When it comes down to the cost of implementing tablets into a work environment, many see BYOD initiatives as a way to reduce costs. While BYOD policies help to reduce the start up costs associated with purchasing these mobile devices, there are a variety of associated costs that many decision makers do not consider.
Employees need empowerment to be able to use their devices freely, which brings about a variety of costs. Dr. Gary Woodill, senior analyst from Float Mobile Learning highlights the three main challenges associated with wireless services charges from BYOD networks (Freifeld, 2013).
3 Challenges Associated With BYOD
- Employee Compensation – Many employees will look to be reimbursed for the portions of their bills that were associated with company activities. This can be handled in a variety of ways, including a stipend approach, but heavy usage or business-related roaming charges can quickly send this bill skyrocketing.
- Handling Additional Expense Reports – When managing the cost of these BYOD devices, companies will need to establish a system for monitoring wireless expenses. This either requires upgraded software or additional hours to complete, further boosting operating expenses.
- Unqualified for Service Discounts – When a company is looking to set up a group service and data plan they have the power to negotiate a discount for bulk service provision. A BYOD policy leaves employees responsible for their own data plans, and removes the company’s power to receive any discount for business-related charges.
Additional costs will also come into play during the initial implementation of a BYOD policy. IT will be responsible for ensuring that employees have access (or lack thereof) to the correct information, which will result in many hours of labor for policy planning and plan development.
Current estimates vary in the actual cost of a BYOD policy due to the nature of implementation strategies. Overall, Garter estimates that BYOD policies cost enterprises $100 per employee annually, and expect this number to triple by 2016. This number certainly varies by company due to policies that determine levels of information access and reimbursement (Donovan, 2013). Many companies choose not to provide reimbursement for BYOD initiatives, but this opens up other questions about employee satisfaction and long term implications.
While a BYOD policy may seem like an easy way to implement improved technology in your workplace at a lower cost on the surface, in reality it may end up costing more than supplying the devices. When developing your BYOD policy, be sure to consider all associated costs before choosing the implementation model that best suits your needs. And regardless of your decision, be sure that your policy include a disinfection strategy!
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Donovan, F. (2013, May 5). Per-employee cost of byod will triple by 2016, predicts gartner read more: Per-employee cost of byod will triple by 2016, predicts gartner – fiercemobileit http://www.fiercemobileit.com/story/employee-cost-byod-will-triple-2016-predicts-gartner/2013-05-05
Freifeld, L. (2013). To byod or not to byod. Retrieved from http://www.trainingmag.com/content/byod-or-not-byod