In December 2013 and January 2014, Aberdeen conducted a series of surveys focused on Travel and Expense Management (T&E) for 2014. Organizations today have a lot to think about: such as economic challenges, productivity concerns, and technology advancement that will support a strong ROI.
Aberdeen has reported in the past that the average organization relies on business travel to achieve certain objectives, whether it is client outreach, business development, or for internal purposes. In fact, the typical company will spend 10% (or more) of its total annual budget on expenses related to business travel in 2014, a factor that has not changed dramatically over the past few years. Organizations today must reevaluate existing strategies for travel and expense management, how to overcome key challenges, and structure a robust program that balances core competencies and modern technology enablers.
Best-in-Class organizations recognize the importance of T&E as a key strategy to be utilized and leveraged across their organization, but the question begs to be asked, what are the improvements that these organizations look at? The first large area of improvement for 2014 and beyond will be in mobility with the Best-in-Class three times more likely than the Industry Average to focus on mobile; even our Laggards have a leg up on this one. Simply because your organization may fall in the Laggard category at times, mobility is the equalizer for many organizations. The ease, flexibility, cost, and high acceptance rate makes it a winner for those organizations looking to gain an advantage in ’today’s market space.
The next areas we see for Best-in-Class organizations are analytics and business intelligence. These two categories have shown steady growth for the past few years, so this isn’t out of the ordinary. Simply put, organizations need to understand how their business performs; the best way to drive this intelligence is with analytics and business intelligence. Another way to view this is that analytics is the oil in the engine; you keep it well-oiled and maintained, then you will have a high-performing engine running at peak levels. If you choose to miss those oil changes and maintenance plan, than you don’t know what to expect except trouble.
Aberdeen also sees growth for both the Average and Laggard organizations in the need to grow their expense management processes. We can see that this is not something that these organizations take lightly and is now a critical area of improvement with these organizations, while continuing to be an area of critical growth for Best-in-Class organizations.
Find more interesting facts and direction for the T&E industry by viewing: The Travel and Expense Management Guide for 2014: Trends for the Future