The Little-Known, Big Risk of BYOD

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post from NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on delivering savings in the areas of IT, telecom and transportation.

According to Aberdeen, 75 percent of today's companies allow BYOD (bring your own device). There has been no shortage of discussion around the pros and cons of BYOD, but one question that hasn't been explored is this: how will BYOD impact carrier contract(s)?

The truth is the advantages of BYOD are many, but not without a few risks -- especially for companies taking a hybrid approach where there are both corporate and individually owned devices in the enterprise. In these cases, companies struggle to navigate around contractual pitfalls in their enterprise carrier agreements that could negate the cost benefits of BYOD. Here are three ways to avoid these cost risks:

  1. You don't have to give up your volume discounts. You can still get credit for individual responsible users (IRUs) under your current carrier contract. Request that your employees use the corporate rate plan by using a corporate referral code. If you can get enough users to sign up, you may be able to receive more account credits than you do today.
  2. Beware of termination fees. Moving large numbers of corporate responsible users (CRUs) to IRUs is no easy feat. Most carriers have early termination fees to make switching carriers or defecting as difficult and expensive as possible. The secret? Timing. Understand how early termination fees will impact your user migration, and plan accordingly.
  3. Understand, anticipate the security impact and costs of BYOD. One of the biggest concerns of BYOD is device security. Personal devices are far more difficult to monitor and are more susceptible to security risks. For most organizations, minimizing these risks requires the combination of a detailed security and governance policy, as well as the implementation of distinct IT measures. These may include federated ID, enhanced SSL VPN capabilities, soft token authentication solutions and others. Determining these policies and solutions up front will go a long way in preparing for and managing any additional IT costs.

The benefits of BYOD are enormous, especially for those that 100% implement this policy. But, the reality is that most enterprises are stuck somewhere between the "company cell phone" days and BYOD. With a little foresight, they can steer clear of cost risks and realize the full benefits of BYOD without actually fully deploying it.

- Jeff Muscarella, EVP of IT, NPI

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