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Xigo's Telecom Expense Management Blog
As you may have seen, we recently announced the results of a nationwide survey of telecommunications professionals that we conducted in conjunction with CCMI, the industry’s leading provider of telecom rate, data solutions and information.
In reviewing the results a little deeper, I think there’s a few interesting conclusions that can be made about the state of enterprise mobile today—and what trends IT managers need to prepare themselves for in the near future.
The lead finding that over half of all enterprises are still in complete control of what devices their employees use and what service plans they are on is not surprising, despite all of the growth numbers that are publicized about BYOD. In our experiences, enterprises are open to the idea of BYOD, but it gets a bit trickier when it comes to implementing the policy. Between concerns about corporate data and user privacy—not to mention expense overruns and who pays for what—we’ve seen many companies try BYOD out on a trial program while continuing to maintain control.
That said, BYOD made a strong showing in our results as well. 22% of respondents run a hybrid of corporate-liable and BYOD models, while 10% said they were full BYOD shops that not only allowed users to use their own devices, but expected them to pay all monthly service charges themselves.
Another interesting finding was around what enterprises felt the goals of BYOD were. Only 12% moved to BYOD because of executive demands, while 19% did it to keep employees happy. While both valid reasons on some levels, these are not the types of reasons to base a corporate mobility policy around.
Policies such as BYOD affect every part of the workplace and need to be well thought-out and developed in unison with all executives, taking into account whether it will make the organization operate better.
That’s why seeing that 17% of enterprises saw BYOD as a way to improve productivity and 15% saw it as a way to reduce spending was much better. These numbers are far too low—as productivity and cost are two of the most relevant reasons in any corporate decision—but it’s a start. We expect as more companies research BYOD and really look into the cost/benefit analysis that these numbers will increase.
Whether BYOD can actually reduce expenses is a question that begs further research—67% of our respondents currently using BYOD said that their expenditures haven’t increased or decreased since changing policies. This means that device costs were quickly replaced by management costs—and is something companies should keep an eye on, because if management costs rise, BYOD may no longer be a valid choice.
One last finding that should be noted by every IT manager or executive that reads this—36% of enterprises feel that tablets will one day replace laptops. That means the possibility of even less control over what employees work on—and highlights the importance of policies and software to monitor and control usage, expenses and security.
BYOD is clearly taking hold, even if it’s not all the way there yet.
The full report, entitled “Mobility Temperature Check: Just How Hot Is BYOD?” is available to the public here: http://discover.xigo.com/BYOD-Survey-2012.html.
While your company decides when to move to BYOD or roll out tablet use, there are a few tips I can share that might help you get from one policy to the next:
- WiFi: Make sure your entire company takes advantage of WiFi all the time, at work or at home. WiFi use can eliminate end-of-the month billing surprises.
- Usage Policy: This has grown in importance this year—enterprises need to make sure employees aren’t abusing devices for personal use.
- Expenses: Are you regularly reviewing your mobile bills? Are employees over their allotments? Under? Are there crazy charged that you and your employees are unaware of? If you don’t know the situation, you can’t work with your carrier to adjust and cut costs. They won’t do it for you.