Business services is a wide ranging industry that has continued to grow during the last decade. Companies rely on these services for marketing, legal, IT, staffing, logistics, etc. Any task that can be outsourced, will be outsourced, in an effort for larger companies to keep up with their work demand.
One area that has seen incredible growth is information technology. IT services include everything and anything from HR to managing software and recurring professional services. The goal of IT services is to make the companies more efficient and productive. However, too many times companies are unaware of how many service contracts they have, who has access and when the renewal dates are.
This is where the problem starts. If a business is tracking their numerous service contracts, then it is usually done on a spreadsheet and handled within each department. This leads to service contracts being lost in a sea of paperwork, endless excel documents, and a business wasting time and money trying to keep ahead of the bookkeeping.
To fix this problem, a service management solution is required. Unlike current contract systems, service management and analytics allows you to track all your individual service details while providing comprehensive financial data and decision making information.
Like contract management systems, service tracking should alert you to upcoming decisions with the appropriate amount of time to act. It would notify you when the service commitment is approaching its term end, so that you can make an informed decision and know the exact cost if you do not take action.
Service tracking and analytics, unlike contract management systems, enables you to store the details regarding each individual service. These include unique identifiers, locations, costs and even terms. Also, a service can be related to other elements in your organization – other services, contacts, projects and assets. This relationship creates an association that is essential to service tracking. If one element is modified or terminated, you will be alerted to any impact to the group.
A simple example of this would be a software license assigned to an employee. If the employee leaves, the license should immediately be identified as unused so it can be cancelled or reassigned. Non-action may result in a missed savings opportunity.
Service Tracking – Death by Paper Cuts
A misconception is only your higher priced services are worth tracking. This, unfortunately, can be an expensive lesson. Low priced, or even free security certificates can require significant resources to remedy if they are allowed to expire. Lapsed certifications and licenses may impact your compliance requirements and incur large penalties. Low priced SaaS services, multiplied by the volume in which they are purchased, can lead to hundreds or thousands of dollars of waste every month if left unchecked.
Many organizations do not believe they have enough contracts and/or services to warrant a service tracking solution. This often means they are not tracking their service commitments effectively and are therefore missing savings opportunities. Companies too often forget that vendors sell their products “as a service.” By failing to track this, the company is wasting more money than they even realize.
Managing every service contract can be complex and time consuming. Businesses need visibility into their contracts and infrastructure so they have the information to make the best decision. Service tracking systems save money and time, improve efficiency and provide actionable data.