employees are aware of their usage and can change their behaviors if needed.
  • Audit the policies As your business evolves, so should your policies. Auditing policies regularly will ensure they support optimized enterprise mobility.

If you "set and forget" your wireless policies, that usually means zero changes and zero savings.

#2 Contract Negotiation - Price shopping and carrier comparisons are the low-hanging fruit when cutting wireless costs. But remember, there's no cut-and-dry formula for decreasing spend with carriers. To achieve short-term savings and long-term optimization, contract negotiation goals must be specific to your industry, company, and business model. Here are a few things to take into consideration:

  • What geographies do you need covered?
  • How frequently are high-bandwidth activities like streaming used to support your operations?
  • What are the limitations of your unlimited plan?
  • When do you expect to refresh devices?
  • What business growth or expansion do you expect?

Effective carrier contract negotiation requires your team to understand current and expected wireless usage across the enterprise.

#3 Inventory Management - Accurately tracking your wireless assets can give you better visibility and help cut costs by streamlining operations. Enlist a partner like vMOX to centralize and integrate device-related processes across departments (accounting, IT, HR, etc.) to drive efficiencies. vMOX, for example, can help with device ordering, setup/reset, storage, logistics and updates. Plus, the vMOX OnePortal platform can help you achieve 90-95 percent inventory accuracy, so you can make smarter decisions about when to buy or repurpose devices.

Inventory management also impacts security. Device visibility enables you to oversee patch management, detect fraud, and respond to device loss or theft. These key security measures prevent potential data breaches that could cost thousands — or millions — of dollars and immeasurable harm to your reputation.

#4 Waste Management - Auditing and revising your enterprise mobility program can uncover immediate and ongoing savings by eliminating waste. One unused wireless line could cost your company $20 to $85 per month, depending on the plan, taxes and fees. Multiplied across your organization, unused lines could cost you thousands of dollars per year or even per month.

In addition to unused lines, unused devices can generate waste as well. Using an inventory management software as a service (SaaS) solution or working with an expert partner like vMOX can help build automated procedures to refurbish, reset or repurpose unused devices.

#5 Workflow Automation - Automating routine tasks can improve day-to-day productivity, decrease errors and ensure compliance with your wireless policies, leading to more cost savings over time. Using workflow automation frees up important resources, allowing for the prioritization of other tasks.

For example, using a platform like the vMOX OnePortal enables you to create several workflows customized to support your specific business mobility needs. They include processes like:  

  • Order approval
  • Invoice retrieval, routing, processing and approval
  • Accounts payable, bill payment and cost center assignment
  • Employee lifecycle management and device assignment audit
  • Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform compliance like Microsoft Intune
  • Device recovery process and asset management
  • IT Service Management (ITSM) integration like ServiceNow
  • Service desk support routing
  • Program and compliance

Savings Now and Savings Later

Implementing these five strategies can help your business uncover immediate savings, but the real payoff lies in what wireless optimization can do for your business over time. Mobile usage is dynamic, but most business mobile rate plans are static, so it's vital to consider your entire mobile environment when customizing your approach to trimming your wireless budget.

Unlimited wireless plans can be deceiving and are not a good fit for every business so tread carefully. Take care not to let the threat of a recession lead to indiscriminate IT cuts or decisions that may compromise network security, quality of service, or user experience. The impacts may last far longer than a hiccup in the economy.

Need help optimizing your wireless costs with IT managed services? Connect with a vMOX expert today.

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