Consumerization

BYOD will push up IT costs, say tech chiefs

Staff expect to use their own gadgets at work but this could be a major headache - and cost - for the organisation.

While staff seem determined to use their own computing devices in the workplace – the practice known as bring your own device (BYOD) – IT directors are fearful it will increase the cost and complexity of corporate IT.

Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of the 100 IT directors surveyed for research by IT services provider Damovo UK worry that BYOD will cause IT costs to "spiral out of control".

IT managers fear costs will balloon as workers purchase their own mobile devices, call and data plans - with little to no centralised control or discounts - and then charge them back to the business.

The majority (69 per cent) are sceptical that the shift to BYOD will reduce support costs, believing that employees will ask IT to resolve issues with devices and services, rather than assuming more personal responsibility for fixing problems.

Managers anticipate that supporting BYOD will impose new costs on the IT department, at least in the short term, with the biggest financial burden created by new security measures, supporting additional devices and improving network coverage.

Beyond the additional costs, the vast majority of directors (82 per cent) say the complexity of configuring access privileges for the plethora of devices under BYOD will place additional burden on the IT department.

Damovo UK suggests some of the difficulties anticipated about BYOD could be addressed by putting in place a mobile device management process to establish centralised access privileges and setting up corporate stores of centrally sanctioned apps.

While the majority of organisations have BYOD usage guidelines in place the research found that more than one third of organisations (39 per cent) have not implemented such guidelines.

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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