Digital transformation has been one of the biggest buzzwords of 2018, and the travel expense industry has not been immune to this trend. But, when we get down to the brass tacks, it’s a different picture. The reality is that even in the current times of digital transformation, many companies are still reliant on manual expense filing and management.
Case in point, a recent industry survey revealed that 65% of companies in India still record employee expenses manually. 77% require employees to manually attach vouchers and 82% either partially or entirely lack automated T&E processes. They also lack spending analytics (15%) and any visibility into T&E spending (9%). As we move in to 2019, how do we mitigate these challenges and make T&E management better in terms of cost, time and ease of use?
There is a simple answer to this seemingly complex question – Cloud Computing.
Though cloud has been around for the last two decades, its only in the last few years that it has taken centre stage, thanks to rise of a digital, on demand economy. A fully-fledged automated cloud management system is necessary to solve all these problems faced by manual or semi digitized T&E management.
Here are the some of the key benefits that cloud computing brings to T&E management:
Flexibility and Scalability: Whether it’s the last month rush during new year or low volumes in the off season, cloud offers scalable models that help companies manage costs basis real time usage, rather than maintaining year-round IT infrastructure at an increased cost. Simply put, cloud-based software systems can be scaled and configured to specific needs, even if the needs change over time. The infrastructure is mostly compatible with any internal system via API's; reducing investment in additional hardware, software, extra servers or licenses.
Accessibility and mobility: With cloud, employees can access their travel and expense management tools anywhere, anytime with an Internet connection. In addition, they can book travel, approve expense reports or update expense claims with absolute ease for cloud also allows companies to leverage mobile to their advantage. With mobile integration, cloud makes it easy for them to host their applications on the internet and provide speedy services to everyone.
Author: Andy Watson, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Asia Pacific Japan and Greater China, SAP Concur
Security: Cloud computing services provide real-time data backups and strictly adhere to Indian and international security standards (ISO). It is a safer means of exchanging business data and carrying out all business transactions related to travel & expense management.
Analytics: Running analytics on cloud stored data is comparatively easier as most cloud service systems come with integrated analytics. This helps teams implement tracking mechanisms and build customized reports to analyse organization-wide information. Which means better insights and business intelligence leading to informed decision making.
Compliance and Quality control: If the organisation uses a cloud-based T&E system, all related documents are stored at one place and in a single format. This helps companies maintain information consistency, keep detailed records and revise and update in one go. This means better quality control, reduced manual errors and improved compliance.
According to a study by Nutanix, India will lead globally in hybrid cloud usage and adoption over the next two years. In fact, the adoption of hybrid cloud will more than triple to 43% from 13% in the next twenty-four months. This will most likely affect the T&E industry as well and its best that the industry gets prepares itself beforehand in order to not be left behind. It’s time to get on Cloud!