Questions to Ask About BYOD

BYOD. Today it seems everyone involved in any way with enterprise mobility management is constantly being barraged with the term. It’s a buzzword that just isn’t going away, at least not anytime in the foreseeable future. It seems like everyone in the industry has a different take on whether BYOD is a positive or a negative. There are definitely many cases for and against it, but I think most people considering BYOD don’t even ask the most important question: What is the real reason they want to implement BYOD?

BYOD in the Mobile Ecosystem

It sounds basic but this is something that’s almost always overlooked. Is an organization doing it to save money? Is a company looking to BYOD to help increase employee productivity? What IT and security challenges will implementing BYOD raise for a business? In regards to making a decision on BYOD a company needs to weigh both pros AND cons. It’s important that they don’t just jump on board because it’s the hot trending topic. It may be right for your organization or it may be entirely wrong.

In what will be a two-part series, we’re going to focus on two of the questions listed in the paragraph above: the cost of BYOD for a business and IT, and security challenges of implementing BYOD.

So let’s look at the first question posed: Will BYOD really save your business money? Making the switch for this reason sounds enticing, right? Everyone that works for your company will pay their own phone bill. This will probably save you around $70 per employee. This seems nice, but according to most experts saving large amounts of the green stuff is one of the biggest myths surrounding the BYOD phenomenon. If your saving money on the corporate phone bill, chances are you’ll spend more on IT costs and upgrades, which may offset what you think you’re saving completely.

In a recent article by Matt Hamblen of Computerworld, he cites a report from Osterman Research that says annual IT costs will raise by 48 percent next year compared to 2011 because of the BYOD craze. Hamblen also states the following:

Increased mobile device management means a growing need for IT workers: 2.9 full-time IT workers per 1,000 mobile devices were needed in 2011. That number rose to 3.6 full-time workers per 1,000 devices this year, and it’s expected to reach 4 full-time workers per 1,000 devices in 2013, Osterman said. Those costs convert to a yearly IT labor cost per user of $229 in 2011, $294 in 2012 and a projected increase to $339 per user in 2013.

BYOD may save you money but after increased IT support personnel and upgrades it may end up costing you more. Of course this all depends on the size and individual makeup of your company. Costs need to be weighed carefully before jumping into the BYOD abyss.

Join us next Tuesday for the second installment of the discussion! In the meantime, check out Kelly Ungs recent post on the Myths of BYOD and tell us if you agree or disagree. Have a great weekend!


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