Bring your own device (BYOD) programs that allow employees to use their personal iPhones, iPads, Android devices, or other mobile technologies in the office are becoming more mainstream. While there are many advantages to allowing or actively encouraging employee-owned devices in the workplace, reducing costs isn’t one of them for most companies despite the fact that cost reduction is one of the most common goals for a BYOD program.
In fact, companies are more likely to see costs increase after adding BYOD as an option for employees. That’s a common perception that is being proved accurate by a new study that looks at home companies are handling BYOD, the cost savings or increases associated with BYOD, and the mobile platforms supported by BYOD programs.
The report from commissioned by mobile and telecom expense management company Xigo and shows that only 9% of companies that have moved to some form of BYOD deployment have seen a notable lowering of IT and communications costs. Nearly three times that many (24%) have seen costs go up by a notable margin. Most companies (two-thirds or 67%), however, say that costs have neither risen nor fallen by a statistically significant amount (Xigo considers a 20% chance or great as a significant shift in this study).
Xigo broke out help desk and support costs from device and service purchases and noted that 70% of companies didn’t see any increased support expenses associated with BYOD while 28% said support costs have increased. No companies indicated a support cost decrease.
The survey also looked at how companies are implementing BYOD.
The majority of companies (60%) have no formal BYOD policies and officially sanction only corporate-provided devices. When it comes to BYOD, Xigo found that three different approaches were common.
- BYOD only with no cost sharing between employees and their company (10%)
- BYOD with some form of employee reimbursement for device and/or service costs (8%)
- Hybrid deployments where a BYOD program is sanctioned but corporate owned and managed devices are still provided to staff or executives as well (22%)
Of companies that have a formal BYOD program and related policies, more than half (54%) have had those programs and policies in place for at least two years.
There is a definite sense that the iPad (currently the extremely dominant player in the business tablet space) is considered and treated different from iPhones and other smartphones. More than half of companies (59%) use different purchasing and/or reimbursement policies for the iPad and other tablets.
RIM’s BlackBerry came in as being the most frequently supported mobile platform for BYOD (27% of companies officially support it). It was followed by Android (20%), iOS (18%), and Windows Phone (13%).
Overall, the survey reiterated many of the concerns already expressed around BYOD and expenses. It did, however, note that reduced costs aren’t the top goal for BYOD programs – a desire to improve corporate culture and user satisfaction was the most common goal followed by increased productivity and then cost reduction.
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