Most discussions around BYOD and costs focus on one of two areas. The first is the cost reduction that a company might see if employees provide their own iPhones (or other devices) and pay for their own mobile plans. The second is the cost for mobile management solutions to secure and manage those personally-owned devices along with the apps and data stored on them.
Those are major concerns, but research company ARCchart recently identified a completely different cost of the BYOD trend – the revenues that device manufacturers and carriers are likely to lose as BYOD becomes a standard practice across the business world. According to ARCchart, the worldwide mobile industry could take a hit as big as $40 billion over the next four years as a result of BYOD.
The study, based on surveys about BYOD plans from enterprises around the world, indicates a broad move towards embracing BYOD. That’s not a particular surprise given the number of studies released over the past few months about BYOD adoption. ARCchart reports that 65% of companies will have implemented some form of BYOD support by the end of this year. Only 11% said that they have no BYOD plans in the immediate or near future.
That could means that workers in those companies will use personal devices on the job anyway, but that’s a different topic altogether.
Based on those numbers and estimates of corporate-owned devices that could be replaced by employee-owned iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and other mobile technologies, ARCchart has calculated the overall hit that the industry could take to be as high as $40 billion between now and 2016.
That hit, however, won’t be spread evenly across the industry. Manufacturers who predominantly market to business and enterprise customers will be hit the hardest. RIM is expected to be one of the first casualties of the BYOD trend, though it likely won’t be the last. The manufacturers which stand to lose the least, or even profit from the trend, are those who deliver exceptional customer experience while offering business capabilities – that almost certainly means Apple will make out pretty well as a result. Samsung will probably also benefit.
Carriers will also take a hit as businesses reduce the number of lines that they pay for on a monthly basis. That hit may be softened a bit by the fact that consumers using their devices on the job will probably need to up their plans to cover additional data use.
If this trend plays out as ARCchart predicts, the biggest winner will most likely be the relatively young mobile management industry. As BYOD and mobility become mainstream parts of the global business culture, mobile management will become ever more essential. Regardless of whether companies opt for a strategy designed around device, app, or information management (or a mix of all three), mobile management seems poised to be a business staple.