Are Businesses Better Off Supplying Workers With Mobile Devices?
Many companies struggle with the question of whether to supply employees with mobile devices versus requiring them to supply their own for work purposes. It doesn’t take much thought to quickly see pros and cons for each approach, so Samsung and Oxford Economics recently joined forces to survey 500 CEOs and IT executives to find some concrete answers to this common dilemma.
More than half of the respondents thought the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach was the most cost-effective option. While it is true that businesses can see upfront savings from this approach, there is a lot more to consider than the cost of acquisition.
More BYOD companies are covering expenses for monthly stipends and cellular connectivity than in the past. Two years ago, only 10% of respondents paid all the monthly service costs for the employees; now, 31% cover the full monthly costs today. Nearly every company is paying for mobile service plans to some extent these days. Two years ago, 20% of the companies polled did not offer any type of stipend to workers for their devices or connectivity; today that figure is just 6%.
There’s also the matter of securing and managing the employees access to corporate data, which is something that could expose a business to significant security risks if not done correctly. This requires significant resource investment and is clearly easier to manage on devices supplied by the employer directly. For those companies that decide to enlist the help of third-party vendors for mobile management, the cost can be even greater.
Therefore, companies that require their workers to furnish their own mobile devices often end up saving a lot less money than they thought compared to those that directly issue devices to employees. That’s why it is useful to carry out cost benefit analysis on mobile device policies. It’s also important to keep in mind that companies that provide employees with devices generally report that they realize more value from the mobile efforts they make than those requiring workers to supply their own phones.