Moving to a BYOD Environment – Good or Bad?

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)… Is it for your Company?

An article posted by the Aberdeen group (http://blogs.aberdeen.com/communications/the-true-cost-of-byod/) talks about the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) work environments.

The article shows a higher overall cost to those environments that utilize BYOD and they hit the nail on the head, but only scratched the surface. Managing 1000 units across one corporate account will also produce substantial savings opportunities through areas such as: voice pooling, data pooling, internal calling options, bulk carrier discounts, and access to more lucrative plans and features – not generally available to the individual consumer.

Management of the fleet is far more cost effective when managed corporately. Managing individual consumer accounts is extremely labour intensive and generally difficult to find cost savings, as they are outside of the Corporate Group. As an analyst with, GILL Technologies, that reviews thousands of mobile bills on a regular basis, I can tell you that finding carrier billing errors is much less labour intensive when there is some consistency to the account. Plan and feature savings are much easier to lay out with corporate accounts rather than individual consumer accounts. When people travel, dealing with any additional long distance and roaming can produce greater savings over corporate accounts. All this means higher costs when working with individual consumer accounts. You also need to factor in the additional challenge of people on and off trying to manage their own accounts. Sometimes people remember to make the changes and sometimes those changes are the right ones. But this is NOT always the case.

Another area where it is more cost effective to manage a corporate mobile device fleet over individual units is with potential down time. When a business manages a mobile fleet, they typically have spare units so that there is little to no “down time” for their end users when units are damaged etc. Our internal Client Care Team deals with these types of situations on a regular basis and it is usually a very simple process to get the person back up and running on another unit quickly within a corporate fleet. This is still possible in a BYOD environment but not nearly as cost effective, or as simple.

Creating a Corporate Mobile Device policy with regards to security becomes a significantly greater (and as a result more expensive) challenge within a BYOD environment. The IT department within a company may have a security policy that covers their mobile device fleet, but it becomes very challenging to implement and enforce across a BYOD environment. The transmission of company data, the storage of potentially sensitive files on personal mobile devices, no control over what 3rd party “apps” are on a persons personal smartphone, all pose significant and potentially severe challenges for a company that may choose to utilize a BYOD environment. There is also the concern about smartphones and other mobile devices and their cameras / recording capabilities within a corporate setting. This challenge is not easy to overcome in today’s world of smartphones regardless as to what enviroment a company utilizes but something that needs to be considered.

When all of these considerations are taken into account, the choice to reject a BYOD environment becomes easier for a business to do. The costs are higher and the security risks are greater.

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