The cost savings gained from enterprise Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies may not be as great in the long term as companies once believed, according to a Wednesday report from Samsung and Oxford Economics.
Nearly 80% of the 500 US IT executives and senior managers surveyed said employees cannot do their jobs effectively without a mobile phone. Three-quarters also said that mobile devices are "essential" to workflows, the report found.
BYOD remains popular, with 31% of organizations relying completely on these policies, according to the report. Only 17% of companies said they provide mobile phones to all employees, while 52% said they provide them to some employees. An increasing number of organizations with BYOD policies are paying for some, or all, of their employees' mobile service costs.
SEE: Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)
However, BYOD includes several hidden management and support costs, the report found. Management overheads including IT administrators, third-party service providers, and software licenses can add 25-40% to the overall cost of enterprise mobile program, depending on the company size, and other factors.
Companies tend to take different approaches to mobile based on their goals, the report found. Those that say they prioritize the effectiveness of mobile workflows and applications are more likely to provide devices to all employees (65%). Other motivations behind device policy choice include cost, security, and corporate culture.
In terms of value add, companies that provide phones to some, or all, employees see measurable gains in terms of productivity, ease of collaboration, and the ability to get work done in a timely manner, the report found. Meanwhile, BYOD respondents report lower satisfaction rates with their mobile devices when they are used as work tools, at 69%, versus 78% for those at companies that provide devices to a significant portion of their workforce.
SEE: BYOD Business Strategies: Adoption Plans, Deployment Options, IT Concerns, and Cost Savings (Tech Pro Research)
Of course, it should be noted that Samsung is a mobile phone provider. However, Oxford Economics is an independent third party research firm, giving the report more credibility.
Overall, a mix of BYOD and employer-provided phones tends to mark company maturity, the report found. Organizations that provide mobile phones to more than 20% of employees tend to have the most mature mobile management policies and workflows, and also report the most value from these policies, according to the report.
"If mobility is a strategic goal, then it makes sense to look beyond one-time cost considerations to longer-term investments and value," Adrianna Gregory, assistant managing editor at Oxford Economics, said in the release. "The reality is that if mobile devices are required for many jobs, executives should adjust to that reality."
Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
- 80% of IT executives and senior managers said employees cannot do their jobs effectively without a mobile phone. — Samsung and Oxford Economics, 2018
- 31% of organizations rely completely on BYOD policies. — Samsung and Oxford Economics, 2018
- IT pro's guide to the evolution and impact of 5G technology (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- How to write a good security policy for BYOD or company-owned mobile devices (ZDNet)
- Samsung Galaxy S9: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- OnePlus 6 review:
- Top-notch speed and performance for hundreds less (CNET)
- 5 best free password managers for iPhone (Download.com)
Alison DeNisco Rayome has nothing to disclose. She does not hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.