When it comes to telecom expense management, does the bring your own device (BYOD) trend really make sense?
Sure, intuitively it appears that employees who use their own devices will save their company money. After all, that’s less hardware to purchase and maintain.
But the reality is that BYOD might not bring cost savings at all.
Just 9 percent of companies surveyed by telecom industry association CCMI reported saving money with BYOD—and 24 percent actually reported seeing an increase in spending after putting in place a BYOD program.
One reason for this is the potential lack of cost savings when individual employees bring their own devices. The company saves on the cost of the phone, but monthly voice and data services might still be passed on to the employer—and that might not be purchased in bulk like with a corporate plan.
More importantly, BYOD does not mean bring your own device support. Damovo UK found that 69 percent of the IT directors it surveyed reported that cost savings around lower support costs are non-existent. Employees still use IT resources when they need support, and with a variety of different mobile devices now in the mix, this can make life even harder for IT.
Companies still have to pay for mobile device management (MDM) and individual mobile and data plans to enable BYOD initiatives, and some companies are holding off on implanting BYOD because of such costs, reported ZDNet.
“Whether a company is a Fortune 500 firm or a little startup, there is really only one reason to allow employees to BYOD,” wrote James Kendrick for ZDNet. “Increased productivity from workers using their own precious gadgets is the only reason to do it.”
Not that the case is clear regarding cost savings.
“It depends on your answer to key questions,” wrote Dan Lohrmann for the Government Technology blog.
Some key factors include whether BYOD is offered to all employees or just those who had smartphones before, whether a stipend is involved for those who bring their own device, what data plans are allowed, how many calls come into the IT department and how many different mobile device models are allowed, among other considerations.
“In Michigan, we over 47,000 employees, but less than 10,000 currently have government-provided smartphones or Blackberries,” wrote Lohrmann. “Who gets to have an MDM-protected BYOD device? This will be decided by the agency business areas.”
Eventually there should be BYOD implementation tools such as return on investment calculators that should help businesses calculate if BYOD offers cost savings.
“In the meantime, the BYOD parade continues, but don’t spend the savings just yet,” wrote Lohrmann.
Even if you are unsure about the definite cost-savings associated with BYOD, it’s important to have a mobile device management solution in place if implementing BYOD in the workplace. MaaS360 by Fiberlink offers mobile device management, mobile application management, document management, mobile expense management and laptop management to give you a single solution to all of your mobile needs. The mobile device management market has grown exponentially over the past few years, but MaaS360 is the only Gartner (News - Alert) Magic Quadrant leader to give you robust mobile device, app and content management from a multitenant cloud platform.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey