Travel and Expense

How Intelligent Travel and Expense Management Drives the Future of Work

SAP Concur Team |

Talk about a balancing act. Businesses hunt for cost savings and efficiency amid inflation, global instability, and other challenges. At the same time, travel is recovering as companies recognize that virtual meetings cannot fully replace the relationships – and business  – that are built face to face. 

Businesses can balance and meet such competing needs by increasing the automation of technology and processes, concludes Forrester Consulting in its new thought leadership paper commissioned by SAP Concur, Empower the Future of Work with Intelligent Travel and Expense Solutions.  

The benefits of intelligent travel and expense (T&E) solutions not only automate the process but also incorporate artificial intelligence technology to extend benefits beyond productivity, savings, and travel. The intelligent T&E solutions provide better spending visibility, decision-making, and employee experience, according to Forrester, whose analysis and recommendations derive from a global survey of T&E software decision-makers working in finance, travel, IT, or procurement. 

Among the many interesting findings: 

  • 76% of decision-makers say increasing automation to improve efficiency and productivity is a high or critical priority, with two-thirds citing a more automated T&E platform as a way to accomplish that priority. 
  • 78% prefer a single platform to manage their T&E processes. 
  • 64% report their companies are under pressure to manage costs. 
  • 77% believe travel is important or very important to managing customer relationships – and 67% cite its role in obtaining new customers. 
Empower the Future of Work with Intelligent Travel and Expense Solutions  

Read the paper for Forrester Consulting’s analysis of their survey and to see their recommendations for businesses of all sizes. 

Get the paper here

Current solutions fall short 

When Forrester asked, many respondents readily described how their current T&E solutions fell short. Just over half say they’re stuck with a solution unable to scale and adapt to changing needs, a failure negatively affecting their business.  

Other T&E challenges decision-makers mention include difficulty tracking spending (54%), employee frustration with the expense process (59%), and a lack of timely data to make decisions (47%). Looking at the numbers, Forrester observes that there is something seriously wrong when organizations don’t have the data needed to make decisions.  

An integrated travel and expense platform makes a difference 

Insights pop up when Forrester examines how the views of decision-makers at companies with an integrated T&E platform compare with the views of those using fragmented solutions.  

For example, respondents working at businesses with fragmented systems are 1.5 times more likely than single-platform peers to struggle with timely visibility into data, processes, and systems. Just 17% of those respondents say their current systems can automatically provide alerts to changes in T&E policies and procedures, vs. 64% of single-platform respondents. And only a quarter say their current solution easily connects to their business’ other systems, as opposed to 60% of those with an integrated platform.  

What they recommend 

Businesses clearly can see the challenges and obstacles current travel and expense solutions place in front of them.  

Overall, about a quarter of businesses are what Forrester calls “implementers” – those that have already sought out an integrated T&E platform that’s AI-driven.  Others surveyed – 39% – intend to implement an updated solution within a year, while 34% are interested but haven’t yet made plans. 

The “implementers” have lessons and gains to share. Nearly 7 in 10 say their spending visibility increased, with 54% finding they can provide insights that drive action. A total of 68% report their integrated platform improves the employee experience, reflecting a better user experience from less burdensome work. 

As Forrester recommends, companies wanting to achieve similar benefits should: 

  • Develop a business case for an intelligent T&E platform. 
  • Ensure their T&E platform can integrate everywhere you need (and adapt and grow with the business). 
  • Empower your employees through intelligent automation. 
  • Make an important contribution to your organization’s sustainability journey. 
  • Have short-term goals but plan for the long haul. 

Read further 

Get the paper for a deeper look into the recommendations, research, and analysis from Forrester Consulting and discover how your business can grow, improve its culture, and empower the future of work. 

Travel and Expense
Safety risk sustainability and control of spend are common topics at the moment As travel managers learn about and assess those and other challenges they may ask themselves a gutlevel...
Keep reading
Travel and Expense
Whether a companys travelers are taking to the skies and roads again is as they say about real estate   often a matter of location location location Many US companies are restarting...
Keep reading
Travel and Expense
Business travelers reflecting concerns about the impact on companies and careers want to return to the skies road rails and hotels to meet clients and colleagues in person Our recent ...
Keep reading