BYOD – On the Decline in 2013?

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

Just yesterday, posted an article on "2013 Prediction: BYOD on the Decline?" Given that most experts predict BYOD is still on the rise (Gartner has said it will be a top tech trend for 2013), this article discusses an interesting perspective from Nucleus Research:

"Nucleus just put out a research note with this stunning prediction: BYOD will decline as enterprise mobility grows up. The thinking goes that BYOD was in the height of the hype cycle this year, and it's due for a reality check next year...

"The reality is that the support costs, compliance risks, and usage reimbursement typically lead to a higher total cost of ownership with no discernible return on investment or productivity gains," Nucleus says. "As enterprise CFOs take a closer look at the true pros and cons of BYOD in 2013, they will seek to pursue the most fiscally responsible option: corporate-based accounts."

NPI's experiences with enterprise BYOD cost management point to a more middle-of-the-road perspective. Of the companies we work with that have a BYOD policy, most are reasonably happy with the cost advantages. But, just as many are surprised by the unanticipated cost impacts.

What happens when the volume discounts you've negotiated with your wireless carriers go down (or away)? Does the cost benefit outweigh the added device management investments you'll need to make to protect corporate data across smartphones and laptops? As you transition from corporate devices to BYOD, will you get pummeled by early termination fees? If you haven't sorted through these questions, read more here.

Predictions aside, I want to share a few observations from the trenches that can guide enterprises as they evaluate, execute and manage BYOD policies:

  1. BYOD may be all the rage, but it's still relatively new to the enterprise, as well as to carriers and vendors. With that in mind, carriers and vendors are aggressively finding ways to negate the impact of BYOD on their business – whether through higher pricing, lower discounts or other fees. If you aren't staying on top of these provider-side changes, you will pay the price.
  2. Few enterprises are 100% BYOD. Most have a combination of both corporate device and individual device users. That means carrier and vendor contracts are still in play, and must be more meticulously managed and negotiated. Your vendor management and contracting strategy should reflect your long-term BYOD goals.
  3. It's open season for mobile device management and mobile security vendors. Disparity between what you pay for a solution and what a comparable company pays is rampant. Make sure you're paying fair market value.

- Jeff Muscarella, EVP of IT, NPI

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