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Does BOYD Really Save Money

Friday, 06 April 2012 17:22
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"Organizations that simply say BYOD is about productivity and have completely ignored the cost structure are playing with a blank check," says Aberdeen analyst Hyoun Park. This is a splash of cold water on the hot BYOD trend.

Mobile BYOD was supposed to get CIOs out of the vicious hardware-buying cycle, or at least offset costs. But BYOD's dirty little secret is that most CIOs aren't seeing cost savings. In fact, mobile BYOD often costs more in the long run than company-owned mobile devices.
So where's the money going? Here are five hidden costs in mobile BYOD.

Hidden Cost: The Monthly Premium Hit

Traditionally, CIOs haven't had much to do with mobile devices. But mobile devices have become strategic lately and thus have fallen into the CIO's purview. This means many CIOs are probably not familiar with a wireless expense management cost structure, which is extremely complicated. "They approach BYOD from a limited perspective," Park says.

A company can purchase hundreds or thousands of smartphones and receive a volume-discount rate, including some free replacements. Under a BYOD program, a company doesn't get these benefits. However, this isn't a big deal since employees are paying out of pocket for the hardware anyway.

The problem really comes into play with the wireless service. A company that chooses to own mobile devices can buy services in bulk from a single carrier and increase its discounting power, whereas a consumer signing up for a two-year plan pays a much higher rate.

Hidden Cost: Expense Reports

You'll have to tack on the hidden cost of reimbursing BYOD employees. Typically, an employee files a monthly expense report for their wireless bill. A single expense report costs about $18 to process, says Aberdeen.

It should be noted that an employee who files an expense report with multiple expenses, including the wireless bill, will still only cost the company $18 to process. That is, mobile BYOD expense reporting will incur this hidden cost only if the expense report was filed solely because of the wireless bill.

BYOD employees often expense their entire wireless bill rather than itemize it. "There's absolutely no visibility into what's personal and what's corporate," Park says. "Even though companies may say they take care of this by putting in a ceiling or fixed expense amount, it doesn't mean they've optimized the cost structure. It just means employees know how high they can go."

Hidden Cost: Security, Management and Data Loss

When a company buys mobile devices in bulk, it can set up a process to automate deployment and management in a scalable way. In a BYOD scenario, an IT person has to input each individual device into a system, punching in phone numbers, IMEIs (international mobile equipment identity), and employee information.

Aberdeen doesn't provide a cost to this labor-intensive practice. Nevertheless, "It's a pretty realistic pain-point for a company dealing with BYOD on an ongoing basis," Park says.

Then there's the whole issue of security and compliance costs associated with mobile BYOD. Typically, BYOD brings iPhones, iPads and Android phone into BlackBerry shops. This means CIOs will have to invest in a multi-platform mobile device management solution and other software, maybe even a VPN (virtual private network) layer.

"The cost of compliance—ensuring governance, risk management and compliance—is also more difficult when devices must be chased down individually," Park says.

One can see how BYOD could become a nightmare for CIOs. Avanade, a business technology services firm, which surveyed more than 600 IT decision makers late last year, discovered something rather alarming: More than half of companies reported experiencing security breachs as a result of consumer gadgets.

Hidden Cost: Who's Helping the Help Desk?

Then there's the hidden cost in help desk support. With BYOD, IT departments are caught between the proverbial rock and hard place: IT doesn't control the actions of the carrier or the devices, yet is still being held responsible to support BYOD employees, even if IT isn't getting additional resources to do so.

The flip side is to unload BYOD support onto employees. The thinking goes, they are on the hook to repair their own personal devices. Got a problem with your iPad? Head to the nearest Apple store.

As BYOD becomes more pervasive and mission-critical, this kind of self-service won't hold up. "You don't really have control of the device and data if employees are solely responsible for managing the device," Park says. "At that point, the company has abdicated control of some of its assets."
The bottom line: CIOs will have to invest in help desk support for BYOD.

Hidden Cost: Multi-Platform Apps

Let's face it, mobile BYOD means more platforms to develop apps for and support. The cost of internal app development can rise dramatically with BYOD. Companies that "go native" must invest in each platform in the BYOD portfolio.

 

The High Cost of BYOD

All tallied, BYOD doesn't look pretty from a cost perspective. A typical mobile BYOD environment costs 33 percent more than a well-managed wireless deployment where the company owns the devices, according to Aberdeen.

"Despite all the talk about BYOD being cheaper, that's not what is actually being deployed," Park says.

The point is that every CIO needs to have a clear understanding if these hidden cright osts, not in order to resist BOYD but in order to have the right tactics and strategies.



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Last Updated on Friday, 06 April 2012 17:36
 

Comments 

 
0 #2 Jenny Francis 2012-06-07 13:06
My answer is whether BOYD saves money or not, I can't fight the tide, one guy likes BB, another Android, some iPhone and now the Windows fans are coming with their Windows phones.

The discussion should be on how best to deal with the challenge rather than whether to deal with it or not.
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0 #1 Noor Ibrahim 2012-05-11 09:14
BOYD is a total pain especially now with Android becoming a key player. It used to me manageable with BBs and iPhones. Luckily there is little interest in Windows phones in our organization.
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