When you calculate the cost of a business trip, what do you include? Flight cost? Accommodation? Time out of the office? All of these are reasonable considerations when looking at the return on investment of making a business trip.
One aspect that is rarely considered is the cost of staying in contact. With so much business conducted on mobile devices and the speed if business growing faster all the time, what is the cost of someone not being in touch? An alternative way to look at this is what is the cost of them staying in touch?
The cost of data roaming has been the dirty secret of the mobile industry for a decade. Despite attempts by the European Union to make this issue more transparent, the cost is still high across Europe and obscene outside of the EU (it can be up to £8 per megabyte of data). With the average business traveller using around 250 Megabytes of data per day, the costs can be astronomical – and are rarely seen as part of a trip.
Whilst the mobile networks have tried to create bundles to mitigate this cost of business travel, this does not offer the flexibility that businesses need: when you need to be in contact you cannot rely on only using a small amount of data in a trip. What if someone sends you a contract as a big attachment? You have the choice of paying a huge cost for it or not receiving it at all.
For many businesses the cost of connectivity when away falls between the IT department, the telecoms department and the finance function. Make sure your business understands the total cost of doing business abroad by ensuring there is one person responsible for monitoring and managing the cost of data connectivity on business trips.
This post was written by Tommi Uhari, CEO of Uros. Uros is exhibiting at the Business Travel Show next week - 4-5 February 2014. To register for a visitor pass please visit www.businesstravelshow.com