Most IT Directors (73%) Say BYOD Will Lead To Uncontrolled Costs Not Savings

Most IT Directors (73%) Say BYOD Will Lead To Uncontrolled Costs Not Savings

Instead of saving money, most IT directors expect BYOD will significantly increase IT expenses

Despite the fact that BYOD is often perceived as a way to reduce technology expenses, nearly three-quarters (73%) of IT managers expect that BYOD will have the opposite effect. The big fear is that BYOD will cause IT spending to spiral out of control.

That’s the news from enterprise technology vendor Damovo UK. The company recently surveyed100 IT directors from organizations with more than 1,000 users about their feelings on BYOD and how it is being implemented in their organization.

One major reason for potentially uncontrolled expenses boils down companies losing bargaining power with carriers as employees begin purchasing their own iPhones or Android handsets. While the cost of the device isn’t likely to be passed on to an employer, monthly costs for voice and data service may be a different story. With unlimited data plans slowly going the way of the dodo, many workers may not want to shoulder data bills associated with their jobs, which may lead to a shared expense model.

More importantly, nearly the same amount of IT directors (69%) said that cost savings around lower support costs are “non-existent” despite the perception that personal devices will reduce the workload of IT staff. The survey found that IT staffers expect to remained the first place BYOD users call for technical support.

In ranking the added IT costs related with BYOD, security lead the way with 44% of directors identifying it as the most expense short-term cost. Other major cost factors included providing IT and device support (26%) and improving network coverage (19%). While not broken out as a separate cost factor, 82% said that the time and effort to implement management systems and policies was a majort concern.

More than a third of IT departments offering BYOD options (39%) are doing so without an official policy of any kind and despite the hype surrounding app management and enterprise app stores, less that a third (29%) have begun implementing either.

Glyn Owen, Portfolio Manager, Damovo UK summarized some of the major themes from the survey.

These concerns highlight the need for organisations to establish their policy on BYOD as a matter of priority. As an increasing variety of mobile costs are claimed against employee expenses it is inevitable that enterprise costs will rocket. The use of personal devices in the workplace continues to be driven by employees rather than a defined business strategy. Indeed, over two-thirds (67%) of those IT directors surveyed admitted that supporting the CEO’s latest toys is behind many current BYOD agendas!

Related
  • Mxidis88

    So you’re telling me that IT directors, who are used to controlling everything, are not excited about not being in control of everything. Central IT is going to be a joke going forward. More people are self-eductated about tech products and are able to maintain their own devices without ‘the great overlord’ telling them how to do it.

    These people fear the extinction of their own jobs as people become more tech self-sufficient…

  • TechUser

    BYOD eliminates all hardware costs for the employer. However, the employer then needs to only hire IT staff capable of supporting a very wide variety of BYOD equipment and software. Employers can still save overall, if they fire all existing reluctant IT staff, and exclusively hire fresh new graduates, with a new set of job expectations!

  • Himself

    Wow, if this happens, then that might happen and after that this other thing could happen and that would be so terrible that we’d better stifle everything right now! Oddly enough, the whole argument contains nothing to predict or measure changes in employee productivity, which means it isn’t worth beans.

  • prusikov

    When this question is raised I always wonder how Apple themselves manage this problem? How is their internal IT derpartment organised since a) they are still incredibly secretive and b) they all use apple products, don’t they? :)

  • thegraphicmac

    The people being “obsoleted” by tech always cry first and loudest.

  • BrandonEdling

    Interesting article.

    “companies losing bargaining power with carriers as employees begin purchasing their own iPhones or Android handsets.”

    This is like saying “No, we want to save $20 instead of $200!” Sure, they lose bargaining power because they aren’t purchasing as many units, but that’s the point. They’re not purchasing as many units!

    “many workers may not want to shoulder data bills associated with their jobs, which may lead to a shared expense model.”

    Maybe this can be offset by the employer subsidizing the cost.

    “The survey found that IT staffers expect to remained the first place BYOD users call for technical support.”

    That’s when they need to put in clear support expectations and resources, such as crowd-sourced sites.

    “82% said that the time and effort to implement management systems and policies was a majort concern.”

    How is this different than if IT were to purchase the devices? It’s not.

    “More than a third of IT departments offering BYOD options (39%) are doing so without an official policy of any kind”

    So, because they’re not offering a policy, they’re mad at the users for doing whatever they want. Perhaps they should consider a policy?

  • speculatrix

    I have frequently thought that BYOD is a cunning plan by Apple Mac and iPad owners to smuggle their devices into the office and thereby escape from the locked-down corporate WIndows desktop.

    The cost of computing equipment is basically FREE compared to the salaries of the staff using it and the IT department, so BYOD doesn’t really save on equipment costs. However, it means that the company potentially lose control of their data onto staff-owned equipment, and can’t enforce good practises on anti-virus and data protection.
    Lets say a staff member is accused of accessing pr0n at work, if it’s a company computer there’s no arguments about accessing the disk, browser history etc. If it’s someone’s personal Mac they’ve been using for work, none of that is possible.

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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